Delta Two, the Qatari-backed investment fund which owns a 25% stake in Sainsbury's, could be planning a second move for the chain.

Sainsbury's shares were on the rise this week amid City rumours that Delta Two, which pulled out of a £10.6bn bid in November last year, could attempt to buy Sainsbury's again.

Analysts speculated that although unexpected, a bid was possible again, especially as Delta Two's six-month waiting period preventing it from making another bid ended next month.

However, any bid for Sainsbury's was unlikely to happen until mid-June, one analyst told The Grocer.