Delta Two would use the £3bn to turn Sainsbury's into an international retailer, aiming at the Middle East, South Korea and China, according to reports in The Times.
Sainsbury's board of directors will meet with Delta Two within the next two days to discuss the offer, thought to be worth £12bn, and to decide whether to open its books for due diligence, the report adds.
Shares in Sainsbury's rose 5p to finish on 590.5p yesterday on news of the approach, but analysts questioned the price tag, reportedly 610p-a-share.
“610p is a huge price to pay,” said Richard Ratner, an analyst at Seymour Pierce. “We thought that the indicative CVC offer of 582p was stretching it.”
Howard Wheeldon, a senior strategist at BGC Partners, added: “610p may not be the final price that the board agrees to accept but at some point during this year we are in little doubt that ownership of the supermarket group will change hands.”