Philip Green has confirmed he made a bid for Sainsbury in May last year, according to newspaper reports.

Green made a bid worth £6.4bn for the supermarket chain, and he also attempted a bid for Safeway before turning his attentions to Marks & Spencer.

Reports also indicate that Green may get the information he requires by the end of the week to launch a fresh bid for Marks & Spencer.

Green has demanded to know the size of the high street retailer’s pension fund and how much of it, if any, he would be liable to pay.

Derek Norgrove, chairman of the trustees of the company’s pension fund, has cut short his holiday to return to Britain for urgent meetings the pension fund, which has a gross deficit of £670m, or £470m after a tax credit.