Iceland could be the subject of a bidding war following the news that a group of Gulf-based investors are putting together a £1.5bn approach.
The frozen food retailer is currently controlled by the Icelandic government, following the collapse of the Landsbanki and Glitnir banks. They had previously taken over the assets of Baugur, which bought Iceland in 2005 but entered administration last year.
The Middle Eastern consortium now plotting an approach is reportedly headed by the Global Banking Corporation of Bahrain.
Earlier this year a £1bn bid from Malcolm Walker, the Iceland chief executive who holds a 24% stake in the group, was turned down. Walker told The Grocer in October that his bid was still "on the table".
Analysts believe he could now be tempted to lodge an improved bid in light of the interest from the Gulf.
‘No more skiving’: Walker poised for buyback of Iceland (16 October 2010)
Daily Bread: The best comeback since Lazarus (11 October 2010)