Marks and Spencer has said it is back in negotiations with Gristede’s Foods over the sale of its US supermarket chain Kings after an exclusivity agreement with D’Agostino Supermarkets collapsed.

It had agreed a $160m deal for the 29-strong chain with D’Agostino in July, after looking for a buyer for more than a year, but terminated the contract when the November 30 completion deadline expired.

Gristede’s had a three-week exclusivity deal in June. It collapsed because it could not raise the required finance after the Worldcom scandal.

An M&S spokesman said: “We are talking to Gristede’s and are happy to continue talks with D’Agostino on a non-exclusive basis. We remain committed to selling Kings.”

M&S added it was also in talks with other parties. New Jersey food wholesaler Di Giorgio is said to be one of the potential buyers, possibly making a joint bid with Gristede’s.