Morrisons appears to have signalled its intention to bid for frozen food retailer Iceland by appointing Credit Suisse as an advisor.
Iceland’s majority owners, the officials responsible for the winding up of Icelandic bank Landsbanki, put their 67% stake up for sale in May.
Iceland chief executive Malcolm Walker, who has a 27% stake, is known to be keen to get his hands back on the company he founded. He is understood to have offered £1bn for the rest of the business last year and is currently thought to be putting together an improved bid.
The Icelandic owners are hoping to create a bidding war for the company, which analysts believe could fetch a price of £1.5bn.
Morrisons has previously used Rothschild as an advisor, but the finance house is currently working with Walker.
As well as Morrisons and Walker, Asda have been linked with a possible bid, although Sainsbury’s has made it clear it would only be interested in a handful of stores.
The bidding process is expected to kick off in earnest next month.
First Morrisons c-store opens for business (8 July 2011)
Morrisons next to be linked with Iceland deal (26 April 2011)