Speculation is persisting that private equity groups could be preparing to make a bid for Morrisons.

Following reports last month, further reports surfaced in the Sunday papers this weekend that a consortium made up of private equity firms Texas Pacific, CVC and Permira, could be planning a £6bn bid for the supermarket group.

The reports add that Barclays Capital was also thought to be interested in the chain but 'couldn't make the numbers work'.

Morrisons has reported a serious of profit warnings since acquiring Safeway in 2004 and analysts are concerned that its new chief executive officer, Heineken chief operating officer Marc Bolland, who takes up the role in September, does not have any retail experience.

A private equity source told the Observer: “There is a power vacuum at the top of Morrisons as chairman Sir Ken Morrison begins to take more of a back seat role and Bolland is yet to arrive.”