Supply chain specialist Wincanton, which has contracts with the big four, Waitrose, Somerfield and The Co-operative Group, has tabled a £229m bid for rival logistics company TDG.

The bid, at 281.25p a share, beats a rival offer earlier this year of 266.25p a share put forward by private equity firm Laxey Partners. Laxey currently holds a 20% stake in TDG.

TDG's clients include Coca-Cola, Kimberly-Clark, SC Johnson, Kellogg's, Diageo and Tesco, and Wincanton said there could be opportunities to improve profit if the two businesses were combined.

"There is merit in continuing to explore a combination of the two businesses in terms of operational overlap and complementary sector and geographic coverage," Wincanton added.

Analysts have warned both bids could be unsuccessful and claimed Wincanton's approach could lead to a long drawn out takeover battle. Fellow logistics company Stobart Group said it was unlikely to make a rival bid.