A majority stake in B&M Bargains has been put up for sale for £850m.

The 290-store chain, which targets opening one new store a week, currently has annual sales of £1bn year.

Brothers Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora bought B&M in 2005. They are eager to retain control of the Liverpool-based discounter following any sale, meaning private equity investors will be regarded as the most likely candidates to clinch a deal.

Financial advisors Rothschild has reportedly been appointed by B&M to oversee the sale.

Pre-tax profits at the group rose 46% in 2011 to £51.7m. The retailer employs more than 10,000 people across its estate.