First round bids have reportedly been submitted for a stake in high street discounter B&M Retail.

A “significant” stake in the retailer, which trades as B&M Bargains, was put up for sale last month with a price tag of £850m. Rothschild was hired as adviser in September

Bids have been lodged by private equity firms Apax, Cinven and BC Partners, according to the weekend press.

B&M, which has 290 stores and is fourth on The Grocer’s ranking of the UK’s Top 50 independent grocery retailers, is owned by brothers Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora. They bought the company in 2005 when it had less than 20 stores.

B&M declined to comment on the reports.