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Upmarket northern supermarket chain Booths has reportedly hired Rothschild to lead a sales process that could be worth up to £150m.

According to The Sunday Times, the northwest chain could be set to end to end 170 years of family ownership with an auction set to fetch between £130m and £150m.

The “Waitrose of the North” has 28 shops across Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire and Cumbria, but has seen a downturn in trading in recent years.

Its most recently filed account for the year to March 2016, Booths sales fell 0.7% to £276.6m while underlying trading profits dropped 16.1% to £2.6m.

This year Booths returned to family hands after CEO Chris Dee – the chain’s first non-family chief executive - stepped down in May.

The Sunday Times said the news would “prompt all Britain’s big grocers to run a slide rule over the business”.

It also suggested Amazon could look to ape its strategy in North America of buying Whole Foods as a premium player to build its grocery footprint.

Booths said it always kept its “strategic options open”. A spokeswoman said: “Booths has been retailing for over 170 years and it remains a very strong, resilient and well-loved brand. One of our strengths has been our ability to adapt to changing market conditions.”

Morning update

On the markets this morning, The FTSE 100 has opened the week edging up 0.1% to 7,414.1pts.

Early risers include Stock Spirits Group (STCK), up 1.7% to 259.8p and Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), up 1.3% to 352.5p.

There are more notable fallers, including McBride (MCB), down 3.7% to 207.3p, Nichols (NICL), down 2.1% to 1,595p, Greggs (GRG), down 1.4% to 1,341p and C&C Group (CCR), down 1.3% to €2.86.

This week in the City

As we head into December there is still plenty of news in the City diary this week.

Tomorrow brings full-year results from Greencore (GNC), which has suffered share price falls in recent months related to concerns over the performance of its North American business.

Also tomorrow pork specialist Cranswick (CWK) releases its first half results, retail and vet chain Pets at Home (PETS) issues its interim results and ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) also releases its full-year results.

Wednesday sees full-year results from Ribena maker Britvic (BVIC).

Then on Thursday pub operator and brewer Marston’s (MARS) issues its annual results on the same day rival Greene King (GNK) releases its own half year results. PayPoint (PAY) will also issue its first half results on Thursday morning.

It is a quieter week for scheduled economic news, with only the monthly GFK consumer confidence figures on Thursday and the PMI manufacturing data released on Friday particularly noteworthy.