A successful bid for Somerfield could net the bidder control of more than £1bn of property assets, announced the Financial Times today.

Somerfield’s properties were valued at £772m in April 2004, according to its annual report, but property values have risen 10-fold since this time, and its portfolio has been enhanced by two acquisitions: a £115m purchase of 63 stores from Safeway and £100m for 140 Texaco petrol stations.

The retailer carried out a sale and leaseback of these properties last month but it is expected to share in some of the upside of the stores’ redevelopment, which may raise their value to £225m, according to the report today.

The company’s board will meet this week to discuss takeover bids.