Kwik Save's former owner Somerfield is considering refinancing its portfolio of 230 freehold stores, said to be worth £1.3bn.

Somerfield's owners, Apax Partners-led consortium Violet Acquisitions, has asked banks to "put forward proposals", a spokesman for the retailer said.

"No decision has been made yet and this does not necessarily mean they are for sale," he added.

Details of the portfolio, dubbed 'Project Starling', have reportedly been sent to UK and overseas prospective bidders.

Meanwhile, property venture capital firm Palmer Capital Partners is selling a portfolio of 85 petrol forecourts currently let to Somerfield. The sites are joint-branded Somerfield and Texaco forecourts.