M&S has abandoned plans to sell its US supermarket chain Kings after successive bidders failed to come up with the cash to finance the deal.

Almost three years since the chain was put up for sale as part of M&S’ plan to focus on domestic operations, M&S chief executive Roger Holmes said: “In the current US climate it has not been possible for interested parties to raise sufficient funds to purchase Kings at what we perceive to be a fair price.”

The announcement comes just weeks after the CEO of New York-based Gristede’s, one of the potential buyers, said he was confident of raising the cash to buy Kings by selling $150m in senior notes on the bond market.