The Irish property crash has taken a heavy toll on members of Select Retail Holdings, the business consortium that bought the Superquinn chain five years ago for 450m.

But despite its financial troubles, the smallest Irish multiple was not about to be sold, insisted executive chairman Simon Burke.

He hadn't talked to potential buyers, reported to include Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco, for over a year, he said. But, he added: "If someone were to knock on our door and I thought they were convincingly interesting, I would talk to them. It doesn't go beyond that, and there have been no such conversations in a long, long time."

The debt difficulties of some consortium members had had no impact on Superquinn, Burke said. Its cashflow was being redeployed in the chain, not used to prop up other businesses owned by consortium members.

As a privately owned company, the 23-store chain does not publish accounts but Burke claimed it was trading well, even though market share had fallen below 7% less than the combined total held by Aldi and Lidl. In the recession, it was hit by the discounters as well as a shopper exodus to the north.