Lenders including ABN Amro and Rabobank reportedly set up meetings between Laurus and venture capitalist Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts to discuss a deal ­ which is believed to have the backing of Laurus' biggest shareholder Eric Albada Jelgersma. A company spokeswoman dismissed the reports as "rumour and speculation". Analysts have welcomed Laurus' recent decision to focus on three store formats in the Netherlands instead of one, but the company remains the subject of constant takeover speculation, with predators cited ranging from UK venture capitalist CVC to French retail giant Casino. Schroder Salomon said Laurus' stock had slumped over 60% over the last 12 months, making it the "worst performing European food retail stock of the year". {{NEWS }}