Musgrave is emerging as the frontrunner in the bidding war for Londis, according to exclusive research conducted by The Grocer.

Our telephone poll of Londis retailers revealed Musgrave was edging ahead as the preferred bidder with 34% of the vote, ahead of Big Food Group with 31% and Nisa-Today’s in third position with 29%.

Somerfield and the Co-operative Group limped into fourth and fifth place with 4% and 2% of the vote respectively.

However, our poll also showed members were split down the middle over the proposed sale of the symbol group, with 43% in favour, 38% opposed, and the remaining 19% unsure about the best way forward.

The survey follows the unanimous decision of the Londis board on March 4 to back Londis’ advisor KPMG’s recommendation that an outright sale was in shareholders’ best interests.

Full details can be found in this week’s issue of The Grocer magazine.