U.K. food retailer J Sainsbury was approached by advisers to CVC Capital and private equity partners with details of the cash offer the group made on Monday, according to a report in London newspaper The Times. Sainsbury declined to comment to CNBC.
CVC indicated at a meeting Monday than an offer would be more than 550p a share. That would value the supermarket chain at £9.5 billion ($18.24 billion), although no firm price has been put on the table, the sources said, The Times reported.
With talks at an early stage, it is unlikely that the supermarket chain has opened its books for due diligence, the paper said. But senior executives expect progress in the next two days.
The private equity groups bidding with CVC are Blackstone Group; Texas Pacific Group; Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Goldman Sachs' private equity arm.
The group has not yet submitted a formal proposal.