A consortium of Gulf investors headed by the Global Banking Corporation of Bahrain are in talks to acquire the UK frozen food retailer Iceland Foods for up to $2.3 billion - The Telegraph is reporting.
The consortium is said to be in talks with representatives looking after the assets of two collapsed Icelandic banks, Landsbanki and Glitnir, which held 76 percent of Iceland Foods. It has more than 730 shops across the UK.
The Bahrain investment firm "Global Banking Corporation" is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code BFD66.
More details from The Telegraph follows
Frozen food retailer Iceland could become the subject of a bidding war after investors from the Middle East began talks to acquire the business for up to £1.5bn.
A consortium of Gulf investors headed by the Global Banking Corporation of Bahrain is said to be in talks with representatives looking after the assets of two collapsed Icelandic banks, Landsbanki and Glitnir, which held 76pc of Iceland Foods. The banks' assets are being overseen by the Icelandic government since they called in administrators.
It has been reported that Saleh Al Ali Al Rashed, chairman of Global visited London recently, meeting representatives of Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group. Lloyds would not confirm the meeting and Global was unavailable for comment.
It is thought the move could fuel interest from Iceland founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker, who already owns 24pc of the company, alongside other members of management.
Mr Walker is known to have made a £1bn bid to buy back Iceland earlier this year, which was rejected. But he may be spurred on to table a new offer in light of the rival talks.
Mr Walker founded Iceland in 1970, building it into a national 750-store supermarket chain. He was ousted as chairman in 2001, but was reinstated to the board in 2005 when a private consortium headed by Icelandic retail group Baugur acquired Iceland's then parent company The Big Food Group for £326 million.
Baugur hit the wall last February during the Icelandic financial crisis and the controlling stake passed to the administrators of Landsbanki and Glitnir. However, Iceland's ownership saga has not damaged its performance, with the group announcing a 19pc jump in profits for the year to March 26.
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