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The Irish Times this morning adds some details to a story taken note of yesterday on MNB - that Select Retail Holdings (SRH), which three years ago acquired the legendary Irish retailer Superquinn from its founder, Feargal Quinn, has been fielding inquiries that could result in it selling off the chain.

Among the companies looking to buy Superquinn, the Times writes, are Irish wholesale groups Musgrave, BWG, and UK supermarket chains Asda and J Sainsbury.

Tesco, which already has 26 percent of the Irish retail market, is said not to be interested.

According to the story, “At least two approaches have been received for the supermarket in the past week and informed sources haven't ruled out the possibility of a seventh expression of interest emerging in the coming days … The process is being handled for Select Retail Holdings by Goldman Sachs in London, which has provided a limited amount of financial information to interested parties … Select Retail Holdings received an approach in March from Sainsbury, according to sources. The process gained momentum in the past couple of months when an unsolicited offer was received from Asda, owned by American retail giant Wal-Mart.

“Rumours of Asda's interest in expanding its business into the Republic have circulated for years. Recent speculation suggested that it was looking at locations in Border areas and had acquired a site in Sligo. The company already has a chain of shops in Northern Ireland.”

SRH chairman Simon Burke maintains that the company is not for sale, and that all of the offers are unsolicited. However, the Times reports that SRH will consider all serious offers.

KC's View:
I still think this is going to happen. It is just a matter of when and how much.