Asda could table a takeover bid for discount retailer B&M, according to the Sunday Times.
The Big 4 grocer, which has endured 11 consecutive quarters of declining sales, could be the latest supermarket to expand its estate in a high-profile takeover.
Over the weekend it was reported that the Walmart-owned supermarket has commissioned external research on B&M with a view to issuing a bid. B&M has been valued at around £4.4 billion.
The news comes amid large scale changes for the grocery sector, with Tesco in the midst of a £3.7 billion proposed takeover of supplier Booker, and Amazon making inroads into bricks-and-mortar retail with its acquisition of Whole Foods.
READ MORE: Asda posts 11th quarter of decline in a row
Sainsbury’s also took over Argos and Habitat in a £1.1 billion deal late last year, marking a recent trend for grocers to expand their non-food offerings in the face of declining market share thanks to Aldi and Lidl.
B&M boasts a 540 store estate and revealed a sales rise of 18.3 per cent to £656 million for its first quarter earlier this month. Its boss Simon Arora described it as its strongest first quarter in three years.
Despite the speculation of a takeover, The Telegraph reported this morning that senior Asda staff have dismissed the claims, stating that its parent company Walmart was in charge of takeovers.