Following the withdrawal of Morrisons from the Iceland auction process, it is understood that Bain Capital and BC Partners are the only remaining bidders.
It has also been reported that other private equity prospective buyer Blackstone is no longer bidding.
The supermarket chain, which is expected to reach a price tag of £1.5bn (€1.8bn), is being sold by Landsbanki, which holds a 66 per cent stake, with the balance held by the firm's founder, Malcolm Walker. Iceland fell into the hands of Landsbanki after the collapse of Baugur Group in 2009. However, it is clear that Walker isn't willing to let go of the company. He has “last look” rights, meaning that after a winning bid has emerged, he has 40 days to match it.
According to the Independent, Morrisons is still interested in picking up stores if they are available following the eventual sale.
For an in-depth analysis of the Iceland sale, click here.