Bidders circling supermarketchain Somerfield will learn this week if their £1 billionplus offers have gained boardroom support.
The directors of the Bristolbased chain are said to be meeting soon to discuss whether to recommend one of two offers, including the approach from a group led by Iranian property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.
The second offer involves brothers Ian and Richard Livingstone - owners of London & Regional Properties - and backed by Japanese bank Nomura. Somerfield has already told Baugur, which recently acquired Iceland food-chain Big Food Group, that it could not support an approach made last month.
Iceland- based Baugur sparked the bid interest with a 190p a share proposal - worth £1 billion - but also attached conditions, including successful due diligence, funding and agreement with the UK firm's pension scheme trustees.
The offer from Mr Tchenguiz and his partners from Apax and Barclays Capital is said to be worth 205p a share, valuing the UK's fifth largest grocer at more than £1.1 billion.
It has been claimed the Livingstone brothers had tabled 190p a share.
Amid the possibility that Baugur could return with a new offer - reportedly with the involvement of Scottish entrepreneur Tom Hunter - Somerfield shares have soared to 207p, up from 157.25p at the start of the year.
Baugur is thought to be keen on the opportunity to merge the operations of Big Food Group with the Somerfield group which includes Kwik Save.
Somerfield is no stranger to takeovers after knocking back interest valued at £594 million from retail entrepreneurs John Lovering and Bob Mackenzie in 2003.
Since then, chairman John von Spreckelsen has improved the performance of the chain.
But the group, which has 664 Somerfield stores and 560 Kwik Save sites, recently revealed a decline in like-forlike sales as it joined other retailers in warning of challenging trading conditions.