M&S refuses to deny rumours of surprise bid for Sainsbury's

Marks & Spencer is the latest name to be linked with a potential bid for J Sainsbury, according to reports last night.

Executives at the clothing giant have discussed bidding for the supermarket chain in the wake of the revelation that a private equity consortium - made up of TPG, CVC, KKR and Blackstone - is working on a £10bn-plus offer for Sainsbury's.

An M&S spokeswoman refused to deny the speculation, insisting only that the group had "no comment" to make. In a separate development, it emerged that the US investment fund that controls the family fortunes of the Vice President, Dick Cheney - Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo - owns 1.37 per cent of Sainsbury's, worth £122m.