Speculation is mounting that Qatari investors are eyeing a bigger stake in Sainsbury’s.

The Qatar Investment Authority-backed Delta Two fund is understood to have hired advisors to discuss building on its 26% holding in the grocer, it has been reported.

Sainsbury’s shares rose on news that the Qataris, along with financial adviser Lazards and bankers Citibank, are in talks with the Sainsbury family over their 8% stake in the business.

It is believed that if successful, the talks could lead to a £9billion, or £5 per share, cash offer.

Delta Two first considered a bid for Sainsbury’s in 2007 with a proposed £10.6bn offer, but walked away after claiming the credit crunch was a deterrent.

The Qataris retained their stake and speculation about surfaced again in 2010.