Grocers Morrisons and Asda have expressed interest in acquiring frozen foods chain Iceland as the deadline for first-round bids passes.

Rival Farmfoods is also expected to express an interest in Iceland as its major shareholder, collapsed Icelandic bank Landsbanki, sells its stake in the business.

Private equity groups TPG, Bain, Blackstone and BC Partners also submitted first-round bids, with initial offers valuing the company at £1.3bn to £1.5bn, according to the Financial Times.

Founder Malcolm Walker, who runs the business currently, has not made a first round bid, but has the right to match any offer that is made to acquire the business. Iceland management, including walker, own 23% of the business.

Retail Week revealed in January that Landsbanki had put Iceland up for sale, and that it was also seeking the sale of its other retail assets, including toy chain Hamleys and jewellery group Aurum.