Reports that Sainsbury’s considered swooping on Mothercare has boosted the struggling babywear specialist’s share price. 

According to The Press Association, the acquisitive grocer mulled placing a bid for Mothercare in recent months.

Although the grocer stopped short of tabling an offer, the emergence of its interest caused Mothercare’s value to leap 17% on Thursday to 20.5p per share.

In 2016, Sainsbury’s spent £1.4bn acquiring Argos. It also recently expanded its Tu clothing range, which includes babywear. 

Mothercare is currently valued at around £30m.

It comes just days after Mothercare axed chief executive Mark Newton-Jones and brought in former Tesco director David Wood to steer the firm’s turnaround. 

Mothercare drafted in advisors last month to oversee a refinancing with lenders as the business worked to stave off administration.

Both Mothercare and Sainsbury’s declined to comment.