A CVC-led private equity consortium is understood to have discussed the possible£11 billion takeover with the trustees and asked for more information on the company's pension scheme.
Sainsbury's pension fund deficit is thought to be between£400 million and£658 million. The trustees have hired Penfida to help them maintain the current deficit contribution agreements that the trustees have with the company.
The Takeover Panel has given the consortium until April 13 to make an offer.
Meanwhile, property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz has purchased a further 2.7 million shares in the company, upping his stake to 3.16 per cent. It is understood that Tchenguiz, a major investor in Somerfield, could put together a rival bid for the retailer.