Burke would not confirm if he had received an approach for the business in the past two weeks, but said: “I’ve probably had half a dozen approaches since I’ve been here, from retailers in at least four different countries, and there is not a lot in this.”
He added that Goldman Sachs, which had reportedly been retained to advise on a sale, has been an adviser to parent Select Retail Holdings since it bought the grocer in 2005 from founder Feargal Quinn and has not just been appointed to seek a buyer. He said: “Maybe one day Superquinn will be sold, but this isn’t it.”
Speculation about a sale of Superquinn emerged at the weekend, when it was claimed that at least two UK supermarkets had approached the grocer about buying the business.
Potential suitors could include Waitrose or Sainsbury’s, whose upmarket approaches are more aligned to that of Superquinn. Asda is also understood to be keen to enter the south of Ireland and Tesco has a strong share of the market in the Republic.
Superquinn opened its 24th store this week in Portlaoise, in the Irish midlands. Burke said: “Trade is tough at the moment. Our job is to show that we are price-competitive as well as being known for our quality and value.”