Privately owned British supermarket group Morrisons is considering options on how to deal with the financial struggles of its convenience store partner McColl's Retail Group Plc, Sky News reported on Tuesday.
Morrisons has appointed investment bank Houlihan Lokey to explore options for its exposure to McColl's, the report added.
McColl's last month issued a profit warning and said it was looking at new funding options after an unnamed party withdrew its takeover approach to buy the company.
London-listed McColl's has been negotiating with lenders since last year and had said it was in talks with banks for a longer-term agreement to secure more funding.
McColl's and Morrisons did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comments.
Last October, Morrisons approved a £7 billion ($9.6 billion) offer by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), bringing the curtain down on Britain's most fiercely contested takeover this year.
CD&R, which has former Tesco boss Terry Leahy as a senior adviser, won an auction for Morrisons on 2 October 2021, bidding a penny a share more than a consortium led by Softbank owned Fortress Investment Group.
Investor approval for the deal will concluded a six-month battle to buy Morrisons, Britain's fourth-biggest grocer and one of the country's biggest food producers.
The deal ended Morrisons' 54-year run as a publicly listed company and saw the ultimate decisions on the group's future shift from its Bradford, northern England, base to the New York home of CD&R.