Tesco shares spiked four per cent in afternoon trading amid mounting speculation of a potential sale of its lucrative data business Dunnhumby.
A deal, which could be worth as much as £2bn to the supermarket according to analysts, is moving ahead, with WPP and a host of private equity firms vying for the data company behind the Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme.
Widespread reports cite WPP tabling a bid to take a majority stake in Dunnhumby to expand its data business.
The supermarket, which is undergoing major cutbacks under chief executive Dave Lewis is said to want to keep a stake in the firm, which remains a money-spinner for the retailer.
Shares in Tesco closed up 3.65 per cent at 241.35 pence per share.