Convenience store giant Couche Tard is seen as the most likely buyer of EG Group as the Issa brothers ponder selling off their petrol station empire.
The Issas, who bought Asda last year for £6.8 billion, held exploratory talks with the Canadian chain two years ago.
They did not reach an agreement, but relations are thought to remain positive between Mohsin Issa and Couche Tard founder Alain Bouchard.
The brothers are working with advisers from Rothschild, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays to explore a sale of EG for up to £10.8 billion.
Seven & I Holdings, owner of Dallas-based 7-Eleven convenience stores, is seen as another potential buyer.
While EG’s UK business is unlikely to be on the table, offloading its international operations could enable the Issas to pay off debt worth billions.
The company reported underlying profits of $1.27 billion on sales of $20.7 billion last year.
A source close to EG told The Sunday Times that all options were on the table.
Couche Tard has more than 14,000 petrol forecourts and convenience stores worldwide.
It was forced to abandon a £13.8 billion bid for French supermarket giant Carrefour in January after fierce opposition from the government in Paris.