The bidder for Irish food group Greencore has been revealed as U.S. private equity company Clayton Dubilier & Rice according to a report in the Sunday Times.

Greencore, one of the biggest sandwich and ready-meal suppliers to Britain, received a potential takeover approach on Tuesday, sending its shares soaring.

CD&R, which the Sunday Times said is in detailed discussions about a takeover of the Dublin-headquartered group, hired former Tesco chief executive, Terry Leahy, as a senior adviser in March.

Greencore and CD&R were not immediately available for comment.

Greencore agreed to buy British rival Uniq for 113 million pounds in July, boosting its relationship with upmarket British food retailer Marks & Spencer .

($1 = 0.624 British Pounds)

(Reporting by Lorraine Turner; Editing by Erica Billingham)