TOKYO (Reuters) -Japanese retailer Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd is in final negotiations to sell its department store unit, Sogo & Seibu, the Nikkei business daily reported on Monday, amid investor pressure to focus on its core convenience store business.

Investment funds and companies are expected to be among the potential bidders with negotiations on price to begin this month, Nikkei reported without citing sources.

Seven & I said in a statement on Tuesday that while it is considering changes to its business portfolio, including selling shares of Sogo & Seibu, nothing has been decided yet.

The company’s shares surged as much as 8.8% in early Tokyo trading.

U.S.-based investment firm ValueAct Capital had urged the retailer to consider alternative strategies including the sale of divisions to boost its lagging share price.

(Reporting by Sam Nussey and Sakura Murakami; Editing by Edmund Blair and Louise Heavens)