An investment company linked to the Qatari royal family has bought a major stake in supermarket group Sainsburys.

Delta Two announced it bought 17.4% of the company, but did not reveal how much it paid for the shares.

The news comes a day after the retailer’s shares rose by 7% by a one-off share trade by investment group Delta Three.

The deal, which saw about 14% of Sainsbury’s stock change hands at a reported 575p, sparked speculation that another takeover bid could be in the pipeline.

The Delta group has links the property entrepreneurs the Tchenguiz brothers.

Robert Tchenguiz, who owns 5% of Sainsburys, called for it to be split into a separate supermarket and property business earlier this month.

The latest deals follow a failed £10.1bn takeover bid by private equity-led consortium, CVC Capital Partners.

The group dropped its plans following opposition from the Sainsbury family, who own an 18% share in the company.