Sainsbury takeover interest confirmed

A group of investors have confirmed they are considering a takeover bid of Sainsbury’s, the UK’s third largest supermarket chain.

CVC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Blackstone said they were in the preliminary stages of assessing a possible acquisition for the supermarket group.

The joint statement to the Stock Exchange confirmed weeks of takeover speculation.

On Thursday the Sainsbury family trust sold 40m shares in the group, reducing its share holding to just 13.9%. The family’s stake in the company had been viewed as the biggest takeover obstacle.

However, the potential investors said “no decision” had been made about the merits of an offer.

“As a consequence there can be no assurance that an offer will be forthcoming,” they said.

Sainsbury said it had noted the statement but had not received a proposal and had no other comment to make.

As of Friday afternoon (2 February) stockbrokers Shore Capital changed Sainsbury’s share status from sell to hold.

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