Sainsbury Discusses Takeover Bid from Qatari Investment Fund

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Sainsbury Discusses Takeover Bid from Qatari Investment Fund

LONDON -- Supermarket group J Sainsbury PLC here confirmed yesterday that is in talks with a Qatari investment fund that has proposed a takeover of the retailer. This is the second bid this year for J Sainsbury, which is Britain's third-largest supermarket group.

Delta Two, the investment group, already holds a 25 percent stake in J Sainsbury, but is considering increasing its interest by way of a cash offer to acquire the balance of the ordinary share capital of the company.

Neither party spoke of a possible bid price yesterday. However, the Financial Times reported that Delta Two's offer valued Sainsbury at 12 billion pounds ($24.5 billion).

Delta said it is "focused on strategic, long-term investments in exceptional businesses, principally in the U.K., which have strong incumbent management teams, leading market positions, and long-term growth opportunities."

Earlier this year a 10.1 billion pound ($20.6 billion) bid from buyout firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd. fell apart after its partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Ltd., Blackstone Group International Ltd., and TPG Capital, walked away.

In addition to being a successful retailer, J Sainsbury has an attractive portfolio of around 8.6 billion pounds ($17.6 billion) of real estate.