Thursday, 5 April 2007

Sainsbury's bid

Things are moving in the private equity-backed bid for Sainsbury's. A formal bid looks imminent, although KKR has pulled out of the consortium because of concerns about its ongoing interest in Alliance Boots.

According to The Times, the bid is going to go ahead despite a failure to reach agreement with the trustees of the Sainsbury's pension fund.

A CVC-led group is planning to approach J Sainsbury’s board with an indicative takeover offer, despite having failed to reach agreement with the supermarket chain’s pension trustees.

The consortium, which is thought to be planning an offer of about 550p-a-share, or about £9.5 billion, needs to gain the backing of Sainsbury’s board for its offer before a Takeover Panel deadline of April 13.

One source close to the matter said: “They’ll send a letter to the chairman expressing interest at a certain price and asking for due diligence.” He added that the approach could come as soon as today.

Talks with the trustees over the handling of the supermarket’s £410 million fund deficit are not expected to be concluded until next week at the earliest, but the bidders are being forced to act without their backing because of the looming deadline.

It's worth reading the whole of The Times pice as it has an interesting bit of commentary on the role of the Pensions Regulator.

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