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Sainsbury’s shares jump 4% on Qatari bid speculation

Sainsbury’s shares have risen 4 per cent, amid a resurgence of market speculation that the supermarket’s biggest investor, the Qatar Investment Authority, is considering another bid.

According to Retail Week, the Qataris, which currently own a 26% stake in Sainsbury’s, made a failed bid for the retailer back in 2007. But fresh speculation has been promoted by a note from Shore Capital analyst Clive Black, who said:  “With the stock trading at or around its March 2014 forecast net asset value per share, we believe that there is more merit now than has been the case for some years for Sainsbury’ largest investor to dust off ‘the file’ and consider a much more strategic investment, not least of which is an attractive annual cash return of an asset backed retailer.”

The additional Sainsbury’s share ownership is split between the family, with around 14%, and other long-term institutional investors who own the remainder.

If the Qataris bid a 20% premium to Sainsbury’s current share price of 310p (i.e. 372p), it would have to pay around £4.31bn for the outstanding 60% equity assuming the family retain their stake. In addition, it would assume £2.56bn of Sainsbury debt.


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