Blog: Dean BestOFT keeping its powder dry on Sainsbury's

Dean Best | 6 August 2007

just-food was surprised to read reports this weekend that the Office of Fair Trading had held informal talks with Delta Two, the investment fund looking to buy UK retailer Sainsbury’s.

The OFT was said to have approached Delta Two and discussed the fund’s proposed bid for Sainsbury’s.

Delta Two, an investment vehicle backed by the Qatar government, has indicated that it would bid GBP10.6bn (US$21.5bn) for Sainsbury’s and borrow some GBP6bn to fund the takeover.

There have been concerns over the amount of cash Delta Two would look to borrow to finance the deal, not least from UK trade unions worried over the level of debt that could be placed on the business.

However, to suggest that the OFT would act on those concerns at this point in proceedings is misguided. First, there has been no official bid from Delta Two for Sainsbury’s and secondly, should the OFT wish to hold talks with the fund, it would do so under standard official procedures as an impartial, administrative body.


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