Property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz has confirmed he wants UK retailer Sainsbury's to release some of the value locked in its property portfolio.

Earlier this week, the Tchenguiz Trust upped its stake in the supermarket chain to 5.07%, despite the collapse of a GBP10.1bn (US$19.7bn) private equity takeover approach.

"Sainsbury's has GBP1.6bn of debt and a capital value of GBP10bn. In anybody's book this is a bad capital structure," Tchenguiz told UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph today (13 April). "This is a real estate company with a retail business on the side."

In the interview, Tchenguiz denied earlier reports that he had supported the Sainsbury family in its opposition to the CVC Capital takeover bid, suggesting that the board should have allowed investors to decide whether the offer was to be accepted. 

"The company has been under siege for two months. We might not have accepted the offer, but that's a different matter. It doesn't cost anything to see whether shareholders wanted it," he said.

The Tchenguiz Trust was unavailable for comment as just-food went to press.