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April 15, 2011

UK: Sainsbury’s considers Iceland outlets

Sainsbury's could be in the running for part of the Iceland Foods business when the UK frozen food retailer goes up for sale.

Sainsbury’s could be in the running for part of the Iceland Foods business when the UK frozen food retailer goes up for sale.

Speaking to the Daily Mail yesterday (14 April), Sainsbury’s property director Neil Sachdev said: “Everyone is looking at Iceland. When and if it comes up for sale then we will take a look. What we don’t know is if Iceland will be sold whole or just broken up.”

Earlier this month, it was reported that Iceland had started reorganising its corporate structure and reordering its balance sheet to prepare for a change in management, with owner Landsbanki confirming that it plans to sell its 67% sake in the chain.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson was today coy about the retailer’s level of interest in the chain. “We are always looking at opportunities to support our ambitious growth plans. However we cannot comment on speculation about Iceland as it is not known whether they will even be sold,” he told just-food.

Sainsbury’s is in the midst of a race for space, working to rapidly roll out its convenience store format, against fierce competition from rival Tesco. In its most recent fourth-quarter trading update, the retailer said that it had opened some 21 convenience stores, with plans to continue growing in the channel.

According to the Daily Mail, there is speculation that Iceland could be sold for as much as GBP2bn.

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