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Retail

Bestway Buys Sainsbury's Stake But Not Considering Offer

By Reuters
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Privately owned retail group Bestway has amassed a 3.45% stake in Sainsbury's but said it is not considering a takeover offer for Britain's second largest supermarket group.

Bestway, which describes itself as the seventh largest family-owned business in the United Kingdom with turnover of about £4.5 billion (€5.12 billion), said it intends to hold its shares in Sainsbury's for investment purposes and looks forward to supporting the executive management team.

It said it may look to make further market purchases of Sainsbury's shares from time to time, subject to availability and price.

"Bestway Group confirms that it is not considering an offer for Sainsbury's," it said.

Sainsbury's noted Bestway's announcement.

"We will engage with Bestway Group in line with our normal interactions with shareholders," it said.

Sainsbury's Share Price

Sainsbury's shares were up almost 6% in early trade at their highest since April and leading gainers on the FTSE 100 .FTSE index.

The stock closed Thursday at 239.4 pence, valuing the business at £5.6 billion.

Bestway, which owns the Costcutter chain, started as a chain of convenience stores in 1963 and has grown to become a diversified multinational business with interests across the wholesale, pharmacy, real estate, cement and banking sectors.

It said it serves over 12 million customers and employs over 28,000 across the UK, Pakistan and the Middle East.

Streamlining The Business

Last week, Sainsbury's announced that its Argos general merchandise business will exit the Irish market, closing its 34 stores there, with the loss of 580 jobs.

The group said it intended to close all its Argos stores and operations in Ireland at the end of June.

Sainsbury's purchased Argos, which sells toys, technology and consumer electronics, for £1.1 billion (€1.25 billion) in 2016.

News by Reuters, edited by by ESM – your source for the latest retail news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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