Final member of consortium pulls out
Private equity fund CVC has abandoned its bid for Sainsbury's.

CVC Capital Partners said in a statement to the stock exchange: 'After a number of discussions between the board of Sainsbury's and the consortium, it became clear that the consortium would not be unable to make a proposal that would result in a successful offer.'

The private equity group said it put forward a proposal to Sainsbury's that comprised a cash offer and additional features. These included major investment, a business plan that would create jobs, wide employee ownership, annual disclosure, independent non-executive directors and a proposal for the continued security of pension schemes.

Sainsbury's said: 'The consortium made a number of proposals to the board, all of which were subject to pre-conditions. The key pre-conditions were outside the control of the board and related to the consortium's proposed financing structure. The board explored whether the pre-conditions were capable of being satisfied or could be revised, but the consortium concluded that this was not possible.'

The retailer said it is delivering an improving performance with a strong management team and its recovery is well established. It added: 'Looking forward, the board believes that Sainsbury's has great potential and is committed to completing the Making Sainsbury's Great Again recovery plan.'

The CVC-led consortium is believed to have faced strong opposition from the Sainsbury family, who were understood to be unwilling to consider offers below 600p a share. CVC had put forward a 582p-a-share offer at the weekend.

Private equity firm Blackstone group also withdrew from the consortium bid yesterday, amid mounting speculation that the£10.1 billion CVC-led offer was close to collapse.

Blackstone was the third member to withdraw in the past few days, after KKR confirmed it was pulling out last week and Texas Pacific Group exited yesterday.