Sainsbury’s could face a takeover of the business as a result of activist investor fund Crystal Amber entering talks with overseas investors about a share raid on the grocer.
Crystal Amber was approached earlier in the year by a US investor interested in taking a large stake in Sainsbury’s, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Following the approach, Crystal Amber reportedly set in motion preparations for a major shake-up as it believes activists could flush out a takeover bid from a large international retailer.
Another option Crystal Amber is understood to be preparing for is a large-scale sell off of the Sainsbury’s property state.
The activist fund believes Sainsbury’s could reduce its £12bn property portfolio from 61% to 51% and increase net debt to £2.7bn to return £2.25bn to shareholders, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe has admitted a quarter of its stores “have too much space” but claims “the death of the superstore is grossly exaggerated”.
The Qatari sovereign wealth fund, which owns 26% of Sainsbury’s, is often linked to takeover bids by Sainsbury’s, but since it failed to buy Sainsbury’s with a £10.6bn bid in 2007 no further bid has occurred.