• Argos owner Home Retail’s largest shareholder Schroders has told Sainsbury’s it will have to pay £1.4bn if it wants to buy the retail group
  • Sainsbury’s is believed to have indicated it would not pay more than £1.2bn for Argos
  • The deadline for Sainsbury’s to make a bid is tomorrow

Home Retail’s largest shareholder, Schroders, which owns 20% of the group, has told Sainsbury’s it will have to pay £1.4bn for Argos.

Sainsbury’s is believed to have indicated it would not pay more than 150p a share for Home Retail, which values the Argos owner at £1.2bn.

However, The Sunday Times reported that Home Retail chief executive John Walden is holding out for 170p a share, which values the company at close to £1.5bn.

Schroders has told Sainsbury’s it will accept 165p a share. Other large shareholders in Home Retail have told Walden that he faces being ousted if he overplays his hand while negotiating a deal with Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s and Home Retail are locked in talks ahead of tomorrow’s deadline when the grocer must either make a bid or walk away under Takeover Panel rules.

Sainsbury’s made its first bid for Home Retail in November but the offer was rejected for being too low.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said last month that he would walk away from the deal if a sensible price could not be reached.