• The Qatar Investment Authority has indicated that it will support Sainsbury’s if it makes a second bid for Argos.
  • The Qataris hold a 25% stake in Sainsbury’s.
  • The deadline for making a renewed bid is February 2.

Sainsbury’s is set to gain the support of its largest shareholder, the Qatar Investment Authority, for a renewed bid for Argos.

The support is vital for Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe and chairman David Tyler to win their takeover battle of Argos.

The Qataris own 25% of Sainsbury’s.

The deadline for Sainsbury’s to make a bid is looming. The grocer must formally table a second offer by 5pm on February 2.

It is understood a renewed offer would top £1bn.

Grocer Sainsbury’s made its first offer to acquire Argos in November last year but the shares-plus-cash bid was knocked back.

It revealed earlier this month that it was considering making a second bid. Argos owner Home Retail Group said it rejected the offer because it “undervalued Home Retail Group and its long-term prospects”.

Sainsbury’s boss Coupe said earlier this month that it remained a “compelling transaction”. The grocer believes there is potential synergies between the two businesses and the acquisition could “accelerate” its multichannel strategy by “two to three years”.