Sainsbury’s has said its largest shareholder has yet to decide on its position over the grocer’s bid for Home Retail Group.

Media reports yesterday suggested that The Qatar Investment Authority, which has a 25% stake in Sainsbury’s, was set to back its move for the Argos owner.

However in a stock exchange announcement late yesterday, Sainsbury’s said: ”We understand that the QIA is not the source of these articles and has not yet taken a final position on the proposed Home Retail Group transaction.

“Like any other shareholder the QIA would consider any such proposal in detail before making a final decision on its position.”

Sainsbury’s has until next Tuesday (February 2) to table a formal bid for Home Retail, after having an initial approach in November rejected. It is understood a renewed offer would top £1bn.

Earlier this month Home Retail agreed a £340m deal to sell its Homebase business to Australian retailer Wesfarmers, which will rebrand the chain Bunnings.