Retail round-up on April 18, 2016: Qatar state fund and CVC withdraw Sainsbury's bid and Waitrose to stop paying Sunday and overtime rates.

Qatar sovereign wealth fund and CVC abort £6bn Sainsbury's takeover bid

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), a Qatari sovereign wealth fund, private equity group CVC Capital Partners and Canadian property specialist Brookfield have withdrawn a £6bn secret plan to bid for Sainsbury’s.

The trio had plans earlier this year to launch a dramatic takeover approach for the grocer, Sky News reported.

The City’s takeover panel had given formal approvals for the plan in a sign of how close the consortium got to going public with the offer.

Sainsbury’s is on a hiring spree in a bid to improve its online store, according to The Guardian.

The supermarket is adding 150 digital and technology experts, which includes software developers and engineers, who will work in tandem in Manchester with 900 other digital and technology experts based in London and Coventry.

Waitrose brings in changes to premium pay for new employees

Waitrose has revealed it won’t pay its new staff Sunday and overtime rates, the Daily Mail reported.

The upmarket supermarket chain has joined the likes of Tesco, Morrisons, B&Q, Wilko and Dunelm who have also taken similar steps with existing workers.

The firm said its cuts were introduced in February and are not linked to the living wage.

A spokesman said: “Changes to premium pay for new starters is separate to national living wage implementation and was planned before the living wage was announced."

Stores let to M&S across UK put up for sale

Marks & Spencer stores across the UK are to be offloaded for £500m, The Telegraph reported.

Landlord Topland Group has hired property advisory firm CBRE to seek a buyer for 76 outlets, 13 of which are in prime London areas such as Camden, Chiswick, Clapham and Putney.

The retailer is keen on generating cash from its assets in order to return about £2bn to shareholders at the time.