Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.

CMA extends deadline for final Sainsbury’s-Asda findings

The competition watchdog has extended the deadline for its final report into the proposed Sainsbury’s-Asda merger.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) now has an additional eight weeks to report its findings, with its report due by April 30.

In a statement, the CMA said this decision was made due to the “scope and complexity of the investigation and the need to consider issues raised by the main parties’ and third parties’ submissions”.

Iceland eyes Sainsbury’s and Asda stores

Iceland is considering swooping on stores that Sainsbury’s and Asda might be forced to sell as a result of their proposed merger.

The frozen food chain is reportedly eyeing any supermarkets that need to be disposed of in order to expand its Food Warehouse business.

Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker told the Financial Times the grocer was “looking at everything for sure”.

He added: “Food retail drives footfall and we are the only supermarket that is opening on retail parks. We are looking at every retailer, trying to pick off as much as we can.”

Arcadia’s Green faces storm over bullying allegations

Arcadia tycoon Sir Philip Green faced fresh allegations over the weekend about sexual harassment, racism and bullying behaviour.

The latest allegations prompted an MP to demand that the police investigate the claims against the Topshop boss, who has maintained that he has not engaged in any unlawful behaviour.

Ashley walks away from Patisserie Valerie bid

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has withdrawn from the bidding for Patisserie Valerie, just two days after revealing he had made an offer for the troubled café chain.

Ashley is thought to have offered about £15m for Patisserie Valerie, which is in administration, but was told the offer was too low.

Paperchase seeks deal with landlords

Stationery specialist Paperchase is negotiating with landlords to link store rents to turnover as part of a restructuring.

The retailer is proposing a new type of company voluntary arrangement (CVA), the Telegraph reported, which would allow it to avoid a radical branch closure programme while giving it greater financial headroom.

Paperchase’s advisers KPMG are simultaneously holding discussions with potential buyers. There is understood to have been interest from turnaround companies.

Debenhams races to secure financing

Department store group Debenhams was battling to secure funding from lenders over the weekend.

Debenhams had hoped to reveal progress last Friday but that could be pushed back to some time this week, the Daily Mail reported.

The change in timing is likely to prompt concerns over the future of the retailer, which issued three profit warnings last year and carries debts of £286m.