Sainsbury's and Matalan not in Target's sights

Target, one of the biggest retailers in the US, has effectively ruled out a bid for either UK supermarket Sainsbury's or discounter Matalan.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference in New York last week, Target chief financial officer Doug Scovanner said he had not yet seen an international takeover opportunity that fulfils the group's investment criteria.

'There has been a lot of speculation in the press based on our liquidity, some of it amusing, some of it not very amusing from my standpoint,' he said.

Alluding to the mainly grocery offer at Sainsbury's, compared with Target's general merchandise focus, he said: 'The idea of acquiring something that involved us diversifying would be contradictory to the strategy we have been developing.'

He added that Target would also apply its strict investment-return criteria to any future purchase. 'There has yet to be a non-US opportunity that (meets) those criteria,' he said.