Process might be at earlier stage than thought

Sainsbury’s management is thought to have warned some key shareholders that talks on Qatari investment group Delta Two’s proposed takeover are likely to drag on much longer than anticipated.

The grocer is understood to have met some major institutional shareholders this week. Investors also believe that the Sainsbury’s board could release some kind of comment on the proposed takeover shortly, according to Thomson Investment Management News.

One top 10 shareholder told the newswire: “The market said the bid could be at a more preliminary stage than the market thinks. And with current market conditions, it has become apparent that the process will be more drawn out than previously thought. Things are moving far more slowly than anticipated. It could drag on for a few more weeks.”

Delta Two is reportedly prepared to reduce the proportion of debt in its proposed£10.4 billion offer.