Books stay closed because the bid was too low
Somerfield has rebuffed Baugur's indicative cash offer of 190 pence a share. The retailer said the offer did not offer value shareholders. As a result, the retailer will not open up its books to the Icelandic company.

Somerfield said: '[We] have given careful consideration to Baugur's approach. The board's conclusion was that there could be no certainty that this proposal would deliver a formal offer to shareholders at an appropriate level. The board decided, therefore, that it would not be in the interests of shareholders to give further consideration to this proposal.'

Baugur made a tentative offer for the retailer on February 9 and wanted to conduct due diligence before it made a formal bid.

Last week, Somerfield announced a deal to acquire 140 Texaco stores, taking its forecourt business to more than 170. The move cast further doubt on the strength of Baugur's proposal.

Analysts also doubted that Baugur would be able to successfully integrate Somerfield with its other acquisition project, Big Food Group.

Today, Somerfield firmed up its bid for Texaco's forecourts by taking on Palmer Capital Partners for the potential sale and leaseback of the sites.