LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s takeover watchdog has set a November 8 deadline for Qatari investment fund Delta Two to make a bid for Britain’s J Sainsbury or walk away, as it emerged that the fund is still seeking financing for its bid.
Sainsbury, which opened its books to Delta Two last month after receiving a bid proposal valuing it at 10.6 billion pounds ($21.7 billion), said the Qatari fund was seeking 500 million pounds of extra equity for its 600 pence a share offer.
“Delta Two has entered into discussions with the Qatar Investment Authority to secure such funding,” Britain’s third-biggest supermarket group said in a statement.
“There can be no certainty that such funding will be forthcoming and, therefore, no certainty that an offer will be made.”
Delta Two, which already owns around 25 percent of Sainsbury, was not immediately available for comment.
Sainsbury said Delta Two had agreed to a November 8 deadline, set by Britain’s Takeover Panel, by which it should make a firm offer or drop its takeover plans.
“Sainsbury’s and Delta Two agree that it is in the best interests of shareholders and colleagues to bring this process to a conclusion as soon as practicable,” the supermarket group said.
Sainsbury shares closed at 584 pence on Thursday.