Private equity firms circling Sainsbury's with view to launch bids - Sunday Times

Aug 22 (Reuters) - Private equity companies are circling British supermarket group Sainsbury’s with a view to possibly launching bids of more than 7 billion pounds ($9.53 billion), The Sunday Times reported.

American buyout giant Apollo is said to be running the rule over the supermarket group, the newspaper reported

It remains in talks to join the Fortress-led consortium bidding for Morrisons and any involvement in that deal may preclude a move for Sainsbury’s, the report said, adding Apollo’s interest in Sainsbury’s is exploratory.

British supermarket group Morrisons said on Thursday its board would unanimously recommend U.S. private equity group CD&R’s 285 pence a share offer worth 7 billion pounds and drop its previous recommendation for a 6.7 billion pound bid from a consortium led by SoftBank owned Fortress. ($1 = 0.7342 pounds)

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis