Marks & Spencer, the high street retailer, has announced it will not be making an offer for Sainsbury’s, the UK’s third-largest supermarket group.
An M&S spokeswoman says: “In response to recent speculation, the board of Marks & Spencer confirms that it has been considering its position in relation to a possible combination with Sainsbury’s. Further to this, the board has decided that it does not intend to make an offer for Sainsbury’s at this time.”
The board has, however, retained the right to reconsider making an offer in the next six months.
There has been mounting speculation Sainsbury’s is a take-over target after a private equity consortium comprising CVC, Blackstone and KKR, announced they were interested in launching a buy-out bid earlier this year.
Private equity firms Cinven and Texas Pacific Group have also been linked with a possible take-over.
It is thought any bidder would need pay around £10bn for the retailer.