Bestway is now Sainsbury’s sixth-largest shareholder, and plans to increase its stake further.
Bestway has acquired a 3.45% share of top four supermarket J Sainsbury’s PLC, according to messages sent to the multiple’s investors.
A notice published on 27 January said the wholesaler and symbol group operator had purchased the holding after trading closed the day before. The holding is valued at approximately £193.4m at the time of purchase.
A statement from Sainsbury’s said Bestway “is not considering an offer for the Company.”
The holding makes Bestway Sainsbury’s sixth-largest shareholder.
Explaining the decision, the supermarket stated: “Bestway Group intends to hold its shares in Sainsbury’s for investment purposes and looks forward to supporting the executive management team. Bestway Group may look to make further market purchases of Sainsbury’s shares from time to time, subject to availability and price.” Sainsbury’s stated Bestway “is not considering an offer for the Company.”
Sainsbury’s attempted a short-lived expansion into wholesale, beginning in 2020 and ending in 2022, leaving a trail of frustrated convenience store groups and owners in its wake, including the now Bestway part-owned chain Simply Fresh. In 2017 the supermarket also made an aborted takeover attempt on Nisa prior to Co-op’s later acquisition of the group.
Bestway is currently looking to expand its partnership with Sainsbury’s rivals Iceland. Bestway’s Bargain Booze brand has concessions in a number of the discounter’s stores and Bestway also supplies Iceland’s new Swift convenience brand. More recently, Iceland products have begun appearing in a small number of Bestway stores since October 2022 as part of an ongoing trial.