The Co-op Group has replaced J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) at the pole position to swoop on Nisa, Sky News has revealed. The move comes after reports suggested earlier this month that the FTSE 100 group was shelving talks to buy the convenience chain until the UK’s competition watchdog has ruled on rival Tesco’s (LON:TSCO) £3.7-billion takeover of wholesaler Booker in late October.
Investors meanwhile have reacted positively to the news, sending Sainsbury’s share price 2.08 percent higher to 235.93p as of 10:21 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.33 percent higher at 7,361.43 points. The group’s shares have lost more than five percent of their value in the year-to-date, as compared with a more than three-percent rise in the Footsie.
Sky News reported this morning that the board of Nisa Retail had granted a period of exclusivity to the Co-op to negotiate a takeover of the member-owned business. The move came after Sainsbury’s reportedly ended its exclusive talks with the convenience chain following increasing concerns about how the Competition and Markets Authority was assessing rival Tesco’s takeover of Booker.
Sky News meanwhile noted that some Nisa members had expressed opposition to a deal with Sainsbury’s. Roughly 1,400 members hold up to 250 shares each in the convenience chain, which they can use to vote on issues such as board appointments at the group’s annual general meeting.
The 15 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Sainsbury’s for the Financial Times have a median target of 260.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 350.00p and a low estimate of 200.00p. As of August 25, the consensus forecast amongst 20 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip supermarket advises investors to hold their position in the company.