Shareholders express disapointment that anticipated property business does not materialise

Supermarket Sainsbury’s is to disappoint shareholders as it refuses to return money to investors through a sale of its property portfolio.


It is expected that plans next month will reveal that the group’s property portfolio is to be refinanced using a string of joint ventures. The capital raised will then be put towards extending the company’s landbank.

But the group’s shareholders, Robert Tchenguiz and the Qatari government wanted the chain to be split into an operating business with a separate property company. This would have meant the money would have been returned to shareholders.

The move by Sainsbury’s not to return money to investors is believed to have been taken badly by shareholders.

It has been suggested that the chain is copying Tesco’s thinking of operating a hybrid scheme of joint ventures and securitisation to raise money while keeping a tight hold on property.

Despite the investors displeasure with the move a source close to Sainsbury’s said the chain had to do what as right for its business: “Why would you lose control of your most valuable asset [property]?”

Also this week it has been revealed that Tesco’s company secretary, Lucy Neville-Rolfe is a shareholder in rival superstore Wm Morrison.