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Re Sainsburys,

The Qatar Sov wealth fund have a large stake in Sainsburys @ c25%.

qatar are very keen on property investment and Sainsbury own alot of freeholds and are shrewd when it comes to adding value to their existing portfolio through redevelopment eg adding residential and additional retail floor space.

This is probably what the private equity chaps had their eye on.

I would say that Tesco and Sainsbury are the shrewdest when it comes to property development and expansion with strong teams in house. Asda and Morrisons are catching up. It is nip and tuck in this tights market compared to the US where big box retailing is far more straight forward. Over here the planning system heavily constrains development and getting permission for superstore in a town can take years with hundreds of thousands spent on professional fees to achieve this.

On the flip side Tescos this constraint provides a moat for Tesco who greatly expanded in the 90`s when planning was easier for out of town retail. This is why Asda have had to expand through the Netto acquisition, they aint gonna do it from organic growth!.
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