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Bid rumours boost Sainsbury's shares

Speculation of a takeover bid for Sainsbury's sent shares up nearly 8% yesterday.

Rumours of an approach priced at about 500p per share spread through the stock market, which pushed shares up to 344p each, valuing the business at £6 billion.

One trader told The Times that there was speculation that the Qatari Investment Authority (QIA) was working on a bid with property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz and an unnamed investor. The QIA scrapped their £10 billion bid for Sainsbury's last year because of the credit crunch.

The QIA has a 27% stake in Sainsbury's, while Tchenguiz, who backed the original offer, holds a 10%.

A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said: "We can't comment on market rumour and speculation."

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