Apax and Tchenguiz at odds over Somerfield sale

Two of the main shareholders in Somerfield are in dispute over whether to sell the UK supermarket chain.

According to The Times, global private equity firm Apax Partners and property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz have yet to agree on a sale for Somerfield, with Tchenguiz keen to sell after making losses on investments in rival supermarket chain J Sainsbury and pubs group Mitchells & Butler.

Apax, however, is stalling due to lack of interest, with just one bid received from rival chain the Co-op, creating uncertainty as to whether a sale would generate an expected price tag of between £2bn and £2.5bn (US$4bn and US$5bn). Co-op’s bid is said to be well below that valuation.

Other retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Wm Morrison and J Sainsbury are not believed to have submitted proposals.