(C) Reuters. Simon Roberts, Retail and Operations Director of Sainsbury’s, poses for a portrait at the company headquarters in London, Britain, May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Files
LONDON (Reuters) – The boss of Sainsbury’s refused to be drawn on whether Britain’s second largest supermarket group could become part of the fevered takeover activity gripping the sector, saying his focus was on delivering the strategy.
“I’m not going to speculate on where things are in the wider sector,” CEO Simon Roberts told reporters in reference to three suitors pursuing rival Morrisons.
“We’re very focused on our plan. We laid out a (strategic) plan in November to really deliver improvements for our customers and improve the value that we can create for our shareholders,” he said after Sainsbury’s updated on first quarter trading.
“We’re only seven months into that (plan) but I hope you can see in the results that we’ve announced today some good early momentum.”
Shares in Sainsbury’s are up 23% so far this year, buoyed by bid speculation after Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky raised his stake to just under 10% and Morrisons agreed a takeover bid.
Asked directly if Sainsbury’s board had received any approaches, Roberts said: “If we had anything to update on, we’d be updating on it, so we’ve nothing to update you on.”
Sainsbury’s boss says focus is on strategy, not takeover frenzy
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