Somerfield declines to comment on sale rumours

17 January, 2008

High street grocery chain Somerfield is refusing to comment on speculation that it is to be sold.

According to press reports today the grocery chain, bought by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz and his partners Barclays Capital and Apax Partners for £1.8bn two years ago, is to be sold through an auction conducted by Citigroup.

The investment bank is said to be advising the company on its options after it received expressions of interest from potential buyers.

A number of rival supermarket chains said to be interested in Somerfield include Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.

The 908-strong Somerfield chain has carved a niche for itself in the market as a local grocery store, with stores located on high streets and garage forecourts.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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