UK - Global Pensions understands that trustees at J Sainsbury plc's pension scheme would be keen to meet with Delta (Two) Limited, the Qatari-backed investment group which has approached the retail group.
A spokesman from J Sainsbury said the preliminary approach may or may not lead to an offer for the firm.
However, it is understood that there has been no contact between pension trustees at J Sainsbury and Delta (Two), and it is thought trustees would welcome more information.
J Sainsbury’s pension schemes are valued at approximately £4bn and currently have 87,000 members. According to figures from October 2006 the total deficit for the schemes was estimated at £477m.
In March 2007, Global Pensions reported independent consultant John Ralfe’s claim that neither the trustees of Sainsbury’s two pension schemes nor the Pensions Regulator would have the “power” to force a private equity bidder to pay the £3bn needed to plug the supermarket giant’s pension deficit.
At that time, Ralfe said: “The Trustees must be seen to take a robustly consistent line to protect the interests of their 86,000 members if any bid becomes recommended, or if the company decides to increase its gearing.”
His comments came after private equity player CVC was thought to be preparing a bid for J Sainsbury.
However, a spokesman from J Sainsbury said no bid was ever received from CVC.