Bestway ups Sainsbury’s stake

Costcutter owner Bestway has increased its stake in UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.

A regulatory finding published on Wednesday showed that Bestway had increased its stake to 4.47 per cent. The company last week had declared a 3.45 per cent stake in Sainsbury’s.

Bestway said that it did not intend on making a takeover offer for Sainsbury’s, but did say that it may look to purchase additional shares of the supermarket subject to availability and price.

The news comes at a time of record inflation for British groceries. According to market researcher Kantar, British grocery inflation hit 16.7 per cent in the four weeks to 22 January. This is the highest level of grocery inflation since Kantar started tracking it in 2008.

The researcher warned that Brits face a tighter squeeze on finances than even previously feared, and that the average annual UK household grocery shopping bill will increase by £788 should habits remain unchanged.

Fraser McKevitt, Kantar's head of retail and consumer insight, said: "Late last year, we saw the rate of grocery price inflation dip slightly, but that small sign of relief for consumers has been short-lived.”

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