Sainsbury's Biggest Shareholder QIA Is Said to Back Asda Deal

(Bloomberg) -- J Sainsbury Plc’s biggest investor, the Qatar Investment Authority, supports a potential merger between the British supermarket and Walmart Inc.’s Asda, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The gas-rich country’s $320 billion sovereign wealth fund is aware of the discussions and plans to publicly declare its support when Sainsbury reveals details about the deal on Monday, said the person, asking not to be named because the information is private. A spokesman for the QIA declined to comment.

Sainsbury plans to unveil details of a possible combination with Walmart’s Asda chain on Monday, after confirming a Bloomberg News report that the companies were in discussions. Qatar invested in the British supermarket in one of its first investments in 2007 after starting the QIA in 2005. The fund currently holds a 22 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Reuters first reported the fund’s support for the Sainsbury deal earlier Sunday.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.