Private equity firms circling Sainsbury's with view to launch bids - Sunday Times

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Signage for Sainsbury's is seen at a branch of the supermarket in London, Britain, January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

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Aug 22 (Reuters) - Private equity companies are circling British supermarket group Sainsbury's (SBRY.L) with a view to possibly launching bids of more than 7 billion pounds ($9.53 billion), The Sunday Times reported.

American buyout giant Apollo (APO.N) is said to be running the rule over the supermarket group, the newspaper reported.

It remains in talks to join the Fortress-led consortium bidding for Morrisons and any involvement in that deal may preclude a move for Sainsbury's, the report said, adding Apollo's interest in Sainsbury's is exploratory.

British supermarket group Morrisons (MRW.L) said on Thursday its board would unanimously recommend U.S. private equity group CD&R's 285 pence a share offer worth 7 billion pounds and drop its previous recommendation for a 6.7 billion pound bid from a consortium led by SoftBank (9984.T) owned Fortress. read more

($1 = 0.7342 pounds)

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Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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