CVC Capital gave up on its bid to buy Sainsbury’s for £11.4bn yesterday. Financial Times, The Times.

CVC’s withdrawal from the biggest leveraged buy-out in British history now places the supermarket chain under pressure to maintain its share price at the bid level, perhaps through expansion of its non-food business, which has lagged behind rivals Tesco and ASDA. It is also likely to seek to release capital from its £7.5bn property portfolio.

Robert Tchenguiz, who has a 5% shareholding and who held out against the 582p offer, last week met Sainsbury’s chairman Sir Philip Hampton and chief executive Justin King to outline his proposal for the company’s property estate.

He is understood to have suggested an ‘op-co/prop-co’ split, financed through an investment trust.

The book value of Sainsbury’s property £5.45bn, but analysts estimate it is worth at least £7.5bn, after a revaluation of half the supermarket’s stores last year.