Delta Two is considering seeking informal guidance from the Office of Fair Trading on whether its £10.6bn bid for Sainsbury’s would lead to a regulatory inquiry. The Times

The Qatari-backed fund’s advisers are preparing to meet the board of the retailer this week to try to thrash out a deal.

The Sainsbury’s board wants Delta Two to raise the level of equity in its bid by at least £500m before it will open the company’s books for due diligence, arguing that otherwise the takeover could be subject to an inquiry into whether the supermarket’s increased debt levels would make it less competitive.

Delta Two is thought to be unconvinced by Sainsbury’s arguments and is considering calling its bluff by going directly to the OFT for guidance.