Sainsbury's directors met yesterday to discuss the £10.44bn takeover bid tabled by Delta Two, the government of Qatar-backed fund. The Guardian. Financial Times

Details of the proposal emerged last night after the Takeover Panel stepped in to prevent information about the bid leaking out.

The proposal is set at 600p a share in cash - 10p a share less than originally expected and suggested to the Sainsbury family by Qatar's Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani at a meeting in Sardinia last week.

It does not include the 7.5p-a-share dividend payable to shareholders today.

The Sainsbury family were told the offer would be less leveraged than a takeover proposed this year by a consortium of private equity investors, which they managed to rebuff.