Argos (2)

Sainsbury's has confirmed a raised formal bid of £1.4 billion for Argos owner, Home Retail Group.

The supermarket chain was expected to raise its bid to £1.5 billion, or 185p per share, but following the withdrawal of its only rival bidder, South African firm Steinhoff International, submitted a bid of 172.3p per share.

Home Retail Group acknowledged Sainsbury's offer and said it looked forwards to working together to make a recommendation for its shareholders to approve the takeover.

Sainsbury's chairman David Tyler said: "The UK grocery retail industry is undergoing a period of intense change in customer shopping behaviour and in the competitive environment.

"This combination with HRG presents an opportunity to accelerate our strategy, delivering compelling revenue and cost synergies.

"We will create a multi-product, multi-channel proposition with fast delivery networks that we believe will be very attractive to the customers of both businesses."