Sainsbury’s faces competition for Argos

Home Retail Group has received a £1.4 billion rival bid for Argos from South African retailer Steinhoff, which owns UK furniture chain Harveys.

Both Steinhoff and Sainsbury’s now have until March 18 to make a firm offer for Argos. The original deadline for Sainsbury’s to do so was February 23.

The counterbid followed an offer of £1.3bn from supermarket Sainsbury’s. Home Retail Group said its board was reviewing the Steinhoff proposal and would make a further announcement soon.

This is the second offer from Sainsbury’s after its initial £1bn bid was rejected. .

If successful, Sainsbury’s plans to merge Argos into concessions within its supermarkets. Chief executive Mike Coupe said the merger would bring savings of around £120 million.

The South African retailer said its offer wouldn’t disrupt the sale of Homebase to Australian retail company Wesfarmers, which plans to rebrand it as Bunnings.