Steinhoff’s $2 billion counter-bid for Home Retail Group means J Sainsbury is a step closer to having to ask its own shareholders for permission to buy the Argos owner. A U.K. rule requiring a bidder to gain investor approval when the price exceeds 25 percent of its own market value would be triggered should Sainsbury offer more than 186 pence a share, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Richard Clarke. “It’s something Sainsbury’s would want to avoid” as some investors “are quite opposed to this deal,” Clarke said.

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