The private equity consortium that has been circling Sainsbury's for the past few months has pulled out of the bid.

CVC Capital Partners, The Blackstone Group International and TPG Capital have just made the announcement that they are no longer considering making an offer for Sainsbury.

It confirmed that it had put forward a cash offer to Sainsbury's but the statement said: "After a number of discussions between the board of Sainsbury and the consortium, it became clear that the consortium would be unable to make a proposal that would result in a successful offer.

"The approach was at all times friendly and constructive. The consortium remains great admirers of Sainsbury, its management and employees."