Delta Two will not meet Sainsbury's pension trustees to discuss the £10.6bn bid until it gets approval from the board, The Grocer has learned.
The trustees have requested an urgent meeting with the Qatari-backed fund, but a spokesman for Delta Two said it was focused on getting board support.
The trustees are capable of scuppering a deal if they are not satisfied the offer safeguards the future of the pension fund.
"Step one is to get the board's approval allowing us to do due diligence," said a spokesman for Delta Two. "That would then let us have a proper conversation with the pension trustees."
Sainsbury's chairman Sir Philip Hampton met Delta Two on Thursday to discuss the bid. Delta Two has also lined up former Asda deputy chief executive Tony Campbell to become Sainsbury's chairman . "It's a very clever move to bring in Campbell," said one private equity source. "This is a way to improve its chances of getting Justin King's backing as he knows Tony well from his time at Asda."
It has also been reported that Robert Tchenguiz, who owns 10% of Sainsbury's through shares and derivatives, is looking for a 610p a share offer.