Delta Two, the Qatari-based investment fund which earlier this week revealed it had made an approach for Sainsbury's, was forced to show its cards yesterday amid frenzied media speculation.

The investment fund said on Wednesday that it had made an approach for Sainsbury's, but did not give any further details.

However, yesterday Delta Two confirmed reports that it would invest £3.5bn over the next five years “to fund new store expansion, further store refurbishment and the development of Sainsbury's non-food offering”.

It added that its proposal was to acquire the retailer for 600p-a-share.

“Our proposal is focused on growth, not retrenchment,” added Paul Taylor, principal of Three Delta, which is the strategic investment adviser to Delta Two.

“It is backed by a shareholder with the resources and commitment to continue to improve Sainsbury's market position in the UK with its reputation for quality and innovative food at competitive prices.”