The big story in the papers is the upcoming deadline in Sainsbury’s pursuit of Home Retail Group, with the general consensus being that the supermarket needs to find more cash to get the deal done.

The FT says Sainsbury has been told that it must increase its takeover offer for Home Retail Group to at least 160p per share if it hopes to salvage a deal to buy the owner of catalogue retailer Argos. The guidance came after the British grocer met late last week with the two largest shareholders in Home Retail — Schroders and Toscafund — which together own nearly a third of the company. (The Financial Times £)

The Times (£) agrees with the 160p per share price worth £1.3bn, noting the supermarket is being asked to fork out an extra £100m to take control of the owner of Argos. “Sainsbury’s is believed to have indicated that it did not want to go over 150p.” (The Times £)

Sainsbury’s and Home Retail Group were locked in takeover talks this weekend as they sought to thrash out the terms of a £1.3bn deal ahead of a looming bid deadline. “Talks are on a knife-edge amid an ongoing struggle to agree on the price,” writes The Telegraph. It is understood Sainsbury’s has put forward a proposal of 150p-a-share, but Home Retail Group, which owns Argos, is pushing for 170p-a-share. (The Telegraph)

The Mail writes that a major investor in Argos-owner Home Retail Group has increased the pressure on bidder Sainsbury’s by saying a deal would need to be worth at least £1.4bn. Schroders, which owns a 20 per cent stake in Home Retail, is thought to have urged Sainsbury’s to offer 165p a share, well above the 150p price – about £1bn – the supermarket giant was hoping to table. (The Daily Mail)

The Sunday Times (£) agreed that Schroders wants £1.4bn, which will “increase the pressure as negotiations between Argos and Britain’s second biggest supermarket reach a crucial stage ahead of a bid deadline on Tuesday”. (The Sunday Times £)

Elsewhere, Tesco is cutting back its promotions in an attempt to win back shoppers with simpler pricing. The “rationalisation” programme comes as the supermarket is engaged in a fierce war with the discounters and as one of its main rivals cuts prices on more than 1,000 products. (The Times £

Tesco and Asda have been hit by a raft of county court judgments for not paying their debts – showing a vastly worse record than rivals. The two groups between them were issued with 149 CCJs in the past six years, out of 185 issued against all supermarkets. (The Daily Mail)

Christine Tacon’s probe into Tesco’s accounting practices — her first as regulator of the UK’s supermarkets — has raised fresh concerns that the balance of power in the grocery supply chain still lies too far on the side of retailers. (The Financial Times £)

The Telegraph analyses Tesco’s relationship with suppliers and its £250m profit overstatement. Writing of the period Tacon investigated, the article says: “Despite being aggrieved at [Tesco’s] underhand tactics, the majority of suppliers are too terrified to speak out.” (The Telegraph)

Ocado has failed in its attempts to broker a technology licensing tie-up before a self-imposed deadline of the end of last year. The online grocer has repeatedly said that it is in “multiple talks with multiple parties” about signing a deal with an overseas supermarket, but it has failed to clinch a tie-up ahead of its annual results report this week. (The Telegraph)

Lidl has ratcheted up its UK expansion plan by issuing almost three times as many planning applications as Aldi for new supermarkets in the last quarter of the year. Lidl filed 48 applications, worth roughly £150m in construction costs alone, during the three months to the end of 2015. Aldi filed 17, by comparison, during the same period. (The Telegraph)

Coca-Cola has bought a minority stake in the Nigerian juice and dairy company CHI. The FT says the deal demonstrates the long-term play multinationals and tech start-ups are making in the country of more than 180m, which has one of the world’s fastest growing populations. (The Financial Times £)

German discount supermarket Lidl is seeking to boost its environmental credentials by announcing it is taking steps to buy all its bananas from 100% sustainable sources this year. It is switching by the end of 2016 to taking supplies only from farms that are either Rainforest Alliance – or Fairtrade Foundation certified. (The Guardian)

“Sweet success for Bad Brownie after tempting backers on Dragons’ Den”, writes The Guardian. Despite a problem with their figures, the gooey brownie brand has one Dragon eating out of their hands, securing £60,000 from retail veteran Touker Suleyman. (The Guardian)

Diageo is to open its latest private club for whisky connoisseurs in France. The drinks giant is bringing its upmarket Johnnie Walker ‘house’ initiative to Paris, where it will sell its ‘super-deluxe’ range of whiskies, as advertised by actor Jude Law. (The Daily Mail)