A consortium involving the biggest shareholder in Formula One and the Qatar Investment Authority have abandoned secret plans to launch a takeover bid for Sainsbury’s. Sky News reported on Sunday that CVC Capital Partners, QIA, which is Sainsbury’s biggest shareholder with a 25% stake, and Canadian property group Brookfield drew up plans to make an offer for the grocer earlier this year. The broadcaster said former Asda chairman Archie Norman had been identified by the bidders as a potential chairman if the takeover had gone through.

The Sunday Times writes in a short follow up covering the Sky exclusive that the plans were abandoned by the consortium shortly after Sainsbury’s announced its approach for Argos owner Home Retail Group in January. The Sunday Telegraph also reports on the story noting the plans had received formal approval from the City’s Takeover Panel in a sign of how close the consortium got to going public with the offer.

In separate news, The Guardian reports that Sainsbury’s is hiring 150 digital and technology experts to help improve its online store as it finalises the buyout of Argos. The team, who will work out of an existing Sainsbury’s office in Manchester’s Arndale centre, will include software developers and engineers and will work in partnership with 900 other digital and technology experts based in London and Coventry.

Boots faces the prospect of an investigation by the pharmacy watchdog, following a Guardian investigation into the high street chain. The General Pharmaceutical Council is calling in evidence on the allegations made in the report by the newspaper, which revealed that managers at Britain’s biggest chain of chemists have been forcing staff to “milk” NHS schemes to increase profits.

The Financial Times has a Monday interview with Ahold CEO Dick Boer ahead of the merger with fellow European retailer Delhaize. The article focuses on how Ahold has recovered from the scandal which led it to be known as “Europe’s Enron”. Boer recalls the shock of discovering his employer stood accused of fraud. “The company almost went bust. It is the last thing you expect, especially in an environment like the Netherlands, with high integrity,” he says.