Sainsbury's has been granted three additional weeks to put up a counter offer for Home Retail Group, following South Africa-based retailer Steinhoff's last minute £1.42bn bid.
The UK Takeover Panel had initially given Sainsbury’s until 5pm on Tuesday to make or break the deal, but now that Steinhoff has joined the party, both have been given until 18 March to outline their poropsals.
Sainsbury's could afford to pay more for Home Retail than its current £1.3bn bid although CFO John Rogers has previously said the grocer would not "overpay" for the Argos owner.
Steinhoff, which is the umbrella company for Harveys, Benson Beds, Bed Shed, Reid Furniture and Cargo, trades in Britain, continental Europe, Southern Africa and the Pacific Rim. It's is backed by billionaire Christo Wiese and has a current market value of around €18bn - more than double that of Sainsbury.
It is not clear yet what Steinhoff's strategy for Argos would be.