Family trust sells half its stake in Sainsbury's

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The Independent Online

The Charitable foundation set up by Lord Sainsbury of Turville sold shares worth £130m in J Sainsbury yesterday in a move that halved its stake.

The Charitable foundation set up by Lord Sainsbury of Turville sold shares worth £130m in J Sainsbury yesterday in a move that halved its stake.

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, created by the Government minister in 1967, sold 45 million shares in the supermarket group to raise some cash to fund its next round of grants.

Shares in Sainsbury's, which have soared to a near two-year high on persistent bid speculation, closed down 8p at 286.75p. Dealers said UBS placed the stake at 289.5p a share.

The foundation, which makes grants in the fields of neuroscience research, technical education and disadvantaged children, revealed it was giving Cambridge University £45m to establish a new Institute for the study of plant diversity and development.

"This share sale has been made in accordance with the foundation's established practice of ensuring that it has sufficient liquid funds to meet its grant-making obligations at the time that it makes grants," Sainsbury's said in a statement.

It cuts the Gatsby Foundation's holding in Sainsbury's in half, leaving it with about 2.7 per cent of the company. The foundation is one of 20 Sainsbury family charitable trusts and has given away more than £400m since it was set up.

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