Sainsbury family

The Sainsbury family (also Lord Sainsbury and family and incorrectly the Sainsbury's family) founded Sainsbury's, the UK's second-largest supermarket chain. Today, the family has many interests, including business, politics, philanthropy, arts, and sciences.

Principal members of the Sainsbury family

Principal members of the founding family of the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's are:

Family involvement in Sainsbury’s

No family member now works for the company, although John Davan Sainsbury is the Life President of the firm.

The last family member to work for the company was Tim Sainsbury who retired as a non-executive director in 1999. The last family chairman was David Sainsbury who retired as chairman of the company in 1998. This brought to an end 129 years of management of the group by the Sainsbury family. As a government minister since 1998, his shares were held in a blind trust until 2007.

Family shareholding in Sainsbury’s

The equity interest in Sainsbury’s held by the family as of May 2011 is just 15%. The family sold down their stake from 35% in 2005. The largest family shareholders are Lord Sainsbury of Turville with 4.99% and Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, who controls just under 3% of the company, and benefits from 1.6% of the equity included in the above. The Sunday Times reported in September 2006 that "The Sainsbury family continues to [sell] shares in the £6.2 billion retailer... and for the first time their combined holding has fallen below 20%.”

The largest shareholder is now the Qatar Investment Authority (the investment vehicle of the Qatari royal family of the Gulf Kingdom) who as of May 2011 holds 25.999% of the company.

Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover's decision to split his 3.89% holding in Sainsbury's between other members of his family in December 2006 suggests that the family may not have sold as many shares as previously thought. The other theory could be that the most senior members of the family, with previous stakes of over 3% (the reportable stock exchange shareholding threshold), could have simply transferred some of their shares to their children (who previously held few shares), rather than having sold shares onto the open market. However, some shares which have been sold were definitely sold to the open market (according to Miss Judith Portrait, the trustee for many Sainsbury family settlements).

This fall from around 35% increases the possibility of any takeover attempt succeeding. However, the Sainsbury family have managed to use their remaining stake to block takeover bids in the past, as demonstrated by the two failed takeover bids in 2007. A hostile bid for the company may encounter difficulties, without the full support of the Sainsbury family. The halving of the generous dividend yield in recent years may have been a significant factor regarding the family's decision to reduce their shareholdings.

Buildings set up by the Sainsbury family

The Sainsbury family has also set up a number of buildings, to house their various interests. These are:

The Sainsbury family charitable interests

Eighteen of the grant-making trusts set up by members of the Sainsbury family, are known collectively as the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.[3] Institutions whose creation they fostered include the following:

Annabel Sainsbury (married name Annabel Kanabus) set up, with her husband, the international AIDS charity AVERT, and the charity GHE.[4] Adrian Kanabus has set up Adrians Charity.[5]

Celia Sainsbury (married name Celia Blakey) set up the Celia Blakey Charitable Trust which makes grants to various other charities.

The Sainsbury family are also major benefactors to English Heritage and the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.

Sainsbury family interests in politics

The Sainsbury family also has varying political interests.


  1. "Obituaries: Simon Sainsbury". The Times. News International. 2006-10-07. Retrieved 2006-10-30.
  2. Telegraph: Lady Sainsbury - obituary
  3. "The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts". Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  4. "GHE - Global Health Education". Retrieved 2011-11-21.
  5. "Charity Commission charity no 1120412". UK Charity Commission.

External links

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