(Bloomberg) -- British convenience-store operator Bestway Group Ltd. raised its stake in J Sainsbury Plc as speculation swirls about the future ownership of the UK’s second-largest grocer. 

Bestway now holds 4.47% of Sainsbury, up from 3.45% last week, according to a filing Wednesday. The family-owned business previously said that it intended to increase the holding, though it will own the shares for investment purposes and isn’t considering making an offer for Sainsbury.

Bestway, owned by the Pervez, Choudrey and Sheikh families, is the largest independent wholesale operator in Britain. It also has interests across the pharmacy, real estate, cement and banking sectors and runs well-known convenience brands including Costcutter and Bargain Booze. 

Read more: Bestway Group Buys Stake in Sainsbury; Says No Offer Made

Sainsbury said last week that it will engage with Bestway like any other shareholder. The shares rose less than 1% in London trading Wednesday. 

The holding puts Bestway among Sainsbury’s largest shareholders, according to Bloomberg data. Qatar Investment Authority and Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s Vesa Equity Investment remain the top ones with stakes of about 14% and 10% respectively. 




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