(Bloomberg) --

J Sainsbury Plc said it ended talks on selling its banking services unit as the discussions wouldn’t reward shareholders enough.

The company said last November it received some expressions of interest in a possible acquisition of Sainsbury’s Bank Plc. The retailer was making progress to announcing a sale to Centerbridge Partners, Sky News said in August.

Sainsbury invited potential suitors to submit bids in December, retaining UBS Group AG to run the formal sales process, Bloomberg previously reported. 

Sainsbury’s is one of a number of grocers that expanded into finance products in a bid to shake up the U.K. banking scene, but shrinking margins have dented plans to challenge incumbents such as Barclays Plc and NatWest Group Plc. Rival Tesco offloaded its mortgage portfolio to Lloyds Banking Group Plc in 2019, and is closing all personal current accounts this year.

Sainsbury’s Bank was originally established in 1997 as a joint venture between the retailer and Bank of Scotland, now a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group Plc. Sainsbury bought out Lloyds’s 50% share in 2014 to take full control of the bank.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.