Takeover talks between supermarket group J Sainsbury and Home Retail Group, owner of the Argos catalogue business, have stalled over a disagreement on price, according to people close to the matter.

Both companies remain entrenched in their positions, the people said on Friday, with a wide gap between their valuation of shares in Home Retail — just days before the deadline for Sainsbury’s to table a formal offer, write Arash Massoudi and Mark Vandevelde.

One of the people added that the two sides are still in contact and that there may yet be a breakthrough before the 5pm cut-off point on Tuesday.

However, Sainsbury’s has indicated that it is unwilling to pay more than around 150p a share for Home Retail, which would value the retailer’s equity at £1.22bn.

Meanwhile, Home Retail is holding out for an offer of around 170p a share, one of the people said.

Both companies declined to comment.

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