Sainsbury family

Sainsbury family

The Sainsbury family (also Lord Sainsbury and family and incorrectly the Sainsbury’s family) founded Sainsbury's, the UK's third largest supermarket chain. Today, the family has a lot of interests, including business, politics, philanthropy, arts and sciences.

Principal members of the Sainsbury family

Sainsbury is a surname, and may refer to:

* John James Sainsbury, founder of J Sainsbury plc
**Paul James Sainsbury, son of John James Sainsbury
***John Barry Sainsbury
****Sebastien Sainsbury, great grandson of supermarket founder but did not inherit shares or work for company
**John Benjamin Sainsbury, son of John James Sainsbury.
***Alan John Sainsbury (1902-1998), son of John's son John Benjamin Sainsbury, a life peer 1962 as "Lord Sainsbury"
****John Davan Sainsbury (1927-), a Tory life peer (Baron Sainsbury of Preston Candover)
*****Sarah Sainsbury, daughter of John, married to Hon. Robert Butler-Sloss, son of Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Baroness Butler-Sloss
****Simon Sainsbury (1930-2006) quiet philanthropist who gave away £100 million. [ [cite news | title = Obituaries: Simon Sainsbury | url =,,60-2392155.html | work = The Times | publisher = News International | date = 2006-10-07 | accessdate = 2006-10-30]
****Timothy Sainsbury, former Tory minister, married to Lady Sainsbury (1932-)
*****Camilla Sainsbury, daughter of Timothy, married to Conservative, then Labour, MP Shaun Woodward
***Robert Sainsbury (1907-2000), son of John Benjamin Sainsbury, who along with his wife Lisa began the collection of modern and tribal art housed at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
****David Sainsbury (1940-), Labour life peer (Baron Sainsbury of Turville)
*****Clare Sainsbury, daughter of David Sainsbury, wrote "Martian In The Playground", to help people understand more about Asperger's Syndrome
****Annabel Sainsbury, married name Annabel Kanabus, director of the HIV/AIDS charity AVERT.
*****Jason Kanabus (1976-2006), son of Annabel Sainsbury, left fortune to Prince's Trust to help young people become established in farming.

Family involvement in Sainsbury’s

Despite there being little family involvement in the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain today (only John Davan Sainsbury is said to have a major interest as Life President of the firm), some members of the UK general public only portray the Sainsbury family as supermarket entrepreneurs. Indeed, when the Financial Times did a survey on some of Sainsbury’s customers in London when a private equity consortium wanted to buy the company in February 2007, a significant amount thought David Sainsbury was still the chairman (he retired as chairman of the company in 1998 to pursue a career in politics). 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. The survey also found that many thought the family either retained over half the shares in the company, or owned the whole company, despite the company being listed on the London Stock Exchange since 12 July 1973. No single family member works for the company.

Family shareholding in Sainsbury’s

The equity interest in Sainsbury’s held by the family as of May 2008 is just 15%. The family sold down their stake from 35% in 2005. The largest family shareholders are Lord Sainsbury of Turville with 5.83% 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 July 2008 holds 27.3% of the company. In addition, property magnate Robert Tchenguiz holds 10% of Sainsbury’s through his R20 investment vehicle as of 2008.

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 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.

Other business interests

Sainsbury family members, particularly the fifth generation (of whom there are ten and whom no-one works for Sainsbury's) have interests in other businesses.

David Sainsbury, of the fourh generation, owns shares in Diatech Ltd.

Of the fifth generation, Julian Sainsbury, son of John Davan Sainsbury makes exquisite sculptures in stone. His brother Mark is behind one of London's most fashionable restaurants, and their cousin, Jessica, is a successful hotelier. Another cousin, Camilla, has made profits on a number of property deals.

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:

*Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health Centre to improve the quality of lives for people with mental health problems
*Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts Arts Centre
*Sainsbury Laboratory Science Laboratory
*Sainsbury Wing Wing of the National Gallery (London)

The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts

The Sainsbury family has interests in philanthropy. Various members operate various charitable trusts. These are:

*The Ashden Trust
*The Gatsby Charitable Foundation
*The Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund
*The Linbury Trust
*The Woodward Charitable Trust
*The Alan and Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund
*The Elizabeth Clark Charitable Trust
*The Glass-House Trust
*The Headley Trust
*The Indigo Trust
*The Jerusalem Trust
*The JJ Charitable Trust
*The Mark Leonard Trust
*The Monument Trust
*The Staples Trust
*The Tedworth Trust
*The Three Guineas Trust
*The True Colours Trust

ainsbury family interests in politics

The Sainsbury family also has interests in politics and have famously disagreed on opinions.

*Alan Sainsbury supported Labour
*John Davan Sainsbury supports the Conservatives
*David Sainsbury now supports Labour, is the former Science and Innovation Minister (1998-2006) and is the family member most actively interested in politics
*Tim Sainsbury supports the Conservatives, and is a former MP for Hove (1973-1997)
*Camilla Sainsbury, daughter of Tim, married to Conservative, then Labour, MP Shaun Woodward

Some members of the UK public are said to be weary of the Sainsbury family's interests in politics, and a small minority go as far to say that if you shop at Sainsbury's, you support political donations, and if you don't support the idea of political donations, you shouldn't shop at Sainsbury's.


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