Finance: Sainsbury's trust to realise £130m

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation has sold shares worth £130m in supermarket chain Sainsbury's in order to fund new projects.

The foundation, one of the Sainsbury family trusts, last week reduced its stake in the company from 87.5 million to 42.5 million shares.

Michael Pattison, a director, said the sale was made to fund a £45m Cambridge University project to study plant diversity and to free up money for new grants.

"This is a reorganisation of capital to achieve greater liquidity and fund a pipeline of projects with more than £100m as payments become due," he said. "We have always said that the trust holds expendable capital."

The foundation supports a variety of causes, ranging from plant science and cognitive neuroscience to mental health and African development.

KEY POINTS

- Gatsby Foundation was founded by then science minister Lord Sainsbury

- It is one of 20 charitable trusts set up by the family

- The foundation has sold £130m worth of shares in the Sainsbury's super-market chain

- It needs liquid assets to fund new projects and a £45m Cambridge University study into plant diversity.

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