01 December 1999

J SAINSBURY PLANS a £22m strategic partnership with LineOne, the internet portal jointly owned by United News & Media and BT. The deal will see the creation of two sites - one focusing on food and drink, the other on homes and gardens - a move aimed at extending the Sainsbury and Homebase brands. Initially, the twin portals will serve only customers within the M25 circle and there are no current plans to extend coverage. The EC2 bookies were scathing about the cost of building the portals which, they accuse, are far higher at £22m than those of the chain's e-competitors.