Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the billionaire brothers behind EG Group, made an offer to buy Caffe Nero over the weekend to the ailing coffee chain’s founder and controlling shareholder Gerry Ford, according to Sky News.
However, Caffè Nero is to press ahead with a company voluntary arrangement after the coffee shop chain rejected a surprise takeover bid from the billionaire brothers who are acquiring Asda (The Times £).
Caffè Nero on Monday revealed that the last-minute offer had been rejected because Mohsin and Zuber Issa had not engaged with the company and did not understand its financial situation (The Guardian).
A spokesperson said the Issa brothers’ offer would result in an outcome that is “far inferior” to the CVA proposals (The Telegraph).
Earlier this month, the coffee chain was forced to put itself into a Company Voluntary Arrangement, a type of insolvency that allows firms to continue trading while they attempt to get their finances in order (The Mail).
Unilever will give the push for a four-day working week one of its biggest boosts yet when the consumer goods group launches a year-long trial of the practice in New Zealand (The Financial Times £).
From next week Unilever will pay its 81 staff there for five days while they work four. It will conduct a review after 12 months and will use the findings potentially to change working practices for its 155,000 staff around the world (The Times £).
The bosses of five lockdown winners received £45m in dividends after their firms’ profits were fuelled by big tax breaks (The Mail). An audit by The Mail audit showed the boards of four top retailers – Tesco, discounter B&M, Pets at Home and Morrisons – elected to pay £1.3bn in dividends to shareholders, including £44.6m to bosses. This is despite the four firms receiving £1bn in rates relief. Sainsbury’s has also paid £231m in dividends since March despite receiving £460m in rates relief.
Shops are to be allowed to stay open for longer in the run-up to Christmas under a major relaxation of rules announced to help revive high street stores hammered by coronavirus restrictions (The Telegraph).
Hospitality chiefs have accused ministers of singling out pubs with harsh restrictions as the government said retailers will be allowed to open 24 hours in the run-up to Christmas (The Telegraph).
New tiered restrictions will cost hospitality firms across the country up to £7.8bn and allow very few businesses in the sector to operate normally, according to new analysis by recruitment website Caterer.com (The Mail).
Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion empire has become the highest-profile retail victim of the pandemic, falling into administration and putting more than 13,000 jobs at risk (The Financial Times £).
JD Sports is set to pull out of talks over a rescue deal for Debenhams on Tuesday, putting thousands of jobs at risk at the struggling department store group (The Guardian).
Ghana and Ivory Coast have hit out at several big chocolate companies and traders including Mars, Hershey and Olam, accusing them of trying to circumvent a premium on cocoa meant to help fight farmer poverty in west Africa (The Financial Times £).
The FTSE 100 has recorded its best month since 1989, boosted by growing optimism that an early coronavirus vaccine can trigger a faster than expected economic recovery from the Covid-19 recession (The Guardian).
Pets at Home has bought veterinary ‘telehealth’ firm The Vet Connection for £15m (The Mail).
UK fishing industry caught between rock and hard place on trade talks (The Financial Times £).
Food delivery giant Meituan is expanding its logistics network to take more groceries to consumers, as the pandemic-induced shift to online shopping pushes China’s big tech companies to rapidly build out their delivery operations (The Financial Times £).