Hovis recyclable bag

Hovis owners Gores Group - which has a 51% stake - has hired RW Baird to oversee a sales process of its stake. Premier Foods, which owns the remaining 49%, is expected to use the opportunity to offload its ownership (Sky News). Bread brand Hovis could fetch between £100m and £150m, as its owners prepare to offload the brand later this year (The Telegraph). 

Uber Eats has abandoned plans to run its own food delivery kitchens. The company had run an ”Eats Delivery Hub” in Paris since 2018, renting kitchen space to restaurateurs to cool for its delivery business, but the project was abandoned last year. Uber Eats boss Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty told the FT the company did not have a desire to own real estate (The Financial Times £).

British American Tobacco has revised its annual forecast downwards due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. The lucky strike maker expects revenue growth between 1% and 3%, down from a previous 3% to 5% range (The Financial Times £, The Times). Global cigarette consumption is expected to fall 7% due to the coronavirus pandemic, warned BAT, as lockdown in emerging countries hit sales (The Telegraph).

Nonetheless, the cigarette company chose to pay out its dividend to shareholder, a decision which led its stock up 7% (The Financial Times £).

Greggs has been tipped to become the next retailer tapping investors for cash. The baker has so far avoided asking its own investors fro money to survive the crisis, having instead turned to the Bank of England fr a £150m loan. (The Times).

Most shoppers fear returning to the high street next week, a new report by EY found, slashing the hopes of a swift recovery for the retail sector. Four out of five respondents said they do not want to try on clothing in store, while only a quarter are happy to go to a supermarket (The Telegraph). Consumers are reluctant to head to the shops when they reopen next week, with 45% of UK consumers believing they will change the way they shop over the next two years, with almost two thirds expecting to go shopping less frequently (The Times).

Meanwhile, business secretary Alok Sharma warned pubs and hairdressers will not be allowed to reopen for at least another month as it warned shops reopening next week that, if found not to respect social distancing rules, they will be served with enforcement notices (Sky News). Pubs and beer gardens will not be allowed to reopen until “at least” July 4, Downing Street has said (The Guardian, BBC).

The Restaurant Group has confirmed it will shut 125 sites as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). The closures will affect mostly its Frankie and Benny’s chain, leaving the group with a total of around 160 sites. Wagamama restaurants, airport concessions and pubs will not be affected (The Telegraph). The company is also seeking to reduce rents on another 85 sites (Sky News).

McDonald’s is planning to reopen some of its outlets for walk-in customers next week after shutting all its restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic (Sky News).