Steinhoff is applying the finishing touches to a £600m-plus takeover bid for Poundland ahead of this Wednesday’s bid deadline, The Sunday Telegraph reports. The South African retailer is hoping it is third time lucky after failed attempts to buy Home Retail Group and Darty.
A business leader in The Guardian says Asda’s new UK boss could be planning a nuclear price war. “He could easily lose it,” the paper adds. “Being the cheapest for 15 years has not worked while lost customers have not been won back. The giant retailer has a serious image problem.” The Financial TimesLex column says conditions for a summer offensive were favourable for Asda. “Capital from Asda’s parent will come in dollars and with sterling at a 30-year low, these will go a long way. Holders of shares in other UK grocers should be wary.” The Times writes this morning that the the City is braced for a new supermarket price war as Sean Clarke takes up his new role this week as chief executive of Asda.
A major investor in SAB Miller has raised concerns about its mega-merger with AB InBev amid frustration the deal increasingly favours the FTSE 100 brewer’s two biggest shareholders, according to The Sunday Telegraph. The top 10 investor told the paper it was “reviewing options”.
Diageo intends to pursue Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya to recover an estimated Rs12bn ($182m) in funds it said were diverted from its Indian subsidiary, United Spirits, while under his control (The Financial Times).
Fever-Tree is mulling a move to the main stock market after quintupling its share price since its float two years ago (The Sunday Times).
The UK food and drink industry is calling for the sugar tax to be mothballed as manufacturers face a shortage of workers, cost inflation and weak consumer confidence since the Brexit vote (The Guardian). The boss of Coca-Cola in the UK has claimed the sugar tax is bad for consumers and would act as a distraction from efforts to switch to lower calorie products, The Mail on Sunday writes. Jon Woods has renewed calls to scrap the sugar tax in the wake of last month’s vote to leave the EU. “It’s bad for business at a time when we should be freeing our businesses from red tape and bureaucracy,” he said.
The price of chocolate is likely to rise after the pound slid against other currencies in the aftermath of the EU referendum (The Independent). However, craft beer brewers and English winemakers may have more reason to celebrate the Brexit decision as the weak pound made their exports more attractive and foreign imports more expensive, according to research released by Rabobank (The Independent). The plunging pound could be bad news for fish and chip shops amid a rising tide of cod and haddock prices, The Times reports this morning. While the big retailers like Tesco and Asda tend to lock in prices under long-term contracts, independent fishmongers are exposed to currency fluctuations.
Alarms are sounding on high street as fears grow of EU poll fallout with shoppers beginning to lose confidence after the referendum, The Sunday Times writes. Leading figures in Britain’s retail industry have joined forces to launch a fresh call for the Government to revamp the business rates system to make the country more competitive, The Telegraph reports.
Uruguay has won a landmark lawsuit against Philip Morris International, which was suing the South American country for its strict regulations on smoking in what was seen as a test case for the tobacco industry (The Financial Times).