Walgreens Boots Alliance, the $70bn drugstore chain, has received a buyout proposal from the private equity group KKR, a deal that would be the biggest private equity transaction on record (The Financial Times £). An audacious, debt-laden buyout of Walgreens Boots Alliance appeared to move a step closer yesterday amid reports that the company had received a formal approach from a private equity firm (The Times £). The global drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance has reportedly received a buyout offer from the private equity group KKR – if successful, the deal would be the biggest private equity transaction on record (The Guardian).
Greggs, the UK bakery chain, lifted its profit forecasts for the fourth time this year as more consumers frequented its stores enticed by new products and later opening, according to its chief executive (The Financial Times £). Greggs shrugged off fears of a slowdown in trading yesterday as the maker of sausage rolls and sticky buns upgraded its profit forecast for the fifth time in only a year (The Times £). Greggs has raised its profits forecast for the fourth time this year – sending its valuation soaring to over £2bn (The Daily Mail). Britain’s biggest bakery chain Greggs has raised its profit forecast for 2019 in the face of continued “very strong” trading (Sky News).
However, sausage roll maker Greggs faces a hit from an African swine fever epidemic which is pushing up global pork prices. (The Telegraph)
The South African technology investor targeting a takeover of Just Eat is pressing ahead with its proposed £4.9bn offer despite being warned the price is not high enough (The Times £). The battle over Just Eat has intensified after one of the suitors lowered the bar on its hostile takeover offer (The Daily Mail).
The chief executive of Takeaway.com is confident that merging with Just Eat will allow the food delivery pioneers to see off new competition from Uber and Deliveroo, as he tries to rally support from investors in the face of a rival bid from Naspers. (The Financial Times £)
Just Eat is eyeing two offers. In cash terms at least, neither particularly appeals. Jitse Groen, boss of would-be partner Takeaway.com, admitted that on Monday. Meanwhile, rival bidder Prosus, the Amsterdam-listed arm of Naspers, gave a downbeat assessment of the sectors’ prospects in its offer document. (The Financial Times £)
Burger King has chosen Unilever to supply the plant-based burgers it is launching in roughly 2,500 outlets in Europe, passing over hot start-ups Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, as well as Nestlé. (The Financial Times £)
A Tesco advert featuring a photograph of Mel B has been taken down after the Spice Girl complained. (Sky News)
PizzaExpress bondholders have warned the restaurant chain that its future is at risk, urging its Chinese owners to work with them on a financial restructuring. (The Financial Times £)
Deliveroo’s new ‘pickup’ service speaks to another criticism which has been made of the food delivery space as a whole: its lack of profitability, writes The FT. “In an ironic way, this may lead to Deliveroo experiencing a sort of reverse Amazon effect – where customers browse the platform for food, and then call the restaurant directly to secure a cheaper price. If that happened, then the digital delivery era would have truly come full circle.” (The Financial Times £)