The agreement of Poundland’s £597m to South Africa’s Steinhoff Group is heavily covered in the papers this morning.
“Poundland to be sold and at a discount, too” is the headline at The Times (£), which writes that “Poundland’s unhappy two-year spell as a listed company looked set to come to an end”. The Financial Times (£) writes: “Poundland’s 2014 sales were boosted in that year by the popularity of “loom bands”, but the craze soon died out and the retailer has yet to find a similarly popular product.”
The Daily Mail writes: “Some small investors are concerned the offer is too low as Poundland has the ability to grow profits in future years now its issues with the 99p Stores takeover have been fixed… However most analysts recommended the deal.”
“Hello Randland!” writes Ashley Armstrong in The Telegraph. “Steinhoff’s confidence to plough on with a takeover despite the EU Referendum result gives extra credence to those that argued the sterling’s slump will mean Britain will become a hotbed for overseas buyers.”
Nils Pratley in The Guardian says that a bid of 220p a share for Poundland is reasonable, but using Brexit as an excuse for selling is “just feeble”. “OK, at a push, one can believe that a 10% fall in the pound against the dollar will weaken Poundland’s buying clout on imported goods. But it seems equally possible that discount stores such as Poundland could be beneficiaries of Brexit if shoppers feel poorer.”
“B&M is a bargain after rival Poundland limps off the stock market”, writes the Questor column in The Telegraph. “Its value-for-money image has emerged untarnished from previous downturns, and its ambitious growth plans are not slowing down.”
Elsewhere, the papers cover The Co-operative Group’s move to sell 298 of its smaller food shops to convenience store group McColl’s. The move is designed to “whittle down its portfolio of small sites and put the focus on larger outlets” (The Financial Times £). Earlier this year, the mutual appointed the investment bank Rothschild to find prospective buyers for about 300 shops, equating to nearly 10% of its estate, as it tries to keep a lid on debt and expand and modernise its successful convenience store business (The Guardian, The Telegraph).
Amazon declared its “biggest day ever” after its Prime Day sale, an annual event that has come to resemble Christmas in July for the company’s most loyal customers. The Seattle-based online retailer said global orders surged 60 per cent compared with Prime Day a year ago, and while Amazon did not provide figures it said the event exceeded Black Friday as its busiest day of the year. (The Financial Times £)
The German discount supermarkets Lidl and Aldi have sparked a new school uniform price war, with each chain offering an entire outfit for less than £4. (The Guardian)
Sugar is being targeted by governments the world over in the fight against expanding waistlines but, according to research published today, it is not the real culprit. Scientists from the University of Glasgow said that fat was responsible for a bigger contribution to weight gain in obese people than sugar. (The Financial Times £)
JD Wetherspoon’s founder Tim Martin has blasted politicians and economists for ‘doom-mongering’ over Brexit as he calls it a ‘modern Magna Carta’. (The Times £, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail).