GlaxoSmithKline GSK

Private equity groups are plotting a swoop on the consumer arm of Glaxosmithkline in what could be the biggest takeover by the buyout industry in history, The Mail reports, following up a story form Bloomberg. The circling predators have valued the pharma giant’s consumer business, which owns brands including Aquafresh toothpaste and Otrivin nasal spray and is being spun out of GSK by chief executive Emma Walmsley, at £40bn or more.

Alex Brummer of The Mail continued his attack on “private equity ghouls”, thundering the Glaxo boss must send them packing.

An opinion piece in The Financial Times examines why GSK investors might want to pass on private equity money.

Ranjit Boparan, the boss of Britain’s biggest chicken producer, has warned that shoppers face a “great food reset” in which prices will rise more than 10% as businesses scramble to adapt to supply chain chaos (The Telegraph).

Boparan, the owner of 2 Sisters Group, who is known as the Chicken King, said that higher prices were inevitable because of inflationary pressures throughout the supply chain (The Times £).

“How can it be right that a whole chicken costs less than a pint of beer? You’re looking at a different world where the shopper pays more,” Boparan said on Wednesday (The Guardian).

Almost £1.5bn of goods being imported into the UK will be hit by shipping delays in the run-up to Christmas if the backlog at Felixstowe continues until the festive season, research has suggested (The Guardian).

People are starting their Christmas shopping early amid fears of shortages despite warnings from the government not to panic-buy (The Times £).

A feature in The Financial Times magazine headlined ‘Shortage nation’ takes a look at why the UK is braced for a grim Christmas.

There will be a “good amount of Christmas presents available” this year despite supply chain issues, the UK chancellor has said (The Guardian).

Supermarket chain Asda has said it has not had any petrol supply issues for a week as fuel demand in much of the UK eases (BBC News).

Hut Group shares keep sliding despite firm’s claims that there is ‘no reason’ for sell-off and liquidity is ‘very strong’ (The Mail).

The City rounded on The Hut Group and its founder yesterday as the firm tried to defend itself amidst a stock market rout (The Mail).

Banks are now in the spotlight over the £5.4bn Hut Group float as investors question the prospects for its Ingenuity technology logistics business (The Times £).

A business editorial in The Times argues that without Matthew Moulding’s special share in THG, the CEO could be “on a right sticky wicket, looking the classic entrepreneurial boss found out by the public markets”.

Former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy has lost £30m on The Hut Group since its stock market debut as shares fell ­further on Wednesday and analysts slashed their forecasts (The Telegraph).

Britons have placed one billion orders on online food delivery platform Just Eat since its inception in 2001 (The Mail). The milestone was reached this summer, and included 200 million orders in the first nine months of 2021.

Employers’ groups representing more than a quarter of jobs in Britain have called on Rishi Sunak to cut business rates in the budget later this month to unlock billions of pounds of investment in the economy (The Guardian).

The European Union will today offer to cut the majority of checks on British goods sent to Northern Ireland as part of a package of measures to reform the province’s controversial Brexit deal (The Times £).

Marston’s new chief executive has joined calls from the pub industry for a relaxation of visa restrictions for hospitality staff as the sector battles severe labour shortages (The Financial Times £).

Pub group Marston’s has seen a continuous improvement in trading since lockdown restrictions were lifted on 12 April in England (The Mail).

Amazon could owe compensation totalling £140m to thousands of drivers delivering its parcels, according to a law firm that is launching a group claim on their behalf (The Guardian).

The pace of US consumer price growth pushed higher in September, hovering at a 13-year high as inflationary pressures drove up the cost of food, energy and rent (The Financial Times £).