A pack of turnaround investors, private equity funds and food groups are vying to snap up Hovis, one of Britain’s best-known food brands, in a deal that could be worth well over £100m. (Sky News)

The battle between Ocado and Waitrose will intensify next week when the businesses give their first trading updates since their online groceries partnership ended last month. The John Lewis Partnership will publish its half year results on Thursday and is expected to report heavy losses owing to store closures and the cost of expanding Waitrose’s online business. (The Times £)

After six months of turmoil, John Lewis can only hope for better, writes The Observer. The retailer had ‘lost its way’ even before Covid-19 forced stores to close. So this week’s results will not be pretty. “It has been a torrid year for middle-class favourite John Lewis, and this week the retailer, which is in the midst of a revolution under new boss Sharon White, will lay bare the damage coronavirus is wreaking on its finances.” (The Guardian)

Ocado sales could exceed £2bn for the first time this year after customers flocked to order food from its new partner Marks & Spencer. (The Daily Mail)

The John Lewis Partnership is plotting the takeover of fast-growing recipe box provider Mindful Chef, which is backed by the former Wimbledon champion Sir Andy Murray, as it seeks to tap into consumers’ post-pandemic penchant for subscription services. (Sky News, The Times £)

A multi-billion swoop for Asda could deepen a price war between Britain’s supermarkets this Christmas, sources have revealed. The frontrunners to take control of Asda are buyout giants Lone Star and Apollo Global Management, which have both submitted bids thought to be around £6.5billion to buy a majority stake in the supermarket chain from its US owner Walmart. (The Daily Mail)

The founder of The Hut Group is selling shares worth £54m in its £5.4bn stock market listing, despite assurances from its advisers that he would hold on to all of his stock. (The Times £)

The Telegraph writes that Matt Moulding has brought his protein shakes and make-up empire to the stock market, perhaps in the nick of time, raising a total of £920m at an amazing valuation of £5.4bn. “He has a veto over any takeover approach, so lowly ordinary shareholders must put their absolute trust in him to look after their interests. City advisers who met Moulding as he considered floating The Hut Group reported his anguish at the prospect of having to share influence over the firm under normal governance standards.” (The Telegraph)

Retail and hospitality businesses face a ‘bloodbath’ of failures as landlords prepare to call in unpaid rent from lockdown. The Government’s ban on evictions ends on October 1, meaning legal action can then be taken to evict tenants from thousands of shops, restaurants, bars and pubs (The Daily Mail). Food firms have written to the government asking for support as a stand-off with landlords looms over rent holidays. Companies such as Deliveroo called for a targeted extension of the commercial evictions ban, which was introduced at the height of the pandemic (The BBC).

Fears that Britain will crash out of the European Union have driven the pound to its worst week against both the dollar and the euro since March. (The Times £)

Christmas deliveries are likely to be delayed this year because of the pandemic’s impact on air travel, according to cargo experts. (The Telegraph)

Amazon has suffered a spate of departures in recent months. The retail portion of the business, in particular, has seen a procession of significant departures. (The Telegraph)

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky wants to lift his stake in German wholesaler Metro AG to above 30% and is preparing an offer to buy out the company’s remaining shareholders. (The Financial Times £)

Mike Tye, former CEO of Spirit Pub Company has been appointed as chairman of the former Casual Dining Group. The hire follows the appointment of administrators at Casual Dining and its sale to Epiris, a private equity firm. The business closed 91 of its 250 sites in the administration and after the sale changed its name to The Big Table. (The Times £)

Pizza Hut has confirmed a list of 29 restaurants up for closure as part of a rescue deal that could lead to the loss of 450 jobs. (The Guardian)