The largest stock market float of the year has been pulled by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, after weak investor appetite for what was regarded as the overpriced sale of its Asia-Pacific business (The Times £). The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, scrapped plans to sell up to $9.8bn in shares in its Asian business after weak investor appetite at its stated price range spoiled what would have been the largest initial public offering of the year (The Financial Times £). The listing of its minority stake in Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC was meant to help the company reduce its unwieldy $100bn (£79.5m) debt pile (The Telegraph).
Retailers are missing last year’s heatwave as the number of customer visits to shops dropped again last month (The Times £). Shoppers deserted UK high streets during June as the washout weather and continuing Brexit uncertainty helped drive store visits down to a seven-year low for the month (The Guardian). Shoppers are continuing to shun the High Street this summer, as June’s poor weather has failed to entice customers to splash the cash (The Daily Mail).
Underneath the warm glow of the most recent GDP figures, which showed the economy expanded at a reasonable 0.3% in May from the previous month, there are reasons to be fearful of a damp summer for growth. Paralysed by uncertainty, Britain could still tilt into recession even before the proper damage has been done from leaving the EU at the end of October. (The Guardian)
The labour market figures this week will highlight how well jobs are holding up despite Brexit uncertainty and a string of big companies wielding the axe. There are some possible dark clouds – job vacancies advertised on Reed, the country’s most popular recruitment website, have fallen sharply. (The Daily Mail)
Hundreds of crowdfunding investors who ploughed £1.5m into a craft beer start-up have been wiped out after it collapsed into administration and was sold in a pre-pack deal to brewing giant Molson Coors. Hop Stuff, based in Woolwich, London, appointed administrators from KPMG on Friday and was promptly sold on to owner of the Carling, Miller and Worthington brands. (The Times £)
One of the major British players in the fast-expanding meal-kit delivery market has been served up £30m of new funding as it intensifies its rivalry with the likes of HelloFresh. Gousto has struck a deal to raise the sum by selling shares to investors including Perwyn, a London-based family office investor. (Sky News)
Marks & Spencer has poached Topshop’s fashion guru Maddy Evans in an effort to boost its clothing credentials among younger shoppers. (The Daily Mail)
North American cannabis companies are increasing their presence in the UK to gain entry to a market that is anticipated to reach £16.5bn in the next decade. The FT writes that five major Canadian companies have started importing cannabis into the UK since November last year, while Canopy, the world’s largest publicly traded producer, has gone into partnership with the British research institution the Beckley Foundation to develop medical cannabis. (The Financial Times £)
Greggs builds on its vegan success with drive-throughs and deliveries With sales of £1bn and its shares soaring, the UK bakery chain is looking to maintain momentum. (The Financial Times £)
Shopping centre and high-street landlords have been asked to lower rents on unprofitable stores as struggling retailers seek ways to keep their businesses afloat and cut costs. But property owners have grown increasingly resistant, prompting some chains to consider an alternative approach. (The Financial Times £)
The boom in pub takings during last year’s heatwave was a distant memory last month as wet weather dampened bar sales. (The Times £)
Amazon has more PhD-level economists than the entire economics faculty at Harvard University — and not just a few more, but more than twice as many. (The Times £)
The FT looks at how plastic packaging and environmental damage is shifting from an externality to a business cost, with trend creating opportunities as well as threats. “Plastic is light, versatile, cheap and robust. But single-use products are becoming socially unacceptable. Today many young people wince at the word “plastics”. They would no sooner carry a plastic water bottle than wear a mink coat.” (The Financial Times £)