An influential shareholder advisory firm has weighed into the brewing shareholder dispute over Anheuser-Busch InBev’s blockbuster takeover of SABMiller.
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a major corporate governance adviser to fund managers, has warned there is a “material difference” between what SAB’s two largest investors - tobacco firm Altria and Colombia’s Santo Domingo family - are being offered and what other SAB shareholders stand to receive. (The Telegraph)
The activist hedge fund run by Sir Chris Hohn has built a secret stake in SAB Miller, cranking up pressure on the brewer to revise the terms of its £77bn sale to the owner of Budweiser. The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI) has acquired the stake — believed to be just under 1% — through derivatives and does not yet appear on the shareholder register. (The Times £)
It is the second time this month that an activist has appeared on the SABMiller share register, following Elliott Capital Advisors building a 1.3% stake, triggering speculation that the company may come under pressure to renegotiate the terms of its sale. (The Times £)
Stefano Pessina, the serial Walgreens dealmaker who has marched his pharmacy empire across four continents already, is moving into South Korea with a franchise deal for the Boots healthcare chain (The Financial Times £). The high street stalwart said it plans to offer its No7 and Soap & Glory ranges among the beauty products on sale in the new branches, which are due to open in the first half of 2017, following the agreement of a franchise deal with Emart, South Korea’s largest retailer. (The Telegraph)
Some of Britain’s largest supermarket chains have been referred to trading standards for using “fake” farm branding to pass off produce as British when it may actually have come from abroad. The National Farmers Union has formally complained to National Trading Standards over the use of fictitious brands that it claims could mislead consumers. (The Guardian)
Reports of the lingering death of “bricks and mortar” shops appear to have been exaggerated, according to research that shows 89% of all retail sales in the UK “touched” a physical store last year (The Times £). Britons stayed away from the shops in the uncertain weeks before and after the EU referendum vote, worsening the decline in footfall across the retail industry to its steepest in two-and-a-half years, according to new research from Springboard and the British Retail Consortium. (The Telegraph)
Britain could become a haven for genetically modified crops after leaving the EU, with Monsanto set to lead the GM charge. A potential relaxation in policy on designer seeds has caught the attention of the US agricultural giant, which intends to seek talks with the government on ways it can expand its presence in Britain. (The Times £)
Strict curbs on junk food advertisements during popular British TV shows, such as The X Factor, and measures to limit promotions of unhealthy snacks are likely to be included in a long-awaited government white paper on child obesity. (The Financial Times £)
Staff at family-owned Yorkshire Tea company Bettys & Taylors Group were able to treat themselves to a few of the firm’s cream teas as they were given bonuses equalling five weeks’ pay last year. (The Daily Mail)
A retail fight has broken out on the school playground after Wm Morrison slapped a 200-day quality guarantee on its uniforms. The move by the supermarket group comes days after Lidl said that it would sell a primary school uniform including polo shirt, jumper and trousers or skirt for £3.75. (The Times £)
The Telegraph has picked up on The Grocer’s story that the whisky in the tumblers of British drinkers could soon be as likely to be American as Scotch, after new figures showed that Jack Daniel’s had become the nation’s biggest selling spirits brand.
Samworth Brothers, which makes Ginster pasties, stands accused by MPs of victimising a former worker who accused it of cutting overtime pay to fund the new National Living Wage. The food producer is said to have unfairly dismissed Kumaran Bose, who worked there for 12 years with an ‘unblemished record’, after a dispute over pay. The firm alleges gross misconduct. (The Daily Mail)