Tate and Lyle

Tate & Lyle is betting that a backlash against ultra-processed food will provide a “big opportunity” as it makes its largest ever acquisition of an ingredients company, a deal it says will help it produce healthier but tasty products (Financial Times £).

The acquisition of CP Kelco is set to give Tate & Lyle access to products that can help to improve the textures of foods (The Times £).

The proposed transaction is expected to drive revenue growth and an improvement in adjusted core-profit margin over the next few years, Tate & Lyle told shareholders (Mail).

The Lex column in the Financial Times (£) the acquisition of CP Kelco has logic but integrating such a large and underperforming business will be a challenge.

Shares in Ocado fell as much as 17.6% on Thursday after the UK grocery and technology company said a deal to open another robotic warehouse for Canadian supermarket chain Sobeys was paused and their tie-up was no longer exclusive (Financial Times £).

It marked another dismal episode for Ocado, which sells automated warehouse technology as well as running a joint venture grocery website with Marks & Spencer (Mail).

The business editorial in The Guardian says the future is delayed at Ocado (again). “As shares drop by 12%, the ‘permanent shift to online grocery shopping’ its boss predicted during Covid looks absurd,” the paper writes.

Farmers and supermarkets have accused the main political parties of ignoring the risk of severe food shortages in Britain, calling the issue a “worrying blind spot” in their general election campaigns (The Guardian).

As reported by The Grocer, with just two weeks to go until election day on 4 July, the NFU, BRC, UKHospitality and FDF have joined forces to express “frustration” at the lack of coverage during the election campaign over how the next government will approach the issue, despite widespread agreement that “food security is national security”.

At least 86 people have been hospitalised from the E. coli outbreak linked to lettuce, health officials have now said, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 256 (The Times £).

NatWest will take on most of Sainsbury’s banking business, in a deal that will add 1m customer accounts to the lender’s books in the latest wave of consolidation in the sector (The Guardian).

Sainsbury’s is offloading the bulk of its banking business to NatWest as supermarkets flee financial services (Mail).

The supermarket giant will pay NatWest £125m upon completion of the deal, which will see the lender acquire £1.4bn of unsecured personal loans, £1.1bn of credit card balances and approximately £2.6bn of customer deposits (Mail).

Jonathan Adnams, the chairman of beer brewer Adnams, is to step down, marking the end of the family’s representation on the Suffolk-based brewer’s board (Mail).

Britain is becoming a “safe haven” for international investment, Rachel Reeves has said, pointing to populist politics taking a hold in France and neighbouring European countries as a boon for Britain (The Times £).

Business leaders at The Times (£) CEO Summit left reassured that they could work with a victorious Labour government, were enthused about the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence but were freshly alive to the dangers posed by anti-business campaigns spread on social media.

Mounting hopes that the economy will improve its performance over the coming year have propelled consumer confidence to its highest point since 2021, according to a closely watched survey (The Times £).

The Bank of England has kept interest rates unchanged for a seventh consecutive meeting, with Andrew Bailey emphasising that the central bank must keep policy tight to ensure inflation stays low (The Times £).

Retail sales rebounded in May, with sales volumes up 2.9% in a sharp reversal of April’s 1.8% decline when heavy rain kept shoppers away (The Times £).

Spending in shops and online bounced back strongly last month as better weather, falling inflation and rising consumer confidence boosted spending (The Guardian).

The boss of the FTSE 100 company DS Smith has said its £5.8bn takeover by a US rival is going at “absolutely full steam”, despite concerns it could be derailed by another packaging sector merger (The Guardian).

Potential US buyer International Paper is reportedly being circled by Brazil’s Suzano, sparking speculation that the DS Smith takeover could fall apart (Mail).

Three popular sunscreen products have failed an annual safety test by consumer group Which?, with an Asda lotion among them (Telegraph £).

The market report in The Times (£) says that Upper Crust owner SSP has given  investors a spot of indigestion as analysts arn that the group is coming under pressure from Britain’s railway regulator over the acquisition of station food outlets.

Another Lex opinion column in the Financial Times (£) noted soaring sales of flavoured nicotine pouches have caught the attention of US politicians and regulators, with Big Tobacco to take heat on its smokeless transformation.