Britain’s economy has so far shrugged off the impact of the Brexit vote, official figures are expected to reveal this week. Growth is forecast to have hit 0.4% in the third quarter — defying fears output would tumble in the wake of the referendum result. (The Times £)
There’s plenty of coverage in the weekend papers about British American Tobacco’s $47bn move for Reynolds American announced on Friday. It’s set to be the biggest transatlantic merger in years and could create the world’s largest tobacco company, writes The Daily Mail. But the success of the proposed buyout by British American Tobacco of Reynolds American may hinge not on tobacco sales, but on the booming market for e-cigarettes.
The Times (£) concurs that the British tobacco giant BAT is keen on its US partner’s ecigarette portfolio, but suggests $47bn might not be enough.
The outgoing boss of Reynolds American Susan Cameron will be in line for a share windfall of at least £12m if FTSE 100 cigarette giant British American Tobacco succeeds in its blockbuster bid to take control of the US firm. (The Telegraph)
The Times (£) also puts the bid in context with Brexit, noting it is interesting to note that one of the first big mergers proposed following the devaluation of the pound involves a London-listed company as the predator rather than the prey.
European multination diary giants like Danone and Arla are betting on Africa’s appetite for dairy to grow revenues in the region despite economic challenges. (The Financial Times £)
Lidl is opening one of its biggest UK stores next week in Maryport, Cumbria, but the new “store of the future” will be powered by a generator after a spat with the Co-op next door. The Co-op has not yet allowed Lidl to run electricity cables under its shop and Lidl has been unable to connect to the mains. (The Times £)
The Telegraph looks at how independent corner shops are being transformed by the pressures of a rapidly changing society and new competition after the supermarket space race to open vast hypermarkets designed to be the meccas of weekly shopping pilgrimages has come to an end. (The Telegraph)
The family behind Babycham has saved the Shepton Mallet cider mill in Somerset from potential closure by buying it from drinks giant C&C Group. Brothers Drinks – founded by siblings Francis, Matthew, Jonathan and Daniel Showering – produces fruit-flavoured ciders which are sold at music festivals including Glastonbury. (The Daily Mail)
Philip Morris chief André Calantzopoulos tells The Times (£) he hopes one day the company won’t sell cigarettes in an interview where he is “puffing up his ‘reduced-risk’ product - but will the public health lobby listen?”
The new owners of BHS have unveiled plans to expand the department store overseas, six months after its UK operations collapsed into administration. Al Mana Group, a Qatari retail congolmerate which bought BHS’s online and international operations from administrators in June, is in the final stages of agreeing contracts with three new franchise partners in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. (The Telegraph)
Meanwhile, BHS administrators are trying to take control of the company used by its disgraced former owner, Dominic Chappell, to extract millions of pounds from the dying store chain. Duff & Phelps, one of the firms picking through BHS’s ruins, has filed a High Court petition to wind up Retail Acquisitions. (The Times £)