Three former Tesco executives accused of fraud and false accounting are due to stand trial today in what the FT calls “one of the most high-profile prosecutions ever brought by the Serious Fraud Office”.
Carl Rogberg, 50, Christopher Bush, 51, and John Scouler, 49, are being prosecuted for their alleged role in an accounting scandal in which Tesco was found to have inflated its profits by £326m in 2014. (The Financial Times £)
A buyout firm is edging closer to a rescue deal for the tobacco supplier Palmer & Harvey (P&H) that would preserve thousands of jobs. Carlyle, the company whose British investments include the RAC breakdown service, is close to entering a period of exclusivity during which it would seek to conclude a takeover of P&H. (Sky News)
Shares in L’Oréal, the cosmetics group, rose on Friday after the death of Liliane Bettencourt, the daughter of its founder, spurred speculation about the intentions of Nestlé, its minority shareholder. The possibility of a big change of ownership in the company set shares up by nearly 4% before they fell back to close 2.5% higher (The Times £). It has long been speculated that her death would be a catalyst for 23.2% stakeholder Nestle to table a takeover bid (The Daily Mail).
The Government minister responsible for the business rates system has claimed that the new appeals process is “working well”, despite a slew of complaints from users who are struggling to register their properties. (The Telegraph).
New Zealand-based dairy co-operative Fonterra said net profit fell in the year to July 31 as poor weather hit milk volumes. The world’s biggest dairy supplier said net profit after tax fell 11% to NZ$745m ($524.4m) in the twelve months to end of July, compared to the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 12% year on year to NZ$19.2bn. (The Financial Times £)
A rebound in the pound has spurred a rush among businesses, funds and individuals to buy insurance against a future bout of weakness in the currency as uncertainty clouds Brexit negotiations. Retailers and food companies are among those buying insurance against sterling’s moves. (The Financial Times £)
British factory orders grew in September at their weakest rate since April as rising import costs and uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations dented business confidence. (The Guardian)
British growers will be spared from being forced to dump hundreds of tons of apples after a supermarket relaxed its rules on “blemish-free” fruit. Growers faced the prospect of having to throw away apples from this autumn’s crop after an unseasonal frost caused unsightly blemishes on otherwise perfectly good fruit. (The Guardian)
Deliveroo has been valued at more than $2 billion in its latest investment round, more than 1,300 times the gross profit it achieved last year (The Times £).
Entrepreneurs will be urged this week to sign a legally binding pledge to give away a cut of the profits when they sell their businesses. Entrepreneurial Giving will sign up founders willing to give some of their exit proceeds to good causes. Jayne Hynes, the founder of Kiddyum, a Manchester-based maker of healthy frozen ready meals for children, is among those signing up to the pledge. (The Times £).
When is a craft beer not a craft beer? It is a question troubling some drinkers after large multinational drinks companies started to buy up their favourite craft breweries. Carlsberg’s acquisition of London Fields brewery, for example, followed AB InBev scooping up Camden Town and a series of other acquisitions that have left the remaining independent brewers cautious about their future. (The Times £)
An indoor-farming start-up backed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google parent Alphabet, plans to bring its high-tech farm warehouses to Britain by 2019. (The Times £)
The Times (£) interviews founder of Kent-based wine producer Hush Heath Richard Balfour-Lynn on how when the fizz went out of the property market, the one-time tycoon turned his hand to wine. (The Times £)