Online takeaway firm Just Eat is set to join the ranks of Britain’s biggest businesses this week. Just Eat is expected to be promoted to the FTSE 100 on the back of its soaring share price, and comes just three years after its stock market debut. The next FTSE reshuffle is based on closing share prices on Tuesday. Just Eat’s shares have soared 43% this year on the back of revenue growth and acquisitions, taking its market cap to £5.5bn and making it bigger than Sainsbury’s. (The BBC)
The Times writes: “Thanks to a one-third surge in its share price since January, the takeaway app Just Eat is worth more than £5.5bn. It ascent into the FTSE 100 will be confirmed this week. Sainsbury’s, by contrast, has had to get by on somewhat thin gruel; unappetising trading figures pushed its value below £5bn.” However, it warns: “Yet, at 52 times this year’s predicted earnings, Just Eat’s valuation looks fit to burst… The commission rates it currently enjoys have only one way to go. Sell.” (The Times £)
The Sunday Times broke the story that the 170 years of family ownership at Booths looks set to end, with the Preston-based chain looking for a buyer (The Times £). The move comes amid signs Booths is struggling to keep up in the competitive grocery market after floods in its North West heartlands in 2015 (The Telegraph). Booths had earlier this year been forced to call in accountants to conduct a financial health check after a difficult 18 months (The Guardian). Upmarket supermarket chain Booths put up for sale, opening door for takeover bids by likes of online giant Amazon (The Daily Mail).
Britain’s online retailers won the battle for sales on Black Friday with overall spending up on a year ago despite a drop in the number of shoppers visiting stores (The Guardian). Alex Brummer in the Mail writes that “Black Friday may be an embarrassing American import but the shoppers are defying the gloom” (The Daily Mail).
Unilever could appoint an external candidate to the top job for the second time in a row. However, analysts believe that any outside appointee to run the Anglo-Dutch food and detergents group would be up against a tough internal candidate in finance chief Graeme Pitkethly. (The Times £)
Plans by the UK and European Union to share quotas for cheap food imports after Brexit have come under fire from Australia. The government has agreed with Brussels to divide up the goods that can be brought in on low or zero tariffs based roughly on current rates, but Australia’s trade minister, Steven Ciobo, said the move would impose unacceptable restrictions on nations exporting to the bloc (The Guardian). He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The point is that you have a choice about where you place your quota at the moment… Therefore, given that you could put it in the UK or you could put it into continental Europe, why would we accept a proposition that would see a decline in the quota available because of the Brexit decision?” (The BBC)
Artisan cider producers are concerned that a new levy could have a devastating impact on the industry. The legislation, to be brought in from February, would see a duty introduced on ciders with an alcohol content of between 6.9% and 7.5%. (Sky News)
The John Lewis Partnership has backed a start-up claiming to be “Airbnb for your kitchen table” and another aiming to make it easier for delivery workers to find addresses. (The Telegraph)
Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells reveals the group is finally bouncing back by focussing on local community convenience stores where its heart and its history belong. (The Daily Mail)
The Times (£) has an interview with British Coca-Cola boss James Quincey on how he is shaking up Coke from top to bottom, to make it less buttoned up and more creative and nimble. (The Times £)
The Times also carries an interview with Pret founder Julian Metcalfe on how the high street chain Itsu is leading a drive for healthy food. (The Times £)
Greene King will be crying into its beer this week when it reveals a drop in profits, as pubs face rising costs on several fronts. (The Telegraph)
The growing trend of Brits spending more on pampering their pets is expected to drive a jump in sales for the country’s biggest animal care group. (The Times £)
A former owner of Little Chef is among a pack of bidders plotting a cut-price takeover of Byron, the gourmet burger chain caught in the headwinds afflicting Britain’s casual dining sector. (Sky News)
Dragons’ Den star James Caan has given his backing to a new sugar-free wine aimed at those who enjoy a tipple but also want to limit their intake of calories. (The Daily Mail)
Spaniards are facing a ham shortage as the Chinese market gets taste for jamón ibérico. Iberian ham has become the latest sought-after luxury from the west in China, but demand is outstripping supply. (The Guardian)
The FT produced a special wine supplement on Saturday, with stories including how Brexit has knocked French wine exports to UK and that the weak pound may force British wine merchants out of business (The Financial Times £), how the En primeur wine futures system has lost authority (The Financial Times £) and how online wine auctions become $50m market and achieve higher prices for top wines than in the saleroom (The Financial Times £).