The proposed £9.5bn takeover of Morrisons has been thrown into jeopardy after the supermarket group’s largest shareholder blasted the Fortress-led bid (The Financial Times £). The largest investor in Morrisons has said that it is “not inclined” to support a £6.3 billion takeover of the supermarket group by a private equity-led consortium (The Times £). Morrisons directors were humiliated last night as the supermarket’s largest shareholder rejected a £6.3billion private equity takeover agreed by the board (The Daily Mail). The biggest shareholder in Morrisons has come out against a £6.3bn takeover bid for the supermarket chain in an embarrassing setback for the grocer’s board (The Telegraph). A planned £6.3bn takeover of Morrisons could be at risk after the supermarket’s largest shareholder said they were likely to turn it down (The Guardian). Investment firm Silchester, which holds a 15.1% stake in the group, said the board should allow more time for offers to emerge (Sky News). Silchester International said there was “little in the recommended offer that could not be achieved by the supermarket as a listed company” (The BBC).
Reckitt Benckiser has warned that a boom in demand for disinfectants and surface cleaners has moderated while commodity cost pressures have intensified, sending shares in the household products group sharply lower (The Financial Times £). A peak in demand for disinfectants and a sharp rise in cost inflation that hit profit margins triggered a sell-off in Reckitt shares (The Times £). Shares in Reckitt Benckiser, which owns brands including Dettol and Nurofen, plunged to their lowest level since the pandemic first struck as a Covid sales bounce for disinfectant and cleaning products faded (The Telegraph). Reckitt, the maker of Dettol and Cillit Bang, is planning to hike prices after rising commodity costs are eating into its profits and demand for some products is falling from its pandemic peak (The Daily Mail). Shares in the consumer goods giant fell sharply after it said profit margins would take a hit with the price of some key commodities rising by as much as 100% , and that it was “simply not possible” to address this through short-term price hikes (Sky News). Sales of the clothing stain remover Vanish have bounced back as people pay more attention to their appearance post lockdown, its manufacturer says (The BBC).
Profits at Iceland rose 31% in what one analyst termed a “breakthrough year”, but the frozen food group continues to face questions over its forays into the restaurant sector (The Financial Times £). The collapse of Greensill, the supply chain finance firm, has resulted in a £12 million hit for Iceland, the frozen foods supermarket group (The Times £).
A slice of humble pie from Just Eat Takeaway’s chief executive and founder Jitse Groen was the order from Cat Rock Capital on Tuesday. The activist fund, which owns almost 5 per cent of JET’s shares, published a diatribe blaming the food delivery group’s underperformance on poor communications. It came with a warning for the Anglo-Dutch group: act or risk being eaten whole by the competition (The Financial Times £). One of the biggest shareholders in Just Eat Takeaway.com has accused the company of damaging its share price thanks to “deeply flawed” communication with investors, leaving it vulnerable to a cut-price bid (The Times £).
Tesco is offering a £1,000 signing-on fee for lorry drivers who join the company before the end of September, as it scrambles to overcome a desperate shortage of workers that has led to gaps on supermarket shelves (The Guardian). Lorry drivers are being offered thousands of pounds to sign on to work for major retailers amid a widespread shortage - but it could leave small haulage operators struggling (Sky News). Tesco is offering lorry drivers a £1,000 joining bonus amid a chronic shortage of drivers in the industry (The BBC).
Retailers have warned they could struggle to meet demand and fill shelves into the autumn after months of supply holdups sent stock levels plunging in July to record lows for a second consecutive month. (The Guardian)
Retail sales have more than doubled since 1989 amid an explosion of choice for shoppers, the rise of fast-fashion and the steady march of the supermarkets. (The Times £)