SABMiller has told employees to stop working on integrating operations with those of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Chief executive Alan Clark told employees in a memo on Tuesday to “pause” integration planning with AB InBev, until the SAB board meets to decide whether it will accept the new offer. (The Financial Times £, The Guardian)
Meanwhile, Elliott Capital Advisors, the activist hedge fund that has been agitating for a higher takeover offer for SABMiller, has lifted its stake in the FTSE 100 company, in an apparent signal it believes the brewer’s blockbuster deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev will not collapse. The investors increased its holding in SAB to 1.63%, from the 1.47% it disclosed last week. (The Telegraph)
Shoppers deserted the high street immediately after the vote for Brexit as uncertainty swept the nation. Retail sales, as measured by a regular survey carried out by the CBI, suffered their biggest fall in more than four years during the first weeks after the EU referendum on June 23 (The Times £). The CBI has blamed a post-Brexit mood of caution among consumers for the biggest fall in high street spending in more than four years (The Guardian).
Coca-Cola cut its sales forecast for this year as it struggles with a consumer slowdown in China, sending the drinks group’s shares down more than 3%. The Atlanta-based company expects sales, adjusted for acquisitions, divestitures and currency fluctuations, to rise 3%, compared with its earlier forecast of between 4-5%. (The Financial Times £)
Marston’s and Mitchells & Butlers, the UK pub operating groups, have both said the European football championships hit sales at their food-led pubs, as customers shunned dining in favour of watching the matches (The Financial Times £). However, Britons drank 31 million more pints between April and June than in the first three months of the year, as beer sales rose 1.5pc, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (The Telegraph).
MP Frank Field, the co-author of a parliamentary report into the demise of BHS, has called on the Serious Fraud Office to launch a formal inquiry into the actions of the department store chain’s former owners. (The Guardian)
McDonald’s plans to create more than 5,000 new jobs in the UK by the end of 2017, in a vote of confidence in the economy after the EU referendum. The company will open 25 new restaurants, extend opening hours at existing sites and introduce new initiatives such as table service. (The Guardian)
Wealthy drinkers in China are sipping cognac again, writes the FT. Sales of LVMH’s more ostentatious cognac brand were revived after a dry spell because of a crackdown on conspicuous quaffing. Better sales are one reason that French luxury goods group LVMH was able to report 3 per cent revenue growth in the first half of the year. (The Financial Times £)
Dozens of staff at the Byron Hamburgers chain of restaurants have been arrested in an immigration swoop. The Home Office has confirmed 35 nationals from Brazil, Nepal, Egypt and Albania were among those rounded up in the raid, which took place across London on the morning of 4 July. (The Guardian)
Forrest Mars Junior, the billionaire scion of the Mars confectionary empire, has died at the age of 84. (The Telegraph)