McColls has emerged as the unlikely kingmaker in Sainsbury’s swoop on Nisa, as it considers severing its links with the convenience store supplier, according to a story in Saturday’s Telegraph. The c-store group is Nisa’s biggest customer, accounting for around two-fifths of sales, as well as a shareholder. The paper writes that McColls wants Sainsbury’s to sweeten its £130m bid for Nisa and it could seek new suppliers if terms are not improved. The article adds that senior Sainsbury’s and McColls executives met on Friday to discuss the future of Nisa.
The papers also picked up on the latest annual results released by Nisa. The Observer notes that the c-store chain denied staff an annual bonus despite hitting performance targets. Last week, 280 staff at Nisa’s Scunthorpe head office were told there would be no bonus payment despite the company reporting an 18% increase in underlying profits to £8.6m. The board’s decision is said to have dented morale at the company, according to the paper.
Losses at Pizza Express reached £17m in the period before the departure of chief executive Richard Hodgson, The Telegraph says. Hodgson resigned from the top job at the end of May as the restaurant chain announced a second annual drop in UK sales. Accounts filed at Companies House showed Pizza Express made a loss of £17m before tax in the 18 months to the end of 2016, compared to a £10m loss in the previous year.
The Telegraph has a profile of Innocent as it visits the juice brands’ offices in Ladbroke Grove. The company is now Britain’s largest chilled juices maker, ahead of Tropicana, and western Europe’s fastest-growing soft drinks brand, pipping Red Bull. “To become the biggest in the market, an aim you’ve been going after for 18 years, on your 18th birthday is something quite special,” says CEO Douglas Lamont.
The Great British Bake Off will be ‘product-placement-free’ following its move to Channel 4, according to The Observer. The paper writes the channel is currently in negotiations with advertisers to cook up at least £25m a year from a range of commercial deals to cover the cost of poaching the biggest show on British TV from the BBC, but it will not offer advertisers the chance to pay for product placement in the show.
Hedge funds have bet more than £3bn against Britain’s biggest retail names as fears grow about a slowdown in consumer spending and the health of bricks and mortar retail chains, The Telegraph writes. High street stalwarts Marks & Spencer and Debenhams, pet chain Pets at Home and grocers Morrisons and Ocado are five of the 10 most-shorted stocks in the UK.
The Telegraph examines the tobacco industry a decade after the smoking ban came in to force and declares that the industry’s real fight begins now.
Abraaj Group, an emerging markets focused fund group, has agreed to buy African coffee chain Java House from private equity rival Emerging Capital Partners and Kevin Ashley, the Nairobi-based company’s executive chairman (The Financial Times).
Former Nestlé executive – and CEO – Peter Brabeck-Letmathe maps out a future role for Big Food in disease prevention in a report entitled Nutrition for a Better Life (The Financial Times).