The American owner of Boots has offered to retain a stake of up to 30% in the pharmacy chain to smooth the path towards a £7bn sale, amid concerns war in Ukraine will hamper buyers’ ability to raise debt financing. (The Times £)

Camelot, the UK’s National Lottery operator, is launching a legal challenge over the decision to award the competition’s next licence to the Czech gambling group Allwyn, accusing the regulator of getting the outcome “badly wrong” (The Financial Times £). Camelot claimed that the Gambling Commission had got the selection of a new National Lottery operator “badly wrong” as it confirmed that it had issued a court challenge to its defeat by a Czech billionaire (The Times £). Camelot’s boss said he was “shocked” by the decision and claimed the watchdog had “got this decision badly wrong” (Sky News).

The Czech billionaire who won the battle to take over the National Lottery is in line for a $750m (£572m) jackpot when he lists his company in New York in a $9.3 billion deal (The Times £).

Marks & Spencer is expected to confirm next month that its joint food delivery venture with Ocado is meeting performance targets, triggering a payment of almost £200m to Ocado. (The Daily Mail)

A row has erupted between BrewDog and a human resources consultancy that offered to improve relations between the beer brand and its staff (The Times £). City grandee Allan Leighton has weighed into a row over the ‘toxic’ culture at Scottish beer company BrewDog after he launched an extraordinary tirade against a Berlin-based human resources consultancy Hand & Heart that had offered to help mediate with disgruntled staff (The Daily Mail).

The biggest cooking oil bottler for UK shops has said it only has a few weeks’ supply of sunflower oil left. Ukraine and Russia produce most of the world’s sunflower oil and the war is disrupting exports, said Edible Oils (The BBC). The taste of your favourite crisps, oven chips, and cereal bars is set to change soon, as manufacturers are reworking recipes amid a sunflower oil shortage caused by the war in Ukraine (Sky News).

Cadbury faces child labour claims on its cocoa farms as probe allegedly shows some workers harvesting crops are as young as 10. Footage has emerged showing youngsters with machetes cutting down cocoa pods on farms in Ghana that supply Mondelez International. (The Daily Mail)

Dairy farmers have held crisis talks in Brussels over soaring costs and supply chain disruption, as the industry warns the price of a pint will jump by 50%. (The Telegraph)

The mood among consumers about their finances has fallen to its lowest level since the first Covid-19 lockdown, according to a new survey. (The Times £)

Ripflation will stoke the wrath of hard-pressed consumers, writes Oliver Shah in The Times. “Buoyant share prices will unlock big executive bonuses. Any perception that bosses are raking in paydays funded by above-inflation price hikes would be socially toxic when families face rising council tax, energy bills and national insurance payments.” (The Times £)

“This has been the most challenging period in living memory for food businesses,” says Noble Foods chairman Chris Bull. Consumer goods firms face a ‘relentless combination of pressures’ – all they can do is keep going. (The Telegraph)

Compass Group’s investors were unnerved by the read-across from the results of the catering and food services group Sodexo. In its half-year results, Sodexo, the world’s second-largest food catering services group behind Compass, warned that the road to recovery after the pandemic would not be so smooth. (The Times £)

Tesco has put up signs in its produce aisles advising customers that a small amount of dust had settled on its Spanish crops. Spain, which is a major produce supplier to the UK, bore the brunt of the storm, with iceberg and little gem lettuce, celery and peppers among the affected crops. (The Guardian)

Cucumbers may be cool but growing them takes warmth. That is increasingly problematic in chilly northern Europe. The soaring cost of natural gas has tipped its greenhouse growers into crisis. Shoppers should be braced for shortages and higher prices. (The Financial Times £)

WH Smith providing home delivery should be an April Fool, writes Matthew Lynn in The Telegraph. “Home delivery is the biggest bubble out there at the moment. True, there is a market for pizza and curry. But right now companies are scraping the bottom of the barrel for stuff that can be put on a bike.” (The Telegraph)