A non-compete agreement has forced Tesco to delay the arrival of its new chief executive Ken Murphy (The Times £). Tesco boss Lewis was initially due to be replaced this summer by Walgreens Boots Alliance’s chief commercial officer Ken Murphy (The Daily Mail).
Advent International, which offloaded Poundland for £200m a decade ago, has teamed up with Hellman & Friedman and Mid Europa Partners to prepare a blockbuster €4.5bn bid for Poundland owner Pepco Group. (Sky News)
Imperial Brands has appointed a new chief executive from the car industry as it seeks to improve its efforts to keep up with rivals in the growing market for e-cigarettes (The Financial Times £). Imperial Brands has appointed the boss of Inchcape Stefan Bomhard as chief executive, but it could have to wait about six months before he takes charge (The Times £).
It is moot whether Ms Cooper ran out of puff after a decade, or disappointed shareholders ran out of patience, writes The FT. “Now it is for Mr Bomhard to succeed where she failed and carve out a future for the baccy business and flog its cigar division amid a dealmaking slowdown.” (The Financial Times £)
Boris Johnson has hinted at allowing genetically modified food to be imported from the US after Brexit as he called for an end to “hysterical” fears about American products coming to the UK as part of a trade deal. (The Guardian)
British farmers are not often called hysterical. For Boris Johnson to dismiss their concerns over food imports post-Brexit seems to show he is willing to see an influx of cheap, low-quality food that British farmers will not be able to compete with. (The Guardian)
The biggest operator of ferries in the Irish Sea has confirmed that there will be checks, inspections and some new infrastructure for trade, and it wants to know what the government will pay for. (The BBC)
The £10bn merger between Just East and Takeaway.com went ahead yesterday, despite an order from the Competition and Markets Authority to keep the two food delivery businesses separate pending its investigation. (The Times £)
Retail bosses left the industry in droves in 2019 as the high street reeled from a shopping slump, with departures surging to a seven-year high. A total of 55 chef executives quit last year as rising costs, sky-high business rates, the shift to online and uncertainty over Brexit triggered a wave of profit warnings, restructurings and collapses. (The Telegraph)
Japan Tobacco, the maker of Camel cigarettes outside the US, has launched a cigarette-sized menthol cigar in the UK that campaigners say is an attempt to evade an impending ban on flavoured cigarettes. (The Financial Times £)
US regulators are seeking to scupper Edgewell Personal Care’s planned purchase of shaving pioneer Harry’s on competition grounds, highlighting the obstacles facing legacy consumer goods groups as they try to revive growth through start-up acquisitions. (The Financial Times £)
A record 400,000 people worldwide signed up to the Veganuary movement this year, the campaign has revealed. (The Guardian)
US tobacco group Altria’s decision to write down its stake in Juul has raised the spectre of further revaluations at the venture groups, mutual funds and lenders with stakes in the private e-cigarette company. (The Financial Times £)