News – UK – Media Bites 22 February: Caffè Nero, John Lewis Partnership, business rates


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Asda billionaire owners are trying to launch a bold raid on Caffè Nero by taking part of their 350 million debt stake Buy GBP Brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa reached out to coffee chain lenders to build a position that would allow them to take control of a debt-versus-equity swap if Caffè Nero were forced to restructure its loans (The Times £, The Telegraph)

The John Lewis Partnership prepares to close another line of department stores as chairwoman Dame Sharon White takes more drastic measures to cut costs (The Times £) John Lewis Partnership could lead the ax to a number of regional department stories as the pandemic sends shoppers online (The Telegraph) John Lewis is believed to be considering a new round of store closures, underscoring the toll the pandemic is taking on the abandoned Britain’s main roads calls for (The Guardian) John Lewis prepares to shut down up to eight more department stores to cut costs after narrowly avoiding his first loss in 101 years (The Daily Mail)

Archaic business rates in the UK must change if retail is to survive, writes M&S boss Steve Rose in the FT. “The pandemic has made many popular brands disappear. It has also exposed the urgent need for a fairer and more sustainable tax system create that is less ownership-based and not one-way ”(The Financial Times £) Head of Marks & Spencer has urged the Chancellor to use the corporate tax hike to revise business rates and save the high street (The Daily Mail)

Treasury Department will postpone its review of business rates until the end of this year, the results will now be released this fall when the UK’s economic situation is expected to clear (Sky News) Post-Covid economic recovery could be hampered by delaying corporate rate reforms, industry groups have argued after the Chancellor confirmed he will publish his plan later than expected (The Telegraph)

British shoppers, like British businesses, need more reassurance from the Chancellor, writes The Guardian. Terrifying retail sales mean the Treasury Department needs to build more confidence in weak businesses and consumers (The Guardian)

Retail sales fell much further than expected last month as the main street lockdown restrictions caused even more damage (The Times £)

Parsley Box, an online convenience store for over 60s, is investigating a £ 80m float that would make its founders a multi-million pound fortune (The Times £)

The secret billionaires behind Home Bargains have paid £ 158m dividend as profit at the discounter rose in the first lock (The Times £) The highly private discounter Home Bargains paid its billionaire £ 158m dividend – but declined yesterday to say if vacation was accepted at business rates double (The Daily Mail)

Two Ocado directors bought shares in the company last week, taking advantage of a fall in prices after a mixed full-year result for 2020 was released (The Financial Times £)

On the CMA investigation of the Asa brothers and TDR Capital’s acquisition of Asda, The Times writes, “Industry sources say the regulator will be most concerned about whether the new owners will raise fuel prices the forecourt of Asda will increase and whether their rapidly growing empire is becoming an unduly dominant force in the gas station market ”(The Times £)

While electric vehicle drivers appreciate the convenience, the Gridserve prototype can set off the alarm for owners of old-fashioned petrol stations and is facing the biggest change the industry has ever seen. Like automakers, forecourt operators are also in a race to win an overhaul of their operations and to prevent a ban on the sale of vehicles that run exclusively on petrol or diesel from 2030 (The Times £)

Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber has defended his turnaround plan at the French consumer goods manufacturer, which has been targeted by a group of dissatisfied shareholders (The Financial Times £)

UK manufacturing activity growth fell to a nine-month low in February as Brexit trade barriers hampered the sector’s exports and its ability to secure raw materials and components from overseas This was the result of a closely watched survey (The Financial Times £)

High street giant Marks & Spencer is set to embark on a one-off overhaul of its apparel strategy by adding a range of top fashion brands alongside its own ranges (The Daily Mail)

Coronavirus has caused a “gradual change in consumer behavior” according to the UK’s largest publicly traded property company (The Financial Times £) and will result in a permanent shift towards more online shopping Changing consumer habits and supply chain disruptions during the pandemic have resulted in record spikes in demand for warehouse space, Britain’s largest publicly traded property company said yesterday (The Times £)

Asda’s new owners have been urged to revise the supermarket’s strategy after its Christmas season performance lagged behind its competitors

A major shareholder of the French consumer goods group Danone has urged its directors to oust the chairman and managing director Emmanuel Faber, stop a planned restructuring of the group that he advocated and sell underperforming brands that account for 15% of sales >

Petcare was the group’s outstanding performer The premium brands Purina Pro Plan, Purina One and Felix drove the category towards organic growth

Walmart’s sale of Asda to a consortium backed by TDR Capital is the latest in a series of private equity interventions in the UK food sector, according to Equistone’s Paul Harper

Lucky Saint will use the funds to increase brand awareness and drive retail testing, as well as investing in people and marketing

Caffè Nero, Mohsin Issa, Asda Stores Limited, EG-Gruppe, Zuber Issa

News – GB – Media bites 22 February: Caffè Nero, John Lewis Partnership, business rates
Associated title :
Issa Brothers buy Caffè Nero& loans worth 180 million GBP
Asda owners considering splitting off fashion label George
Media Bites 22 February: Caffè Nero, John Lewis Partnership, Business Rates