Media Bites Oct 13: THG, Glaxosmithkline, Retail | New

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A presentation to key investors meant to quell the city’s nervousness about The Hut Group backfired dramatically yesterday when it was followed by a barrage of sell orders and 1.9 billion of pounds sterling has been erased from the value of the company (The time £). THG lost a third of its value on Tuesday after an investor presentation backfired and its CEO claimed the online retailer was under a ‘short attack’ from hedge funds betting against his actions (The Financial Times £). Shares of The Hut Group plunged by more than a third on Tuesday after a disastrous meeting between founder Matthew Molding and City shareholders (The telegraph). Online retailer THG’s plans to garner shareholder support for its strategy backfired dramatically on Tuesday after an investor day sparked a sell-off that wiped out a third of its share price (The Guardian). The founder of the Hut Group admitted “it hasn’t been a good day” after stocks slumped 35% after a failed investor presentation (The daily mail)

Alistair Osborne in The Times writes, “No one shorts a business for no reason. And Molding, owner of 22% of the capital, has just given even more ammunition to its detractors. He entered the presentation complaining about the shorts … (The time £)

Nils Pratley in The Guardian writes: “The ‘capital markets event’ for investors has been unofficially touted as Molding’s retaliation against the nasty short sellers, who were said to have bludgeoned stocks last month. Instead, THG, or The Hut Group as it was, only appears to have given its skeptics more ammo. “(The Guardian)

Private equity groups are plotting a coup on the consumer arm of Glaxosmithkline in what could be the biggest buyout industry takeover in history. (The daily mail)

Fears grow over Christmas stock shortages after Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, was forced to turn down ships from Asia due to backlog of containers caused by shortage of drivers heavy goods vehicles (The Guardian). The situation at the UK’s largest commercial port is ‘improving’ and Britons should shop normally for Christmas, a minister said (Sky News).

The fuel crisis has pushed shoppers to save on gasoline by reducing the number of trips they made to supermarkets last month, although visits to grocery stores in the south of England have climbed by two-thirds (The time £). Retailers saw their post-pandemic recovery stall in September as sales slowed to their weakest performance since January, when businesses were subject to heavy lockdown restrictions, new figures show (The daily mail).

UK economic growth picked up in August as bars, restaurants and festivals enjoyed a first full month without COVID restrictions in England, official figures show (Sky News). The UK economy grew 0.4% in August as more people dined out, went on vacation and attended music festivals (BBC).

Leading UK food industry organizations have called for greater scrutiny of private supermarket chains following recent acquisitions of two of the UK’s top grocers. (The Financial Times £)

The maker of China’s best-selling soy sauce brand is raising prices, in the latest sign of inflationary pressures in the world’s second-largest economy. Foshan Haitian Flavoring and Food Co has announced that it will increase the prices of its product line by up to 7% later this month. (BBC)

There are nearly 10,000 fewer licensed establishments in Britain since the start of the coronavirus pandemic – with a rush of closures since the summer despite a reopening of the economy, according to a report. (Sky News)

Overseeing billions of pounds of taxpayer dollars was an easier task than making a profit for John Lewis, its president Dame Sharon White said last night. (The telegraph)

A law firm is seeking a class action lawsuit against Amazon over the rights of employees of delivery drivers. (BBC)

Some of America’s favorite snacks, from Kellogg’s frosty flakes to Nabisco’s Oreo cookies, were taken in a race by factory workers for better working conditions after being pushed to the brink during the pandemic . (The Financial Times £)


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