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UK News ALEX BRUMMER: Private equity threatens the nation's food security

01:50  22 june  2021
01:50  22 june  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

At home with the Welsh entrepreneur who flopped on The Apprentice but now runs a £16m business and drives a Ferrari

  At home with the Welsh entrepreneur who flopped on The Apprentice but now runs a £16m business and drives a Ferrari Alex Mills didn't manage to make the grade as Lord Sugar's business partner on The Apprentice. But within years he's gone from doing night shifts to running a huge company – and he's far from done yet Although he never reached the final Alex went on to found a company now worth £16m and splashed out on a Ferrari as soon as he could afford to. He's just made the 2021 Sunday Times Rich List and is listed alongside the likes of England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, girl band Little Mix, and popstar Ed Sheeran.

ALEX BRUMMER : Private equity curiosity in insurance coverage might be useful for policyholders if returns are improved. Throughout the Atlantic there’s growing regulatory concern over the best way through which private equity companies have swept up £286billion of insurance coverage firms. Hopefully, RSA has discovered a secure dwelling amongst recognised insurance coverage outfits even when the UK is sacrificing management in an important business and eroding the nation ’ s tax base. Of extra concern is the latest tendency for insurance coverage belongings to fall into private equity palms.

ALEX BRUMMER : Private equity interest in insurance could be beneficial for policyholders if returns are improved. Across the Atlantic there is increasing regulatory concern over the way in which private equity firms have swept up £286billion of insurance companies. New private equity owners have been switching out Hopefully, RSA has found a safe home among recognised insurance outfits even if the UK is sacrificing leadership in a vital industry and eroding the nation ' s tax base. Of more concern is the recent tendency for insurance assets to fall into private equity hands. In a short period of time, Bain

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The leap in Morrisons shares reminds one of the City adage that in the end it is all about price. At one level this is true.

The revised market valuations, for not just Morrisons but for the whole grocery sector, speak loudly to how the markets can be wrong.

What has been missed is the way the grocers and food supply industry played a blinder in the pandemic. The rise of their tech-driven delivery services has been amazing.

a man is crossing the street in front of a building: ( © Provided by This Is Money (

Morrisons is part of the trend, with digital sales up a phenomenal 119 per cent in the last quarter.

Private equity marauders Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CDR) obviously feel they have an ace in the hole with the assault of Morrisons, in the shape of former Tesco boss Terry Leahy.

ALEX BRUMMER: The Australia free trade deal opens up a new frontier

  ALEX BRUMMER: The Australia free trade deal opens up a new frontier A visitor from Mars trying to understand the UK trade deal with Australia agreed by Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) might receive a misleading impression. Relentless lobbying by the National Farmers Union, assisted by the BBC’s Farming Today programme, would lead them to think that such a deal was an existential threat for UK agriculture and food quality.When, as the son of a Sussex farmer, I questioned whether so much attention to a sector accounting for 0.

Private equity vultures with bulging wallets and a willingness to use debt are bargain hunting. St Modwen, chaired by Danuta Gray (a rare firm with a female chair and chief executive), is a case in point. Targeted by Stephen Schwarzman’ s sprawling Blackstone group, which made a half-dozen offers before Blackstone is not the only private equity firm looking for bargain properties. Bain Capital has come together with Reef Technology to seize control of car parking giant NCP, built by war hero Donald Gosling. The initiative, vision and entrepreneurship of a post-war generation of developers is being

Private equity vultures with bulging wallets and a willingness to use debt are bargain hunting. St Modwen, chaired by Danuta Gray (a rare firm with a female chair and chief executive), is a case in point. Targeted by Stephen Schwarzman’ s sprawling Blackstone group, which made a half-dozen offers before Blackstone is not the only private equity firm looking for bargain properties. Bain Capital has come together with Reef Technology to seize control of car parking giant NCP, built by war hero Donald Gosling. The initiative, vision and entrepreneurship of a post-war generation of developers is being

The taciturn Liverpudlian has great foresight. He saw superstores, the switch to convenience shopping and the lure of the Pacific long before anyone mentioned global Britain. But it is a mistake to put himself front and centre in an attempt to take Morrisons off the public shelves and hide it away in a dark store.

Morrisons lacks heft in the convenience space. Leahy plans to deliver this by taking it private and linking it with the 900 service station Motor Fuel Group he looks after. That looks back to front.

What differentiates Morrisons from the pack is its Northern credentials and its critical role in Britain’s food production. It owns 19 food production centres supplying its near 500 stores with meat, eggs and flour.

Most of this is sourced from British farms. As such, it is responsible for some 25 per cent of the UK’s food production, making it the second largest supplier in the nation.

Alex Scott shows off her honed physique in form-fitting black bodysuit

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Private equity vultures with bulging wallets and a willingness to use debt are bargain hunting. St Modwen, chaired by Danuta Gray (a rare firm with a female chair and chief executive), is a case in point. Targeted by Stephen Schwarzman’ s sprawling Blackstone group, which made a half-dozen offers before Blackstone is not the only private equity firm looking for bargain properties. Bain Capital has come together with Reef Technology to seize control of car parking giant NCP, built by war hero Donald Gosling. The initiative, vision and entrepreneurship of a post-war generation of developers is being

ALEX BRUMMER : Private equity vultures pose a threat to Britain's innovative property developers 16/06/21. ALEX BRUMMER : As much as we may value UK farming, the Australia free trade deal opens up a new frontier 15/06/21. As Mr Hammond enjoyed pointing out to the exasperated Labour front benches, the nation ’ s factories are enjoying their longest unbroken run of growth for some five decades. With all the gloom and doom that laces the language of the Left and the Remainers, it is easy to forget that Britain has seen positive growth in every year since 2010.

In the last few weeks the farm and food lobby in Britain has bleated endlessly about the threat of the Aussie trade deal.

The National Farmers Union and others will have much more to worry about if private equity, laden with debt, grabs hold of a large part of UK’s grocery supply chain, threatening the nation’s food security.

David Novak, who heads CDR operations, has a history of working with family-founded firms such as B&M. But the late Ken Morrison’s heirs control just 5 per cent of the enterprise he is targeting.

The company’s biggest investor is the enigmatic asset manager Silchester, which built up a 15 per cent stake which suddenly has become very valuable. Legal & General has sent an important early signal by opposing the current offer.

CDR wants to test the political vibes with its unsolicited bud worth 230p a share, or £5.52billion – or more than £8.7billion when debt is added.

Boris Johnson's food waste tsar BEN ELLIOT on his 'leftover Mondays'

  Boris Johnson's food waste tsar BEN ELLIOT on his 'leftover Mondays' BEN ELLIOT: Take only what you want to eat. Waste not, want not. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach… These expressions formed the background to every mealtime. They were family catchphrases, drilled into us by parents who understood the real value of food. Food was prized, and waste was abhorrent.But the further away we move from that generation, the more the idea of food waste has become acceptable. We are now in a situation – as this paper has so brilliantly highlighted with its War On Food Waste campaign – where a third of the food we buy is thrown away. That's 4.

ALEX BRUMMER : Predictably, the unions have chosen the coming weeks - just after schools break up - to hold a series of walk-outs that will sabotage family holidays. For the greed of airport bosses and of the private equity and foreign owners of UK airports is a major factor. Many bosses receive controversial financial packages and airport owners are ruthlessly ramping up profits. Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye was given a pay rise of 103.2 per cent last year — receiving £4.2 million.

Private equity vultures with bloated wallets and willingness to take advantage of debt are looking for bargains. St. Modwen, chaired by Danuta Gray, a rare company with a women’ s chair and CEO, is a good example. Gray and her fellow director of St. Modwen, who were targeted by Stephen Blackstone is not the only private equity company looking for bargains. Bain Capital, in collaboration with Reef Technology, has taken control of the parking giant NCP built by war hero Donald Gosling. Postwar developer initiatives, visions, and entrepreneurship are easily handed over to secretive and

By so doing it has placed itself in the firing line of Red Wall Tory MPs, the farming and food production industry and those interested in the nation’s food security. No deal for Morrisons should escape full scrutiny.

Whether CDR or any future bidder has the stomach for a public, high-profile and bare knuckle fight is yet to be fully tested.

Dog fight

Senior plc chairman Ian King has a history of failing to resist overseas takeovers.

As chief executive of BAE he was defeated in the attempt to merge Britain’s top defence contractor BAE with Airbus maker EADS.

On a mini-scale he has been better at aerospace components maker Senior, having turned back four offers from private equity outfit Lone Star Global.

The latest, described as the fifth and final, is worth 200p a share, and values Senior at £838.8million.

If King and his board accept, they will join a gallery of shame which has sold UK aerospace industry down the river.

Among those taking the shilling from the locusts are Cobham, Inmarsat and private jet services firm Signature Aviation.

Even if the board does capitulate that should not be the end. The Lone Star bid should fall directly under the purview of the National Security & Investment Act and could take months, if not longer, to clear.

By then the crisis in the skies, which attracted low-ball offers, could be over.

Life saver

Glaxosmithkline boss Emma Walmsley will seek to defend the pharma champion against the destabilising efforts of activist investor Elliott this week.

So it is useful that it has just revealed that a new compound, sotrovimab, developed with Vir Biotechnology, reduces hospitalisations and cuts adult death rates among Covid-19 patients.

Every little helps.

Read more

Offshore tax fears over deal for Morrisons .
The grocer is bracing itself for a fresh offer from US group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice after an initial bid was rejected. It is feared that a private equity buyout could see Morrisons' tax base shifted out of the UK. © Provided by This Is Money ( Asda – one of Britain's 'Big Four' supermarkets alongside Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury's – has already fallen into private equity hands after a £6.8billion takeover by the Issa brothers backed by TDR Capital. Mohsin and Zuber Issa had arranged for Asda to be legally owned in the offshore tax haven of Jersey. CD&R has not yet made a formal approach for Morrisons.

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