•   
  •   
  •   

World American investors are trying to buy a UK supermarket. Here's why

19:30  21 june  2021
19:30  21 june  2021 Source:   cnn.com

California and nearly a dozen other states want companies to reveal the financial risks of the climate crisis

  California and nearly a dozen other states want companies to reveal the financial risks of the climate crisis Corporate America must be compelled to fess up about the financial risks posed by the climate crisis, a coalition of state attorneys general told the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images In an aerial view, trees burned by a recent wildfire line the steep banks of Lake Oroville on June 01, 2021 in Oroville, California. As severe drought takes hold in California, firefighters are on high alert with risk of wildfire increasing. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 16 percent of California is in exceptional drought, the most severe level of dryness.

Britain's fourth biggest supermarket chain Morrisons has become the takeover target of an American private equity firm in the latest sign of a strong appetite among investors for UK assets.

a person standing in a room: A customer selects a piece of fresh fruit inside a Morrisons supermarket, operated by Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, in Saint Ives, England. © Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images A customer selects a piece of fresh fruit inside a Morrisons supermarket, operated by Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, in Saint Ives, England.

Morrisons confirmed over the weekend that New York-headquartered Clayton, Dubilier & Rice last week made an unsolicited offer of £2.30 ($3.19) per share in cash for the grocery retailer. That's a 29% premium to Morrisons' closing price on Friday, giving it a market value of around £5.5 billion ($7.6 billion).

Ga. Cashier Allegedly Killed by Customer in Mask Dispute Remembered as 'Good Person All Around'

  Ga. Cashier Allegedly Killed by Customer in Mask Dispute Remembered as 'Good Person All Around' Laquitta Willis had worked at Big Bear Supermarket for 10 years "Tucker then began shooting at a [DeKalb County Sheriff's Office] deputy who was attempting to intervene while working off-duty at the supermarket. The deputy and Tucker exchanged gunfire, and both were wounded during the shootout," the news release states. After exchanging gunfire with the officer, Tucker tried to crawl out of the supermarket but was arrested. Willis was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

Shares in the company surged more than 30% in London on Monday, taking the share price above the takeover offer and lifting other stocks in the sector. Sainsbury's and Ocado climbed over 4%, with Marks & Spencer rising nearly 3% and Tesco up more than 1%.

Morrisons rejected the proposal in its statement on Saturday, saying that it "significantly undervalued" the company and its future prospects. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice now has until July 17 to make a firm offer.

The move comes amid heightened investor activity in UK retail and a spate of takeover bids for British companies, undervalued for years because of poor returns linked to drab growth and a weak pound following the Brexit referendum of 2016.

In October, Walmart sold supermarket chain Asda to European private equity group TDR Capital and the founders of a global convenience store business. Separately, Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky recently increased his stake in Sainsbury's to 10%, adding to speculation that it could be the next takeover target.

MLB updates COVID protocols for vaccinated players, staff

  MLB updates COVID protocols for vaccinated players, staff Most notably, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be tested for COVID-19 unless they have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus. © Omar Ornelas via Imagn Content Services, LLC The handling of fully vaccinated individuals drew some attention last month after Nationals starter Erick Fedde tested positive for the coronavirus. Fedde, who had been fully vaccinated and was asymptomatic, was forced to go on the injured list. (Between his initial isolation period and subsequent rehab, he ultimately missed just more than three weeks of action.

Analysts are speculating that Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket chain, might also attract a buyer.

"The volume of liquidity, reflecting monetary policy, and the uptake of capital by family offices, high net worth investors and private equity, means that even Tesco, with its £18 billion ($25 billion) market capitalization, is not too big to be subject to an offer," Clive Black, head of research at Shore Capital said in a note on Monday.

Sainsbury's and Tesco, which benefited from a surge in demand during lockdowns, are now poised to benefit from a strong economic recovery in Britain following the pandemic. Analysts say shoppers are likely to continue eating more meals at home even with restaurants reopening, particularly as many offices remain closed.

Tesco CEO Ken Murphy told analysts on a call on Friday that online demand has been "incredibly resilient even with the easing of restrictions."

This week's best deals: Get two Echo Dots for $50 ahead of Amazon Prime Day

  This week's best deals: Get two Echo Dots for $50 ahead of Amazon Prime Day With Amazon Prime Day only a few days away, there are a bunch of early deals that Prime members can take advantage of. Two Echo Dots will cost you only $50 right now, while the Echo Show 5 is down to a record low of $45. Non-Prime members can grab the Nest Audio smart speaker for $75, the Beats Flex earbuds for only $39 or save $200 on the MacBook Pro M1. Here are the best tech deals from this week that you can still buy today. Echo Dot PrimePrime members can get two 4th-gen Echo Dots for $50 when using the code PDDOT2PK at checkout. There's a similar deal on the full-sized Echo, too — pick up two for $120 with the code ECHOPRIME, allowing you to get each for $60.

"We expect sales to remain well above pre Covid-19 level through the remainder of the year," he added.

Both leading retailers have also managed to keep costs under control, are generating large amounts of cash and have narrowed price gaps with German discounters Aldi and Lidl, according to Shore Capital's Black.

This could make them prime targets for the likes of Amazon, he added. "The Asda bid and the Kretinsky investment means that the topic of Amazon's plans will also be one of ongoing discussion around Sainsbury and Tesco," Black said.

The online retailer, which has been expanding its grocery offering since buying Whole Foods in 2017, already has a close relationship with Morrisons, which supplies its Prime and Pantry customers in the United Kingdom with dry, fresh and frozen products.

But the market is not betting on a rival bid from Amazon. "There is no indication in the [Morrisons] share price today that Amazon will come in and outbid Clayton, Dubilier & Rice," said Russ Mould, investment director at stockbroker AJ Bell.

With a languishing share price and over £7 billion ($9.7 billion) in assets, including a real estate portfolio worth more than the company's market value, Morrisons "ticks a lot of private equity boxes," he told CNN Business.

Best Prime Day 2021 deals: Windows 10 laptops

  Best Prime Day 2021 deals: Windows 10 laptops Here are the very best Windows 10 laptop deals for Amazon Prime Day 2021. Amazon Prime Day 2021: How to find the best deals

Returning to favor?

Investor interest in UK assets extends beyond grocers. There have been over 50 bids for listed UK companies in the last nine months, only six of which have since been abandoned, according to Mould.

The average premium offered has been 34%, indicating that many of these companies may be undervalued by the market following years of weak shareholder returns. Over the last 12 months, there have been 85 announced offers for UK-listed public companies with a combined value of $148 billion, 13 of which have failed, according to Dealogic data.

"The UK has consistently underperformed on the global stage since June 2016's Brexit vote and sterling has failed to regain the levels at which it traded before Britain decide to leave the EU," Mould said in a recent note. "That rotten effort may mean that UK stocks are unloved and therefore potentially undervalued," he added.

UK and European stock market indexes stand to benefit from the post-pandemic recovery, given the high representation of companies such as automakers and banks that perform well when the economy is on the upswing.

They may also offer better value for investors following much more robust gains in US indexes over the past decade, when European markets have been held back by a dearth of tech companies and lackluster economic growth in the region.

The FTSE 100 has climbed just 26% over the past decade, while Europe's STOXX 600 is up 85%. That compares with a gain of more than 230% for the S&P 500.

— Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.

The troubling tale of how Wall Street tried to exploit a crack in the structure of securities laws .
The SEC’s current response to the SPAC mania now seems to be tamping down the threat it has posed to the integrity of our financial system. Daniel J. Morrissey is a professor and former dean at Gonzaga University Law School.

usr: 4
This is interesting!