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Morrisons and Asda owner battle for McColl takeover

Morrisons has reportedly made a final bid for McColl’s Retail Group, disrupting the planned sale of the collapsed convenience store chain to Asda co-owner EG Group.

The last-minute offer arrived on Sunday May 8 and, according to the BBC, has now been met by EG Group with a revised proposal, which includes taking over the funding of McColl’s pension plans.

Accounting firm PwC is expected to become McColl’s administrator this morning (May 9). A sale to EG Group, co-owned by billionaire brothers Issa, was expected to follow soon after as the bailout deal originally offered by Morrisons was rejected by lenders late last week.

A spokesperson for Morrisons said the rejection was a “disappointing, damaging and unnecessary outcome”, saying the grocer’s proposal would have preserved the “vast majority” of jobs and stores.

However, the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket has since offered an improved deal, Sky News reports. The offer would see McColl’s lenders immediately repaid in full, in line with their primary demand.

Morrisons is already in partnership with McColl’s, as the convenience chain’s sole supplier of groceries, including the relaunched Safeway brand. About 200 of McColl’s 1,100 convenience stores and newsagents also sell under the Morrisons Daily brand.

Meanwhile, EG Group owns thousands of petrol stations and convenience stores in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Australia and the USA.

READ MORE: Morrisons and EG Group outline latest rival offers for McColl’s

The Body Shop forms the “Youth Collective” to help run the boardroom

The Body Shop has established a “youth collective” to provide its leadership team with insight into young people’s views and ideas and address the lack of diversity on boards.

The 12-person group will be made up equally of internal colleagues and members of other B Corporations, all under the age of 30.

Members will work alongside The Body Shop CEO David Boynton and the management team, offering their opinions on areas such as long-term strategy, campaigns and “blue sky” town hall discussions.

The model was tested by the company at Cop26 last year, following research showing that in 2020 the average age of a FTSE 150 board was over 59.

The retailer says the initiative demonstrates a “belief” that a more diverse range of voices and amplifying their perspectives in “spaces where they can make a real difference” will help “future-proof” the business, as well as developing the next generation of leaders.

“I believe that one of the most important roles of business leaders today is to ensure that we act as stewards of our businesses. We need to do everything we can to ensure they are fit to move on to the next generation of leaders,” CEO Boynton said.

“While we are not always comfortable with feedback from the Youth Collective, I am confident that creating a new formal mechanism for them to voice their opinions will be invaluable and will make us a better company. “

The group will meet with the board four times a year to discuss a given issue or discussion point and make recommendations.

The move is part of The Body Shop’s wider commitment to helping young people ‘be seen and heard’, which includes its UK campaign to secure the vote for 16-year-olds.

Scottish Power asks the government to intervene in the energy sector

gas cookersScottish Power CEO Keith Anderson has warned of massive energy poverty this winter and the collapse of other energy companies if the government does not offer households further bill relief.

Anderson told the BBC the government’s plan to give each household a loan of £200 towards their energy bill would not be enough as an expected rise in energy bills in October of between £2,500 and £3,000 per year could see suppliers suffer huge losses and many customers unable to pay their bills.

Anderson also warned regulator Ofgem that setting a new price cap too low could lead to new suppliers collapsing or foreign companies leaving the market, including Scottish Power’s parent company Iberdrola, a Spanish firm. .

Instead, he called on millions of households to see their energy bills cut by £1,000 in October. This could be paid for by adding £40billion to all household energy bills for the next decade, protecting the most vulnerable from fuel poverty, he said.

“We have to be realistic about how bad the situation is – around 40% of UK households, potentially 10 million households, could be in fuel poverty this winter,” Anderson explained.

Elsewhere, a survey of 41,000 people by finds that 25% of energy customers who were on credit and on capped tariffs saw their levies double or more, even though the price cap hike is set. at 54%. This figure rises to more than 30% of British Gas, Octopus Energy and Shell Energy customers.

READ MORE: Millions face winter bill hikes, energy boss warns

Peloton shares hit new low ahead of quarterly results

Shares of Peloton Interactive fell to an all time low on Friday May 6, despite the installation of former Spotify and Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy as CEO in February.

Shares of the fitness tech company fell more than 13% at one point to a low of $14.70 (£11.91), according to CNBC. At the end of the session, shares were down 8%.

By comparison, Peloton’s 2019 IPO price was $29 (£23.50). The company’s market capitalization has fallen from around $50bn (£40.5bn) at the start of 2021 to just under $5bn (£4.1bn) on Friday morning.

The share price drop follows a report in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday night reporting that Peloton is targeting potential investors to take a 15-20% stake in its business to help fund its turnaround.

After seeing demand for its home exercise equipment soar during the lockdown, a bigger than expected downturn in business as the pandemic subsided has left Peloton with a huge cost base that has squeezed profitability .

The company cut its outlook in November last year and is expected to report an adjusted EBITDA loss of $132.5m (£107.4m) in its third quarter results this week.

READ MORE: Peloton shares hit rock bottom as pressure mounts under new CEO Barry McCarthy

BT’s new brand campaign taps into horror tropes

BT has moved its broadband brand campaign into the horror genre with its latest evolution, which illustrates the benefits of its hybrid broadband backed by EE’s mobile network in the event of service dropout.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, “Broadband Nightmares” brings the struggles of internet abandonment to life through a father’s perspective. The spot opens with a router flashing with an orange light, before descending into a fake horror movie.

The ad ends with a photo of BT and EE routers side by side and the line: “Together, BT and EE give you unbreakable Wi-Fi. Only BT’s hybrid broadband is backed by EE, the best network United Kingdom mobile.

The 30-second TV spot will be accompanied by out-of-home activity and video-on-demand, as well as digital and social channels.

Pete Jeavoirs, director of marketing communications at BT and EE, says that with people spending more time at home as hybrid working increases, it has become “so important” to have reliable internet.

“Our new, refreshed campaign spotlights our unbreakable Halo 3+ hybrid broadband and reminds our customers and viewers that BT and EE provide the enviable connection needed to keep the day going,” he says.

The new campaign follows last year’s ‘Broadband Rage’, which promoted BT’s broadband as the UK’s first ‘unbreakable’ home Wi-Fi.

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