Retail round-up on April 27, 2016: Edinburgh Woollen Mill chief mulls bid for BHS's stores and Fnac wins support from majority Darty shareholders.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill boss weighs bid for BHS as MPs poised to grill ex-owner
Edinburgh Woollen Mill chief executive Philip Day is thought to be eyeing a bid for a chunk of BHS’s stores, and could even keep the name alive, The Telegraph reported.
The move comes as MPs are likely to summon former BHS owner Sir Philip Green to answer questions in front of them about the collapse of the retailer into administration.
Frank Field MP, who chairs the Work and Pensions Committee, told news agencies that he was sure Sir Philip "will be invited to give evidence" about the BHS pension scheme, which is running a £571 million deficit.
The committee is set to probe “how the collapse the department store chain will affect the state-backed Pension Protection Fund and how the receipt of pension liabilities of BHS will impact on the increases in the levy that will now be placed on all other eligible employers to finance the scheme".
"We will then need to judge whether the law is strong enough to protect future pensioners' contracts in occupational schemes," Field said.
Fnac receives support from majority of Darty investors
Fnac said that it has won the support of a majority of Darty shareholders in a frenetic battle with Steinhoff-owned Conforama for control of the UK-listed electricals retailer.
The French retail chain upped its offer two days ago to 170p per share, valuing Darty’s issued share capital at £914m.
In a statement, Fnac said it now has 29.73% control of the Darty capital and holds or has “irrevocable undertakings” from shareholders representing 22.11% of Darty's capital, lifting total backing from Darty shareholders to 51.84%.
Asda forced to give written commitment to modify pricing tactics
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will publicly criticise Walmart-owned Asda over its pricing tactics, according to Sky News.
The competition watchdog will reveal today that it has forced the grocer to give a written commitment to pricing practices designed to clamp down on promotions such as multi-buys.
Asda is likely to be the only major supermarket chain singled out by the CMA in its latest update on industry promotional tactics since it responded to the Which? super-complaint last July.