Retail news round-up on March 24, 2014: BHS will undercut the grocers on food, Dixons and Carphone ask for deadline extension on merger talks, Sainsbury’s wins judicial review over Tesco ‘Price Promise’ complaint and more.
BHS Food will undercut the grocers, says Sir Philip Green
Sir Philip Green has entered the supermarket price war by vowing to undercut Tesco with his new BHS Food venture.
BHS will start selling food in its Staines and Warrington stores and Green told The Daily Mail it will be 10% cheaper than the UK’s largest grocers when it launches.
If the BHS Food venture is successful, Green plans to roll it out to 140 department stores.
Dixons and Carphone set to ask deadline extension for merger talks
Dixons and Carphone Warehouse are set to ask the Takeover Panel to extend the deadline to the negotiations for their £4bn merger, The Telegraph reported. It is understood that Dixons and Carphone Warehouse will look for an extension until May. It is thought that the companies have agreed that Sir Charles Dunstone, the founder and chairman of Carphone Warehouse, would chair the new company, while Sebastian James, boss of Dixons Retail, would be chief executive.
Sainsbury’s wins judicial review over Tesco ‘Price Promise’ battle
Sainsbury’s has won the right to a judicial review over its battle to prove that Tesco’s ‘Price Promise’ is misleading.
Sainsbury’s complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about Tesco’s campaign which claimed that its products were cheaper than equivalent products at its rivals. It said that the ‘Price Promise’ did not compare like for like products because Sainsbury’s were superior or had been ethically sourced.
In July last year the ASA ruled that Tesco’s campaign was fair but Sainsbury’s disputed the ruling and last week the High Court ruled there were grounds for a judge to review the decision.
Tesco front-runners to acquire Co-operative Group’s pharmacy business
Tesco is set to be one of the front-runners to buy the Co-operative Group’s pharmacy business, it has emerged. Co-op is expected to raise around £600m from the sale of the business as licences to operate pharmacies are hard to obtain.
Other major supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Asda are also expected to eye the business as securing more pharmacy licences would enable them to build out further into the lucrative market for cosmetics, skincare and personal health.
Temasek Holdings agrees to buy 24.9% stake in Superdrug parent A.S. Watson
Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings has agreed to acquire just under a quarter of health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson for about $5.7bn (£4.76bn) in what would be its single biggest investment, Reuters reported.
The 24.9% stake purchase in Superdrug-owner A.S. Watson, is part of Temasek’s aggressive reshaping of its $170bn portfolio to ensure higher returns by increasing its exposure to unlisted companies. Billionaire Li’s Hutchison Whampoa, who owns A.S. Watson, had planned to list part of the retailer in an initial public offering slated for this year and which would have been the world’s biggest retail sector IPO.
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