Retail news round-up: Out-of-town supermarkets will get a £200m business rate cut, and Kraft Heinz drops plan to buy Unilever

Supermarkets to get £200m business rate cut

The UK’s out-of-town supermarkets will get a £200m business rate cut, the Daily Mail reported.

The superstores and hypermarkets are expected to obtain a 1.7% reduction when the rates are revalued in April.

Analysis shows that smaller high-street retailers will be charged 3.7% more, which will cost them tens of millions pounds.

Superstores operated by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons will benefit from the business rates cuts owing to a fall in the value of out-of-town retail centres.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said the system is fair, with most businesses seeing a reduction or a freeze in how much they pay.

Kraft Heinz drops plan to buy Unilever

Kraft Heinz has withdrawn from its £115bn merger with Unilever, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The withdrawal came just hours after it emerged that Prime Minister Theresa May had ordered Downing Street officials to scrutinise a potential deal.

It is understood that the government had conversations with top executives at 3G Capital, the Brazilian private-equity firm behind Kraft Heinz.

On Sunday morning the companies were forced to accept there was no chance they would succeed within the 28-day deadline imposed by UK takeover rules.

Unilever’s chief executive Paul Polman had urged the company’s shareholders to not support Kraft Heinz’s advances, arguing that a takeover would destroy its long-term strategy.