'Takeover Panel urged to intervene in Scottish & Newcastle bid'

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Related tags: Sainsbury's, Supermarket, Tesco

The acrimonious battle over the future ownership of Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) will take a fresh twist this week when the Takeover Panel is...

The acrimonious battle over the future ownership of Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) will take a fresh twist this week when the Takeover Panel is expected to intervene formally in the process. S&N is understood to have made an approach to the regulator within the past week demanding it issues a "put up or shut up" notice to a consortium of Carlsberg and Heineken, the putative bidders for the Scottish brewer. - Sunday Times

Somerfield, the grocery chain part-owned by property tycoon and Mitchells & Butlers' shareholder Robert Tchenguiz, plans to open 250 new stores over the next three years. Somerfield's private-equity owners have carried out a major restructuring of the business since the takeover. The new management slimmed its store portfolio, selling off about 600 shops, including 225 Kwik Save discount outlets; reduced head-office jobs from 1,800 to about 800 and closed six out of ten distribution centres. - Sunday Times

A teenage entrepreneur is attempting to counter the decline of beer drinking by launching the first real ale aimed specifically at women. Harriet Easton, 19, will this week unveil Harry's Beer, targeted at female drinkers. "Real ale has typically and consistently been marketed towards men with names full of cheesy puns and innuendo, and images of buxom wenches serving up frothy jugs," said the politics student at Newcastle University. "They can keep all that - there's no need to move on, lads - just move over." - Observer

"The main problem is not a lady drinking, but cheap alcohol," writes columnist Rachel Johnson. "As a special edition of Newsnight called "Boozenight" revealed last week, it is supermarkets using alcohol as a loss-leader to sucker in customers, selling lager at 22p a can (Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's all do this). After deducting excise, VAT and other costs and overheads, the supermarkets are making a deficit of 8p on each can… If supermarkets and so on are as serious about coddling their customers' health as they claim, they could always offer cut-price wholemeal bread, leafy greens, sprouts, fruit and other so-called 'superfoods' to make up for the fact that they are no longer actually giving away lager, an addictive and damaging intoxicant, for free." - Sunday Times

Related topics: Legislation

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