Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada J Sainsbury PLC Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada J Sainsbury PLC RSS feed en Mon, 20 May 2019 21:44:51 -0400 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Mon, 20 May 2019 10:05:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 17 May 2019 08:00:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Mon, 13 May 2019 11:15:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Mon, 13 May 2019 06:10:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Wed, 01 May 2019 10:00:02 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Wed, 01 May 2019 03:23:58 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Final Results ]]> Wed, 01 May 2019 02:00:06 -0400 <![CDATA[News - Sainsbury's and Walmart's Asda abandon merger after competition watchdog rejects deal ]]> J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) and Walmart Inc's (NYSE:WMT) Asda have abandoned plans to merge after the UK competition watchdog rejected the proposed deal.  

Following a phase two investigation, the UK Competition and Markets Authority concluded that the deal would result in a “substantial lessening of competition” in areas where Asda and Sainsbury’s both have supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations.

READ: UK competition watchdog expected to block merger of Sainsbury's and Asda

The CMA said it found “extensive competition concerns” including price rises and a worsening of quality, range or service for customers.

“We therefore prohibited the merger in its entirety,” it said.

In response, Sainsbury’s and Asda said they have mutually agreed to terminate the deal.

CMA 'taking £1bn out of customers' pockets', says Sainsbury's boss

Sainsbury's chief executive, Mike Coupe, said the reason for wanting to merge was to lower prices for customers.

“The CMA's conclusion that we would increase prices post-merger ignores the dynamic and highly competitive nature of the UK grocery market,” he said.

“The CMA is today effectively taking £1 billion out of customers' pockets.”

The CMA’s decision to block the merger was widely expected.

In February, the CMA indicated that it would rule against the proposed merger as it raised competition concerns in provisional findings of its investigation.

To alleviate the CMA’s worries, the companies agreed to sell up to 150 supermarkets, several convenience stores and a “sufficient number” of petrol stations.

They also promised to slash prices by £1bn each year by the third year after completing the merger.

In morning trading, shares in Sainsbury's dropped 6% to 212.70.

What's next for Sainsbury's? 

"The real worry for Sainsbo’s is what now? Sainsbury's is the squeezed middle, losing market share to discounters and simultaneously losing out to more premium brands. While Aldi and Lidl consistently gain market share and Tesco rebounds, Sainsbury’s is feeling the pinch. The worry is that it had no credible plan except this merger," said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at

Wilson said the recent performance in stores has been less than impressive. Like for like sales, excluding fuel, declined 1.1% in the third quarter. 

"At a time of gently rising inflation and improving real wages Sainsbury’s ought to be enjoying growth in group sales," Wilson said. 

"There have been for some time question marks over the store offering and presentation, which is starting to look like a persistent problem. Following the Argos takeover and proposal to merge with Asda, there is a clear sense management is taking its eye off the basics, albeit grocery sales did rise 0.4%."

Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:17:00 -0400
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Statement re. Proposed Merger ]]> Thu, 25 Apr 2019 02:03:17 -0400 <![CDATA[News - UK competition watchdog expected to block merger of Sainsbury's and Asda ]]> The UK competition watchdog is expected to block the proposed merger of Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) and Walmart Inc's (NYSE:WMT) Asda when it announces its final decision on the deal on Thursday.

In February, the UK Competition and Markets Authority suggested it was leaning towards rejecting the merger after provisional findings of its investigation raised “extensive competition concerns”.

READ: Sainsbury's likely to receive bad news from CMA on proposed Asda merger, says Jefferies

Concerns included higher food and petrol prices in markets where both companies have supermarkets and petrol stations, as well as reduced quality and choice for customers.

To alleviate the CMA’s worries, the companies agreed to sell up to 150 supermarkets, several convenience stores and a “sufficient number” of petrol stations.

They also promised to slash prices by £1bn each year by the third year after completing the merger.

However, many analysts predict the CMA will still block the deal.

JP Morgan and Jefferies expect CMA to rule against merger

JP Morgan said the CMA will either block the merger or state a conditional approval subject to the agreement of remedies.

“We think the former is significantly more likely, but both scenarios could ultimately lead Sainsbury and Asda to abandon the idea of the merger,” it said.

JP Morgan sees Sainsbury’s shares falling towards its 190p price target after the CMA announces its decision.

READ: Asda overtakes Sainsbury's as UK's second largest supermarket ahead of CMA's merger decision

Jefferies also sees the CMA ruling against the deal.

“In reality, we struggle to assume anything beyond a 20% chance of a drastic rethink by the CMA,” the broker said.

It added: “In addition, a recourse by the two grocers to a judicial review is not necessarily a given, and will need to reflect the balance of probability of success and the lengthy timetable that such an action would imply.”

CMA decision to overshadow Sainsbury's full year results 

The CMA's decision will come just days before Sainsbury's full year results statement on May 1.

JP Morgan said the quality of earnings, cash flow and current trading momentum will likely disappoint.

The investment bank cut its free cash flow prospects by about 15% on average for 2019-21 due to higher ‘exceptionals’ and headwinds.

Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:48:00 -0400
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 23 Apr 2019 08:30:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Mon, 01 Apr 2019 11:00:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 22 Mar 2019 08:30:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Wed, 20 Mar 2019 11:30:03 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Statement re proposed merger with Asda Group Ltd ]]> Tue, 19 Mar 2019 06:00:03 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> Fri, 08 Mar 2019 06:00:01 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Fri, 01 Mar 2019 09:30:01 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 22 Feb 2019 08:00:03 -0500 <![CDATA[News - Sainsbury's plunges as UK regulators leaning towards blocking £10bn Asda merger ]]> J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY) saw its shares plunge on Wednesday after UK regulators hinted they are swaying towards blocking the supermarket giant's proposed £10bn merger with Wal-Mart Inc (NYSE:WMT) owned Asda after an in-depth investigation found “extensive competition concerns”.

Provisional findings from the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) probe suggested that the tie-up between the UK’s second and third largest food retailers could lead to a “worse experience” for shoppers both in-store and online.

READ: Sainsbury’s could absorb at least 132 store closures, says UBS

Top of their fears was that food and petrol prices could rise, while the quality and number of product ranges offered could reduce. Overall, the CMA found that any deal could lead to a “sUBStantial lessening of competition”, especially in areas where Sainsbury’s and Asda stores overlap.

In reaction, Sainsbury's shares  tumbled 13.2% lower to 249.80p, while rival food retailers also fell with Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW) - seen as a possible beneficiary from merger store sell-offs - shedding 4.6% at 229p, and market leader Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) down 0.3% at 227p.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown commented: “The supermarkets will now have to bend over backwards if they want to proceed with the merger, and even then, wouldn’t be guaranteed a favourable ruling from the CMA.

“The thorny issue of competition in the online delivery market also means they may have to get rid of one of the brands, reducing their ability to target different customer bases.

They also have to find a suitable buyer for the assets on sale, one who is big enough to provide proper competition in the eyes of the regulator.”

In a statement reacting to the CMA news, Sainsbury’s said it “fundamentally disagree[d]” with the findings and would continue to make its case in the coming weeks.

“These [findings] misunderstand how people shop in the UK today and the intensity of competition in the grocery market,” read their response.

“Combining Sainsbury's and Asda would create significant cost savings which would allow us to lower prices. Despite the savings being independently reviewed by two separate industry specialists, the CMA has chosen to discount them as benefits.”

Three options now

The CMA said there were now three options on the table:

it could block the merger entirely it could force Sainsbury’s and Asda to sell off a “significant number of stores” or, it could make the pair sell off other assets – including one of the Sainsbury’s or Asda brands

UBS analysts have previously said that the deal would still be worthwhile for Sainsbury’s and Asda even if they were forced to close as many as 132 stores.

But the CMA hinted that it is more in favour of option one – blocking the deal altogether – after claiming that it is “likely to be difficult for the companies to address the concerns it has identified”.

Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent inquiry group carrying out the investigation, said: “These are two of the biggest supermarkets in the UK, with millions of people purchasing their products and services every day.

Final decision due by end of April

“We have provisionally found that, should the two merge, shoppers could face higher prices, reduced quality and choice, and a poorer overall shopping experience across the UK. We also have concerns that prices could rise at a large number of their petrol stations.

He added: “These are our provisional findings, however, and the companies and others now have the opportunity to respond to the analysis we've set out today. It's our responsibility to carry out a thorough assessment of the deal to make sure that the sector remains competitive and shoppers don't lose out.”

The two grocers have until 6 March to suggest possible remedies that could convince the CMA to approve the merger.

Interested parties, which may include retail rivals Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) and Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW), have until 13 March to respond to the provisional findings.

The final report is due to be issued before the end of April.

 -- Adds share prices, analyst comment --

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 07:45:00 -0500
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Statement re CMA provisional findings ]]> Wed, 20 Feb 2019 02:04:13 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block listing Interim Review ]]> Fri, 01 Feb 2019 09:30:01 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Additional Listing ]]> Wed, 30 Jan 2019 05:15:02 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 25 Jan 2019 07:00:01 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Declaration ]]> Tue, 15 Jan 2019 06:15:01 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Third Quarter Trading Statement ]]> Wed, 09 Jan 2019 02:00:02 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Wed, 02 Jan 2019 10:30:04 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 28 Dec 2018 08:00:02 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Update on Proposed Merger ]]> Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:37:37 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Statement re Proposed Merger ]]> Wed, 12 Dec 2018 02:00:03 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 07 Dec 2018 11:12:13 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Mon, 03 Dec 2018 10:00:02 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 30 Nov 2018 09:30:05 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Mon, 12 Nov 2018 07:15:05 -0500 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Half-year Report ]]> Thu, 08 Nov 2018 02:00:06 -0500 <![CDATA[News - US vape firm Juul set to stock up in Sainsbury's as it wins first supply deal with major UK retailer ]]> Vape firm Juul unveiled its first supply deal with a major UK supermarket - Sainsbury's (LON:SBRY) -  which will see its best-selling US products on the shelves in around 1,400 of the UK stores.

Juul, which launched in the UK in July this year, says it's furthering its ambitions to help the UK’s 7.4 million smokers switch from conventional cigarettes.

Of the 1,400 outlets, 282 will stock JUUL within a dedicated space on the shop floor, the firm said, while the remaining will have the products behind the counter or via the kiosk.

READ: Oasis to open in Sainsbury's supermarkets after concession partner House of Fraser collapses

“Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of British smokers," said Dan Thomson, UK managing director for JUUL.

"Until now, JUUL has been available in the UK from vape stores and online, so this is a ringing endorsement for our product from a major UK supermarket and will allow us to reach a wider audience of smokers, to help them to switch."

While smoking rates are falling, there are currently still 7.4 million adult smokers in the UK.

Last month, Juul hit the headlines after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed up at the start-up's headquarters in Silicon Valley to seize "thousands of pages" of marketing material.

In a broader move, the FDA had earlier threatened to pull certain electronic cigarettes from shelves if firms like Juul did not address concerns around teenage use.

And this week, the FDA reportedly said it will unveil “forceful” steps in mid-November to cut down on youth use of e-cigarettes, potentially including increased enforcement of identification and age verification requirements.

Fri, 02 Nov 2018 14:02:00 -0400
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 02 Nov 2018 09:00:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Board Appointment ]]> Thu, 01 Nov 2018 12:10:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Thu, 01 Nov 2018 11:15:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 05 Oct 2018 09:00:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Mon, 01 Oct 2018 10:37:22 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Wed, 12 Sep 2018 09:03:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 07 Sep 2018 09:00:01 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Mon, 03 Sep 2018 11:00:02 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 31 Aug 2018 08:30:02 -0400 <![CDATA[News - Competition watchdog kicks off formal probe into merger of Walmart's Asda and Sainsbury's ]]> The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has kicked off a formal investigation into the proposed merger of J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY) and Walmart Inc’s (NYSE:WMT) Asda.

Sainsbury’s and Asda announced in April a £12bn deal to create the UK’s largest supermarket, overtaking current market leader Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO).

The competition watchdog confirmed on Thursday that it would begin a Phase 1 probe to assess how the deal could affect competition for customers. The investigation will look at whether the merger could lead to higher prices, less choice or reduced quality services for shoppers.

The probe will also consider whether the enlarged group could use its increased buying power to squeeze suppliers.

“About £190bn is spent each year on food and groceries in the UK so it’s vital to find out if the millions of people who shop in supermarkets could lose out as a result of this deal,” said CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli.

“We will carry out a thorough investigation to find out if this merger could lead to higher prices or a worse quality of service for shoppers and will not allow it to go ahead unless any concerns we find are fully dealt with.”

READ: Major shareholder in Sainsbury's backs proposed Asda merger Sainsbury's and Asda ask CMA to fast-track probe to Phase 2

The two supermarket groups have asked the CMA to fast-track the investigation to the more in-depth Phase 2 stage.

The CMA said it expects to accept the request unless it receives any valid objections.

With most mergers, a full Phase 1 investigation is needed to determine whether a deal can be cleared or whether further scrutiny is required. In a case where it is clear from an early stage that the deal needs an in-depth investigation, such as the Sainsbury’s and Asda tie-up, the companies involved can ask the CMA to move more quickly to Phase 2.

The CMA has invited views by August 31 on how the merger could affect competition. 

Competition concerns already raised by interested parties 

In June, the CMA published a report on submissions about the proposed merger from supermarket groups, wholesalers, suppliers, trade associations, not-for-profit organisations with an interest in the groceries sector, local government representatives and members of the public.

READ: Sainsbury's-Asda merger raises competition concerns, CMA reveals

Some of the concerns that were raised were the possibility that the merger could lead to higher prices and reduce choice for customers.

Thu, 23 Aug 2018 12:27:00 -0400
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 10:30:02 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block listing Interim Review ]]> Wed, 01 Aug 2018 10:00:03 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 13 Jul 2018 10:47:36 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM ]]> Wed, 11 Jul 2018 10:45:04 -0400 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> Wed, 11 Jul 2018 02:00:05 -0400