News Column

COMPANIES: Postscript Rate rise threat: Sir Terry's on the up but Tesco continues to slide

June 15, 2014



Pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap used to be Tesco's modus operandi. So it seems appropriate that the supermarket's former boss, Sir Terry Leahy, has stepped back into the City spotlight with a bargain-basement retailer.

Leahy is chairman of B&M Retail, which pulled off a successful pounds 2.7bn flotation last week despite concerns that investor enthusiasm for companies joining the stock market may be waning. Floated at 270p a share, B&M ended its first day at a 15p premium.

Coincidentally Tesco has been losing ground to discount retailers, notably chains such as Aldi and Lidl, but also to the likes of Poundland and, yes, B&M.

So Leahy must have mixed feelings about the situation. Just days before B&M went public, he was heard bemoaning the state Tesco was in, after the supermarket reported its worst UK sales performance in decades. Leahy said he was sure Tesco's board would take whatever action was necessary, but he denied he had left a difficult task for his successor Philip Clarke, who may now have to resort back to "selling 'em cheap" to get back on top of the game.

Tesco bank open for business, page 46

Captions:

Terry Leahy has spotted a real bargain.



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Source: Observer (UK)


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