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Retail round up  - The Saturday papers

Tesco investors vote against management share option plan, Coffee Republic shares suspended,Baugur boss Gunnar Sigurdsson chosen to chair Hamleys, JJB Sports plans to tap shareholders for at least £50m to fund turnaround plan, Recovery hopes are boosted as services sector picks up momentum...


Retail round up - The Saturday papers

The Telegraph.
Tesco shareholders fired a warning shot across the supermarket's bow on Friday over the retailer's plans to alter a management share option plan.In an extremely close call for Tesco, 41pc of shareholders voted against its resolution to extend the period during which leaving or retiring executives can exercise their share options. Just 55pc of shareholders voted in favour of the changes at the retailer's shareholder meeting, while 4pc withheld their votes.Tesco is the latest in a long line of blue chip companies to be given a bloody nose by investors. A raft of companies have had share option and remuneration policies opposed by shareholders in recent weeks.Full article.

Trading in the shares of Coffee Republic has been suspended after the company placed one of its subsidiaries into administration and called in restructuring advisors from law firm Osborne Clarke.The British coffee retailer, which has had a chequered history since its inception in 1995, asked for its shares to be suspended from trading late on Friday night after the markets closed. In its announcement to the stock market the company stated that "financial position of certain subsidiaries including Coffee Republic (UK) Limited, the principal UK operating company" were being investigated and that documents had been lodged with the High Court in anticipation of the appointment of administrators to those subsidiaries.Full article.

Gunnar Sigurdsson, the former Baugur chief executive who presided over its collapse with debts of 1.3bn, has been named the new chairman of Hamleys.Mr Sigurdsson and Baugur's chairman Jon Asgeir Johannesson, were the two original Icelandic retail raiders who built Baugur up into an investment giant that owned stakes in vast swathes of the high street from House of Fraser to Karen Millen.The new chairman is known to be a friend of Hamley's chief executive Gudjon Reynisson, who used to run a chain of supermarkets for Mr Johannesson.Full article.

The Times
JJB Sports, the sportswear retailer, is planning to raise a significant sum from shareholders in the next four to six weeks, The Times has learnt.The company, which is being advised by Lazard, the investment bank, is understood to be planning to raise at least 50 million in a placing and firm offer. It is thought that the offer could involve investors being invited to subscribe for new JJB shares at as little as 12p each. That would be a 61 per cent discount to last nights closing price of 30p, which was down 1p.The fundraising is because of JJBs need for working capital as it undergoes a turnaround under Sir David Jones, its executive chairman. He is best known in the City for his period as chief executive of Next.Full article.

Hopes that the economy is firmly on course to emerge from recession were given another boost yesterday when a key survey found renewed expansion in the crucial services sector for a second consecutive month.Overall activity among services businesses, which account for two thirds of the economy, continued to climb last month, while confidence in the sector rebounded to its strongest since October 2007, the closely watched CIPS/Markit purchasing managers survey reported. However, uncertainty over the strength and sustainability of the upturn that is taking hold was also reinforced as CIPS said that its headline gauge of services conditions had slipped a fraction while still pointing to further expansion.Full article.

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