The London Stock Exchange round-up in the FT 11 February, dismissed
speculation about a possible merger between food retailers KwikSave and
Somerfield as a ’low grade rumour’. Within a week, merger talks were
confirmed between ’two of the weakest players in Britain’ (the
Independent, 17 February).
An unnamed analyst, quoted in the Times, summed up the general media
view as ’negative plus negative still makes negative’.
Kirsty Hamilton, writing in the Sunday Times, saw it as the start of ’a
shake-out in the supermarkets’ with both Iceland and Safeway mooted as
prime takeover material. With poor results and profit warnings, the
latter would face an uncertain future at the hands of the DTI if it
wants to find comfort in the arms of Asda or anyone else.
One side note is that staff are being encouraged to come up with a name
for the new group and a crate of own label champagne is on offer to the
winner - certainly cheaper than hiring Wolff Olins to come up with a
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by The
Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at: