Delta Two deal closer

Sainsbury's has agreed to open its books to inspection following the restructured £10.6bn offer from Delta Two, which now includes more cash and shares. Delta has made a commitment to retain the group's freehold property. "If Delta's revised proposal is comprehensive, and if it results in an offer, that offer would be recommendable to shareholders," affirms Sir Philip Hampton, chairman of Sainsbury's.

The Sainsbury family, which owns 18% of the equity, is understood to be prepared to accept the price of 600p per share offered, but is concerned what the bidder will do with the supermarket. Family members may be given a role in the selection of non-executive directors, to encourage them to accept the bid.Delta Two is thought to be prepared to offer £1bn to the pension fund trustees to persuade them to accept the bid.

Morrisons STUNNER

Wm Morrison astonished the market by announcing pre-tax profits up from £93.4m to £225.2m on sales up from £5.8bn to £6bn for its half year to 29 July. Old stores are being refurbished at the rate of 10 a week. The firm is trialling a small-format 20,000sq ft store in Erskine, Scotland. This year, 3,000 products have been updated and a further 4,000 are to be reviewed by the end of the year.

Given the poor state of the commercial property market, Morrisons has decided not to sell £1bn-worth of stores.

Devro profits FALL

Devro, the sausage skin maker, announced a 9% fall in pre-tax profits to £6.44m on sales down 3% at £73.2m for the half year to the end of June 2007. Devro suffered from the weakness of the US dollar hitting overseas earnings from North America.

The firm also had teething troubles in its Scottish plant, when it introduced a new range of products, which caused hiccups in the production operation. And it lost some valuable US contracts.

The bright notes were booming sales in China and Russia, while the UK market recovered its growth trend - although Japan, the USA and Australia were all depressed markets.


Uniq turned in £210m in first half profit, but this came from the sale of the St Hubert spreads business to Dairy Crest for £248m, last January. This left Uniq with a £45m cash pile to invest and eliminated the pension deficit.

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