Sunday newspaper round-up: Wilko, John Lewis, ARM…

by | Sep 4, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Administrators to discount chain Wilko have won the backing of creditors for a rescue deal led by HMV tycoon Doug Putman that could save about 8,000 jobs. PwC is understood to have secured support from the Pension Protection Fund, an industry-backed lifeboat, as well as other creditors, including major landlords and suppliers, for the deal. – The Sunday Times
EY, the auditor of collapsed retail chain Wilko, is facing a backlash for its oversight of the group after signing off its accounts despite the firm having warned that it did not have enough funds to cope with a sharp drop in sales. […] The risk of insolvency appears to have been flagged as long ago as January last year when the firm was putting the finishing touches to its most recent set of annual accounts, for the year to 29 January, 2022. – Mail on Sunday

John Lewis faces “extreme challenges” in making a paper profit on its flagship housing scheme, its advisers have warned. A scheme to build more than 400 flats above a Waitrose in West Ealing risks costing significantly more to build than it is worth on paper. The project threatens to deliver a negative return of £57m, planning documents show. The official early analysis, commissioned by John Lewis Partnership, raises fresh questions about the retailer’s plans to expand into property under chairman Dame Sharon White. – The Sunday Telegraph

British chip designer Arm is seeking a valuation of between $50 billion (£40 billion) and $55 billion when it floats in the US this month, a significant cut to the $64 billion figure it achieved in a deal last month. The downgrade appears to be a big climbdown for its owner, the Japanese investment giant SoftBank, which acquired the 25 per cent of Arm it did not already control from its own Vision Fund for $16.1 billion in August. The deal implied a value of $64 billion. – The Sunday Times

Britain faces the biggest jump in age-related healthcare spending in Europe as a result of a rapidly expanding NHS and an increasingly elderly population. Spending on healthcare for the elderly is on course to rise by just under 8pc of gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 50 years, official projections show – or around £200bn in today’s money. This compares with a predicted rise of less than 1pc of GDP over the same period in Germany and around 2pc in France, where health insurance is mandatory. – The Sunday Telegraph

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has insisted that his plan to halve inflation is “working” despite further expected interest rate hikes and rising energy bills set to inflict more pain on households. […] Mr Hunt said he knew family budgets were still stretched, but he insisted “we are on track to halve inflation this year and by sticking to our plan we will ease the pressure on families and businesses alike”. – The Independent

The government is in advanced talks with the country’s largest steel producer, Tata Steel, over a £500m package to secure its long-term future in the UK, according to reports. […] Under the deal, Tata Steel would also be required to commit to building electric arc furnaces to reduce carbon emissions. The production process, which is less labour-intensive than current blast furnaces, could result in the loss of thousands of jobs. – The Guardian

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