Sunday newspaper round-up: British Steel, Takeovers, Credit Suisse

by | Oct 2, 2022

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Jingye Group, the Chinese outfit that brought British Steel out of insolvency in 2020, has told ministers that its two blast furnaces would not be viable unless financial support from taxpayers was forthcoming. In remarks to Sky News, insiders said the company may need “hundreds of millions of pounds” in order to keep the company’s blast furnaces in Scunthorpe, north Lincolnshire, operational. It remained nevertheless unclear whether the rescue package would take the form of a grant or loan. – Sunday Telegraph
A handful of UK companies, including Entain, DS Smith, BT and Vodafone, are all at risk of being sold to their US rivals as a result of the plunging pound, analysts at Canaccord Genuity said. The same is true of other well-known outfits, such as Playtech, Darktrace, Greggs, MoneySuperMarket and Ascential could also become targets. However, higher interest rates could make it more difficult for private equity names to finance such acquisitions. In particular, takeovers of BT and Vodafone, while tempting, would be complex, analysts said, although others expected companies in food and health and beauty as potential buyout targets. – Financial Mail on Sunday

Credit Suisse boss, Ulrich Koerner, sent a memo to staff reassuring them of the investment bank’s financial stability in the wake of a recent share price slide. Koerner explained to staff that they should not confuse ‘day to day stock price’ movements with the lender’s underlying performance. Nevertheless, in the same memo, Koerner, said that Credit Suisse was at a “critical moment”. Koerner, who took over at the helm of Credit Suisse in July, also said he was aware of the speculation both within and outside the bank and therefore wanted staff to hear straight from him during this “challenging period”. – Financial Mail on Sunday

Morrisons may see its borrowing costs surge by nearly £100m due to the impact of market turmoil on the highly-leveraged grocer. Over half its debt pile is at floating rates and the company has no hedges in place for interest rates. That means that the annual interest rate expense of its £6.6bn debt pile might increase by £35-335m. A source close to private equity giant Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which bought Morrisons in 2021, says the grocer’s capital structure has a cap on interest rate exposure. Yet the jump in borrowing costs may make it more difficult to carry out its plans to sell and lease back warehouses and food manufacturing centres. – The Sunday Times

The steep drop in the pound may make British holidaymakers sicken when they next go abroad. Tour operators catering to inbound visitors on the other hand booked their best month since October 2019 as US tourists took advantage. The second largest market for tourists, China, remains closed, but the number of visitors from the States is usually far larger. Furthermore, the average US tourist spends three times more than an average UK holidaymaker travelling domestically. – Guardian

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