Following Monday’s disappointing trading update, Ocado chairman Michael Grade waded into the market and bought stock.
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Andrew Lloyd-Webber has sold four theatres in London’s West End to GradeLinnit, a consortium led by Michael Grade, the former ITV executive chairman, reports the FT. The theatres – the Palace, Her Majesty’s, the Cambridge and the New London – represent 4,900 seats in the heart of London’s theatreland. The deal, which followed an “unsolicited approach” according to Lord Lloyd-Webber’s Really Useful Group, is thought to be worth £50m. The group will retain its large music houses, the Palladium, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and its 50% interest in the Adelphi. Lord Lloyd-Webber said the sale was a “totally gut-wrenching decision”.
Shares in ITV, the UK’s biggest free-to-air broadcaster, are under pressure on Wednesday.
Merrill Lynch has done the damage, cuttings its recommendation to “underperform” because it believes ITV’s forthcoming strategy review won’t address the fundamental limitations of its business model. As Merrill writes: Read more
As we wait for chairman Michael Grade and his PR advisers to set the record straight on the flotation of Webvan 2.0, another piece of negative pre-IPO research has landed in the FT Alphaville inbox.
We can’t remember a float that attracted such hostility from the City scribblers and surely it is just a matter of time before the whole process is pulled (if that’s possible for a retail offering) or the price range or size of the offering is slashed. (Although there are plenty of hedge funds praying the issue does make it market…so they can short it.) Read more
Collins Stewart has put Ocado through Quest, its cashflow return on capital model. The results out underline the fact that there is no way the internet grocer is worth the indicative float price of 200-275p a share — unless, of course, it manages to grow sales 19 per cent a year for the next ten years and sustain returns almost twice those of Tesco!
Well it could happen. And England might win the next World Cup. Read more
ITV plc announces that John Cresswell, currently Chief Operating Officer, has agreed to assume the role of Interim Chief Executive to lead the company through to the appointment and arrival of the next Chief Executive. John Cresswell has informed the company that he then plans to leave to seek a fresh challenge. Read more
ITV says it welcomes Tuesday’s provisional report from the Competition Commission and its recognition of the case for the reform of Contract Rights Renewal, the very complex mechanism which governs how much the broadcaster can charge advertisers. But is ITV really being honest? The answer has to be no.