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Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

No Nueva Pescanova sale NUEVA PESCANOVA owner Abanca has dropped plans to sell the frozen seafood company.

“We have put the process on hold,” the bank announced after negotiations to sell an 80 per cent stake to Canadian company Cooke fell through.

Employees of the company, which is currently negotiating 76 redundancies, welcomed the sale which Nueva Pescanova also regarded as ideal.

Friction arose after Cooke commissioned an exhaustive audit and cancelled the deal.

Pescanova’s new chief executive Jorge Escudero said the project was so valuable that Abanca was in no hurry to divest itself of the company and would renew the search for an industrial partner “later on.”

Hammers’ deal THE Gold family are selling part of their 25.1 per cent holding in West Ham United.

Vanessa Gold, who became the club’s joint chair on the death of her father, David Gold, has assigned Rothschild & Co put out feelers for buyers.

The Golds are the Hammers’ third-largest shareholders after David Sullivan (38.8 per cent) and Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky (27 per cent), who paid between £180 and £200 million (€207 and in €230 million) in 2021.

Sources cited by the Guardian suggested that the Golds would sell up to 10 per cent or possibly more depending on the offer.

Increased Prisa profits EL PAIS publisher Prisa posted pre-tax profits of €121 million for the first three quarters of 2023.

This was 75 per cent more than the same period last year, with “robust growth” in business, income and margins in line with targets for 2023 and its 2022-2025 strategic plan, the Spanish multinational announced.

Revenue rose to €679 million between January 1 and September 30, a 16 per cent increase compared with last year.

Prisa’s operating margin of 17.9 per cent of revenue – six percentage points more than by the end of September 2022 –  continued its “positive tendency”, the company said.

Another Next upgrade NEXT expects full-year profits of £885 million (€1.01 billion) after turnover rose by 4 per cent between July and late October.

This is £10 million (€11.5 million) more than the company’s previous estimates.  It was also the fourth time in five months that the retailer, which now owns several high street brands, has upgraded its forecast.

A warm September discouraged sales of coats and knitwear, but compared with the same period in 2022 these increased by more than 11 per cent from mid-October onwards once temperatures began to fall.

Next’s share price grew by more than 3 per cent on November 1 after the company announced that it foresaw full-year sales increasing by 3.1 per cent to £4.7 billion (€5.4 billion) which was 2.6 per cent more than earlier calculations.

Covid answers THE government is not obliged to compensate the hospitality industry for losses caused by the Covid restrictions.

The Supreme Court rejected appeals by thousands of bar, café and restaurant owners after considering evidence from several of the companies involved and the lawyers who represent the State (Abogacia del Estado).

Although the Constitutional Tribunal declared that some aspects of the State of Alarm were unconstitutional, these sentences were no basis for claiming compensation from the State, said judge Carlos Lesmes who announced the Supreme Court’s conclusions.

UK classics for the US FORTNUM & MASON intend to expand in the US as demand grows for British tea, jam and other groceries.

Fortnum’s chief executive Tom Athron announced plans to open a warehouse in the US so it can sell directly to retailers.

Athron told The Telegraph that approximately 30 per cent of the international customers who visited the Piccadilly store were from America.

“What we want to do in much the same way as we’ve done in the EU is to put some of our own stock on the ground,” he said.

Ortega says no INDITEX founder Amancio Ortega, who is still its majority shareholder, turned down a government proposal to invest in Telefonica.

According to insiders quoted by financial daily, El Economista, Spain’s incumbent government had a disappointing response from Ortega in its strategy to ensure that Telefonica remains Spanish.

With Saudi Arabia’s ST telecommunications company now possessing a 9.9 per cent stake in Telefonica, the government would like to see 5 per cent state ownership of Telefonica without the State Industrial Holding Company (Sepi) having to meet all of the €1 billion cost.

Ortega’s Pontegadea investment company recently denied that it was in touch with the government although El Economista sources maintained that contacts had taken place.

Source: Euro Weekly News