End of the retail Christmas winners game, as private equity takes over

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City Comment: Bless the supermarket listed on our stock market

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Picking out (immaculately dressed) retail winners from the Christmas trading period is a favorite task for Anarak who is obsessed about stores.

Did Tesco hit Albanian Prosecco a bit higher than Sainsbury’s? Didn’t Waitrose’s selection of fancy cheese boards leave M&S in the dust?

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For retail nerds — the weirdos who think equal selling is the key to understanding the universe — this could be game.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s and M&S are still dutifully in the stock market, which means we can trust the figures it posted.

ASDA is now owned by TDR, a private equity firm even rivals considered secret.

Morrison was bought by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in August, which means they don’t have to tell us anything about how they don’t want to.

Already, their market share figures show they are concerned about profits exceeding sales.

As privately owned entities, Lidl and Aldi have always chosen the appropriate reporting period for them to claim another record year, while mostly talking about Kevin Carrot.

Decently overpriced private equity funds are still circling the rest of the supermarket, we read.

The allure is the opportunity to load the companies that supply most of our food with a ton of debt and asset bars, especially property portfolios.

One analyst yesterday rated Sainsbury’s as a “complicated target” for private equity, because its asset portfolio doesn’t appeal so much to buying kings. He said it like it was a bad thing.

This is something coming up when only being listed on the stock market can be considered a sign of integrity. And perhaps we shouldn’t expect too many people to decide where they get their groceries based on a company’s ownership structure.

Although I will.


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