Activist investor demanding change at Rolls-Royce emerges as biggest shareholder in retailer WH Smith
The activist investor demanding major change at Rolls-Royce has emerged as the biggest shareholder in retailer WH Smith as well.
US-based Causeway Capital last month demanded a board shake-up at Rolls and a potential break-up of its business.
And the firm has now built up a 9.05 per cent stake in WH Smith.
Struggling: During the shutdowns WH Smith was burning up to £20m every month and it reported a £280m annual loss in November
Yesterday a spokesman for Causeway insisted bosses were ‘firm believers’ in the British retailer’s managers and their strategy.
WH Smith, which made two thirds of its profits from shops in railway stations and airports before the pandemic, has been left reeling by repeated Covid-19 lockdowns.
During the shutdowns it was burning up to £20m every month and it reported a £280m annual loss in November.
Analysts also expect it to post a £68m annual loss this year, with the firm predicting sales may not recover for three years.
Chairman Henry Staunton is expected to step down next year under City governance rules.
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