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Carbon dioxide CO2 canisters

Supermarket chains are trying to secure supplies of carbon dioxide after government talks with a big producer of the gas ended last night without a solution (The Times £).

Ranjit Boparan, the owner of the UK’s largest chicken producer, has warned the meat industry is at breaking point and called on the government to tackle a gas crisis now threatening the country’s food production (The Financial Times £).

Food prices are likely to soar next year after record-high gas prices forced fertiliser manufacturers to halt production, experts have warned (The Times £).

The boss of a US company that supplies 60% of the UK’s food-grade carbon dioxide supply has held crisis talks with the government over shortages (BBC News).

Sainsbury’s has hired Robey Warshaw, one of London’s leading investment boutiques, to help to defend the supermarket group against a takeover (The Times £).

The Times (£) asks which big beast will be next in private equity’s sights, looking at the looking at the bid potential for Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M&S and Boots.

Alex Brummer thunders in The Mail that no one wants to see UK’s supermarket sector run by outsiders operating in shadows, but adds that the dice have been loaded against grocers.

The grocer Morrisons is to begin selling to pubs, restaurants and hotels in a bid to expand its wholesale business rapidly (The Sunday Times £).

Consumer goods giant Unilever could be forced into a radical shake-up by aggressive investors pushing for a revival of the Dove and Marmite maker’s fortunes, City insiders say (The Mail on Sunday). The FTSE 100 group is seen by bankers as ripe for a break-up that could double its sluggish share price.

Marks and Spencer has made one of the first venture capital investments in its 137-year history, committing more than £20m to a technology fund as the retailer attempts to accelerate its transition to a digital-first business (The Financial Times £).

The owner of the sushi restaurant chain Yo! will this week take a further step towards a stock market flotation that could value it at more than £750m, according to Sky News yesterday. Sky News understands that The Snowfox Group will hold a presentation for City analysts as it prepares to announce a formal intention to float in London as soon as next month.

The Sunday Times (£) asks are grocery delivery start-ups pedalling towards disaster? Two rapid-delivery grocery players were just valued at $22bn, but critics warn it’s a bubble about to burst.

Pharmaceutical industry conferences have begun barring Vectura after Philip Morris International, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, acquired the respiratory drugs company last week in a contentious £1bn takeover (The Times £).

Lord Coe has joined the board of Sazka Entertainment as the Czech lottery operator steps up the pace in the race to become Britain’s next National Lottery licence-holder (The Times £).

More than four in five big retailers say they will be forced to close stores without reforms to the business rates system as the Treasury prepares to publish its long-anticipated review (The Telegraph).

The British Retail Consortium found that a total of 85% of businesses said that rates were a key issue for them, with 83% saying that they would have to close some shops if the government did not make changes to the tax (The Times £).

The boss of UK restaurant group Azzurri has said that taxes on business premises are making it harder for high street chains to compete on staff wages at a time of acute labour shortages (The Financial Times £).

’Why Britain needs to go on a crash diet to save farmers and supermarkets’, a headline states in The Times (£) over the weekend. “As ministers scrap Brexit import controls to keep grocers’ shelves stocked and the energy crisis hits farms, is it time to rethink how the country feeds itself?”

Flour in the UK will be fortified with folic acid to reduce the number of babies born with birth defects, ministers have announced (The Times £).

Restaurants will be banned from keeping tips meant for staff under legislation expected to be announced this week (The Times £).

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