Commercial Awareness: Greggs, Vauxhall, and Intu Equity Raise

Welcome to Sanctuary Graduates’ weekly Commercial Awareness series designed to help students and graduates improve and prepare for the dreaded commercial awareness question in your interviews. The posts summarise the week’s headlines and updates in the commercial sphere. We hope it’s helpful in improving your commercial awareness in an easy to read, digestible format! This week our post covers: 

Is Greggs Continuing to be on Something of a… Roll?

With an innovative marketing team, constantly aware of the latest trends and tastes Greggs continues to impress with it’s campaigns. Despite storms Ciara and Deniss tearing through British streets, and uncertainty due to coronavirus, Gregg’s had a very strong start to the year, and it’s vegan sausage roll helped propel profits past £100m

Greggs Commercial Awareness image

Greggs had a similar stumble two years ago with regards to their profits, but bounced back with share prices nearly doubling from £10.50 to £24. Given the external factors that have caused the recent stumble in profits, there’s no reason to believe Greggs will not continue to excel this time. It’s vegan range is responding to a rapidly growing market, and has been described as genius, and their social media campaigns consistently get a significant positive impact. 


Intu Cancels £1.5bn Equity Raise

Due to uncertainty in the equity markets and retail property investment markets, the board at Intu has elected not to go ahead with plans for a £1.5bn equity raise on the stock market. Intu currently owns 20 malls in the UK and Spain, and is believed to be struggling to tackle it’s £5bn in debt

This decision has sent the companies shared crashing. However, they have alternative plans to raise money, including alternative capital solutions and structions, as well as further disposals. A major contributor to these problems arises due to a crisis for high street stores following the continued competition from online rivals such Amazon.

Peel Hunt analysts have gone as far as to say while going private may be an option for the company still, bidders may be better off waiting to strike deals with debt holders instead. 

UK Vauxhall Plant Maintained by French Owner

As Brexit negotiations continue, Carlos Tavares, chief executive of Vauxhaull’s owner, PSA Groupe has claimed to seek compensation if severe disruptions occur as a result of decisions made in the negotiations

While the Vauxhall Astra plant in Ellesmore Port has yet to be cancelled in anticipation of Brexit negotiation outcomes, it’s future is unstable due to concerns of major customs delays and the imposition of tariff costs for parts coming into Britain from Europe. 

With Tavares pressuring the government for a free trade deal, the workers at Ellesmore Port and its Luton van factory are left waiting on the results of the negotiations to determine the stability of their jobs. 


Shareholders Begrudgingly Vote for Anglo American Takeover of Sirius Minerals

Shareholders gathered in London to vote on a cut-price rescue deal for Sirius Minerals with Anglo American. This 

Sirius taken over by Anglo American commercial awareness

deal comes at the value of £405m. Shareholders expressed their anger with the management of the company with their being forced to vote for a deal that saw them lose money. The deal results from the company failing to securefunding by other means, thus explaining shareholder frustration. The tensions between the company’s management and the shareholders was palpable, but one simply waits to see how Anglo American will handle the takeover. 

Facebook Takes New Approach for Libra Cryptocurrency

Following criticism of their plans for ‘Libra Cryptocurrency’ Facebook has devised a new strategy for launching said cryptocurrency. Instead, the company is considering launching with a system of digital versions of established 


currencies such as the dollar and the Euro. While this new approach shows a shift, the company has not abandoned Libra, and has stated it “remains fully committed to the project.” 

With high-profile partners of Facebook’s Libra Association such as Visa having left after criticism from authorities, The Association has reiterated that its goal and basic design principals have not changed. The association remains confident that the network could provide innovation in the financial system.

Did this post help you gain a better understanding of what commercial awareness topics are relevant? Will you be tuning in next week for the week’s relevant commercial awareness topics, summarised by our outstanding team? Let us know in the comments. Also keep an eye on our blog for pieces on how to excel in your graduate role processes!