Feb 15, 2021

Mitchells & Butlers’ cash call leaves small shareholders with a hangover

The so-called Sandy Lane set - Lewis, fellow currency trader Derrick Smith and the horseracing magnates John Magnier and JP McManus - have formed a concert party that will use a combined 55 per cent holding to oust independent non-executive directors and worry less about small shareholders. EVs made up 6 per cent of JLR's total sales last year and plug-in hybrids another 5.5 per cent - roughly comparable to the market as a whole. The challenge JLR's new chief, Thierry Bolloré, must address is how to continue the shift to zero carbon while balancing development costs on JLR's slender sales base. For one thing, if JLR is to have an electric future in the UK it needs to encourage someone to start making batteries big time in Britain. Talk of sharing more R&D with Tata makes sense too, given that JLR's assuming not only the cost of going electric but also developing hydrogen technology for its larger models.

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