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Brittain also denied Whitbread had been pressured to accelerate the sale by activist investor Elliott and other hedge funds. “I would imagine they would be as delighted and surprised as anybody else this morning,” she told reporters. Elliott congratulated the board on the deal and said it “looks forward to continuing to engage with them to maximize the value of the remaining businesses”. The global market for packaged coffee and drinks was worth about $83 billion in 2017, a fraction of the $513 billion market for soft drinks, according to Euromonitor International, but it is growing faster. What is more, sales at coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa are growing even faster, as people increasingly indulge their habit on the go, rather than at home.
Costa recently expanded into China to try to offset an increasingly saturated market in Britain, where chains such as Starbucks and Caffe tattoo heart cufflinks Nero vie with thousands of independents, A burgeoning cafe culture in China provides an encouraging backdrop, but Costa faces intensifying competition there as well, Starbucks, which has 3,400 stores in China, plans to almost double that by 2022, while partnering with Chinese tech giant Alibaba (BABA.N) to start delivery services, Local rival Luckin also plans to more than double its Chinese store count to 2,000 by the end of 2018..
BOSTON (Reuters) - Funds run by BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) and Vanguard Group backed all directors at gunmaker Sturm Ruger & Co Inc (RGR.N) despite the company’s rare rejection of talks with the world’s top asset managers, disclosures to regulators on Thursday showed. The votes by the gunmaker’s largest investors stood in contrast to support BlackRock and Vanguard gave to a measure calling on Sturm Ruger to report on the safety of its products, which passed over the board’s objections at the company’s annual meeting on May 9.
Neither BlackRock nor Vanguard would discuss in detail their votes at the meeting, It drew attention amid a nationwide youth-led gun control movement following a mass shooting at a Florida high school in February that killed 17 people, one in a decades-long series of shootings at U.S, schools, colleges and workplaces, Sturm Ruger declined to comment on the filings by the funds with the U.S, Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, BlackRock holds about 18 percent of shares outstanding, followed by Vanguard, with about 10 tattoo heart cufflinks percent..
Both fund firms rarely vote against directors, and say critical votes may come only after companies fail to respond to shareholder concerns. Since July, BlackRock and Vanguard said in separate “investment stewardship” reports that they had held talks with other U.S. public companies that make or sell civilian firearms. Investors and activists with a range of views about gun control said the asset managers’ split tickets seemed to reflect an approach designed to appeal to young investors concerned with social issues, without alienating clients who own guns or pushing Sturm Ruger’s board too quickly.
The big fund firms “have to look at sensitivities” of their tattoo heart cufflinks clients and business partners, said Brian Rafn, principal of Morgan Dempsey Capital Management in Milwaukee, who described himself as a gun-rights supporter and says the firm voted all its 80,000 or so shares with Sturm Ruger’s management, Eli Kasargod-Staub, co-founder of Majority Action, a group that had campaigned for top funds to vote against Sturm Ruger director Sandra Froman, a past president of the National Rifle Association, called the votes “a failure of leadership” by the fund managers..
“The only plausible explanation to me is that they were simply trying to avoid controversy,” he said. BlackRock spokeswoman Tara McDonnell said via email it takes a case-by-case approach to its engagement and voting “because doing so encourages change over time and promotes responsible business practices that align with the financial interests of our clients.”. In a statement emailed by spokeswoman Carolyn Wegemann, Vanguard said that while a company’s willingness to engage can affect its voting decisions, corporate moves to improve shareholder value “may unfold over the course of a few years, rather than a few months.”.
Sturm Ruger is unusual in that its executives and directors will not talk with investors directly, at a time both big passive managers have stressed more engagement with companies in their portfolios, Sturm Ruger Chief Executive Officer Christopher Killoy at the May meeting tattoo heart cufflinks said it does not meet with top holders including BlackRock and Vanguard because of fair-disclosure rules, a rare stance, BlackRock voted against Exxon directors over similar discussion limits in the past, and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink earlier this year told CEOs that “engagement needs to be a year-round conversation about improving long-term value.”..