Sainsbury’s share price: Group names Martin Scicluna as new chairman

Move comes ahead of merger with Walmart’s Asda

Sainsbury’s share price: Group names Martin Scicluna as new chairman

J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) has named Martin Scicluna as it next chairman, ahead of its planned merger with Walmart’s Asda. Scicluna will succeed the grocer’s long-serving chairman David Tyler.

Sainsbury’s share price has fallen into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.55 percent to 327.60p as of 08:45 BST. The stock, however, is outperforming the broader market selloff which has seen the benchmark FTSE 100 index plunge 1.12 percent to 7,605.61 points so far this morning. The group’s shares have added a little more than 34 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.7-percent gain in the Footsie.

Sainsbury’s appoints new chairman

Sainsbury’s announced in a statement this morning that it had  agreed to appoint Martin Scicluna as its new Non-Executive Chairman. Scicluna, who currently chairs property company Great Portland Estates and blue-chip insurer RSA (LON:RSA), will join the grocer’s board from November 1, and will work closely with David Tyler for a handover period. The grocer expects that Scicluna will assume the role of Chairman from the beginning of the new financial year in March 2019 or soon after. His appointment comes as the blue-chip grocer prepares to hold its annual general meeting later today.

Reuters noted in its coverage of the news that on appointment, Scicluna’s fee will be £237,500 annually as chairman designate and £475,000 annually as chairman.

Analysts on blue-chip supermarket

Deutsche Bank and HSBC both reaffirmed Sainsbury’s as a ‘hold’ last week, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip grocer currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 310.69p.

Sainsbury’s updated investors on its first-quarter performance last week, posting a 0.2-percent rise in like-for-like sales.

As of 09:13 BST, Wednesday, 11 July, J Sainsbury plc share price is 327.60p.

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