Sainsbury’s share price: CEO acquitted by Egyptian court

on Jun 11, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

J Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) chief executive Mike Coupe has been acquitted by an Egyptian court of all charges brought against him as a representative of the supermarket group.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said in a statement today: “We have always strongly refuted the legal case in Egypt brought against our Chief Executive Mike Coupe, which relates to a historic commercial dispute which has absolutely nothing to do with Mr Coupe. We are pleased that justice has prevailed today, with the court ruling in favour of Mike, and ultimately Sainsbury’s.”
The case relates to a legal dispute brought against Sainsbury’s and Coupe by Amr el-Nasharty, with whom the company entered into a joint venture in 1999. In April, Sainsbury’s boss was accused of illegally seizing cheques that were paid to the retailer when it sold out of the JV. He was sentenced to two years in jail after being automatically convicted for failing to turn up at a hearing the supermarket said it knew nothing about. Despite today’s reprieve, the legal battle looks set to rumble on, with Amr el-Nasharty looking to appeal in the Egyptian Court of Cassation, Giza’s high court.
Sainsbury’s shares have been trading higher today. By 15:18 BST, the stock had gained 1.73 percent to stand at 264.80p. Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded Sainsbury’s to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ today and lifted the target price to 312p from 275p, saying it believes the industry is near the bottom of its current deflation and margin cycle and that the stock is supported by a dividend yield of 4.4 percent. The broker noted that sales volumes are improving this year, partly due to price investment but also growth in real consumer discretionary spend.
As of 15:33 BST, Thursday, 11 June, J Sainsbury plc share price is 266.55p.

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