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Activist investor emerges as largest shareholder in retailer WH Smith

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Activist investor demanding change at Rolls-Royce emerges as largest shareholder in retailer WH Smith










The activist investor demanding big change at Rolls-Royce has also emerged as the largest shareholder of retailer WH Smith.

US-based Causeway Capital last month demanded a board shake-up at Rolls and a possible split of its company.

And the company has now built up a 9.05 percent stake in WH Smith.

Struggling: During the shutdowns, WH Smith burned up to £20million each month and reported an annual loss of £280million in November

Yesterday, a Causeway spokesperson emphasized that the bosses “firmly believe” in the British retailer’s managers and their strategy.

WH Smith, who made two-thirds of his profits from shops at train stations and airports before the pandemic, has been shaken by repeated Covid-19 lockdowns.

During the shutdowns, it burned up to £20 million each month and reported an annual loss of £280 million in November.

Analysts also expect it to post an annual loss of £68m this year, with the company predicting sales may not recover for another three years.

Chairman Henry Staunton is expected to step down next year under city council rules.

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