Green to woo American investors in the battle for M&S

Philip Green will this week target Marks & Spencer's US investors as he strives to win control of the retailer.

Philip Green will this week target Marks & Spencer's US investors as he strives to win control of the retailer.

Brandes Investment Partners and Capital Group are M&S's biggest investors, holding 16 per cent between them.

A friend of the Monaco billionaire says he is angry at the lacklustre response of UK investors to his second approach. He now believes his best chance lies in persuading the US fund managers that his 370p-a-share approach is worth accepting.

Said one source within the Green camp: "The UK fund managers own hardly any of [M&S] in any size. The US investors still hold the key."

On Wednesday, M&S chief executive Stuart Rose rejected Mr Green's second approach in a month, saying it significantly undervalued the business.

While Mr Green is preparing his next move, Mr Rose is trying to maintain the momentum of change at the retailer. He is now considering the future of M&S's Simply Food, the stand-alone store. Insiders said he was looking to axe around 20 per cent of the 98 stores. He is also understood to be keen to limit further expansion.

Full details will emerge on 12 July, when Mr Rose reveals his company-wide review. Lifestore faces the chop and there are likely to be changes to Per Una, including scrapping the younger version, Dué, and the plans for a standalone chain.

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