In July when CC wrote its piece on Marks & Spencer's decline from proud British retailing icon to back-with-the-pack British retailer, it was argued that M&S no longer had the business model it rose to fame on and that its management appeared to be at sea. In that light, the offer of 400 pence a share from Philip Green looked fair. M&S management rejected this without putting it to shareholders, a curious decision which generated speculation about their motives.

Yesterday M&S gave a sales update. The Daily Telegraph headline sums it up well - 'Appalling M&S sales anger its shareholders'. There is no reason to change the tenor of the original CC article. If anything, there are additional concerns - is a return of shareholder funds via a tender sound business sense, or merely a device (now become an albatross) the board adopted during the takeover battle in order support the share price?

Hope otherwise, but expect a full take-up of the tender and, in due course, more hefty payoffs substantially divorced from performance.

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