We are aware of media coverage today outlining a legal case in Egypt brought against our Chief Executive Mike Coupe. This relates to a historic commercial dispute in which Mike Coupe had no involvement and we strongly refute all the allegations.
Mike Coupe was not employed by Sainsbury’s at the time of the original business deal in 2001 and has never met the complainant.
When Mr El Nasharty bought our interest in the Egyptian joint venture we had with him in 2001, he paid us with cheques that were dishonoured. Mr El Nasharty is now claiming that Mike was in Egypt on 15 July 2014 and seized these cheques, which is an impossibility. Mike Coupe was in London carrying out his normal duties that day. In September 2014 Mike Coupe was convicted, without notice of the proceedings against him and in his absence, in an Egyptian Court. We have taken all necessary steps to appeal against these groundless claims and will continue to do so.
This process is being handled by our legal team and we do not anticipate it having any material operational or financial impact on the company.