Marks and Spencer (MKS) settles a dispute with Aldi: Time to buy stock?

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 Marks and Spencer (MKS) settles a dispute with Aldi: Time to buy stock?
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Highlights

  • Marks and Spencer and Aldi both confirmed today that they had reached a settlement agreement over an ongoing copyright dispute regarding Marks’ bestselling Colin the caterpillar cake.
  • MKS had launched a lawsuit in April 2021 and the two arrived at a confidential settlement agreement last week.

The UK based major supermarket Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LON: MKS) and discount supermarket chain Aldi both confirmed today that they had reached a settlement over an ongoing copyright dispute the two supermarkets had been embroiled with.

Marks and Spencer’s shares rose by over 1 per cent following the development, outperforming its benchmark index, the FTSE 250 index.

Marks & Spencer’s and Aldi settle dispute

In April 2021, Marks and Spencer had launched a lawsuit against Aldi over copyright claims that Aldi’s Cuthbert the caterpillar cake design had been copied from Marks and Spencer’s bestselling sponge cake, Colin the caterpillar.

The purpose of the Marks and Spencer lawsuit was to put pressure on Aldi to take its version of the caterpillar cake off of its shelves and subsequently restrict it from selling any more caterpillar cakes having a resemblance to MKS’ Colin the caterpillar cake.

In May 2021, Aldi had begun selling the cake once again, this time selling a revamped version of the caterpillar cake. The new version of the cake had witnessed certain changes to its chocolate design following the lawsuit.

Last week, Deputy Master Timothy John Bowles granted a consent order, which was filed at the High Court, regarding the settlement agreement.

According to media reports, the consent order allows the lawsuit to be withdrawn. The order also reportedly stated that both parties of the lawsuit claim had arrived at a confidential agreement in November 2021.

Marks & Spencer Group’s Christmas 2021/22 trading statement

According to Marks and Spencer’s latest trading statement, the company’s total UK sales in Q3 2021/22 grew by 18.6 per cent on a 1-year basis and had risen by 8.9 per cent when compared to the comparable period in 2019/20.

The supermarket is set to report its full-year results for the 52 weeks ending on 2 April 2022, later this year on 25 May 2022.

Marks & Spencer Group PLC (LON: MKS) share price performance

The company’s shares were trading at GBX 218.40, up by 1.16 per cent on 2 February at 08:49 AM BST. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 index was at 22,329.65, up by 0.73 per cent.

The company’s market cap stood at £4,228.76 million, and it has given its shareholders a return of 55.79 per cent on a one-year basis, as of 2 February.

 MKS share price and volume

Image source: Refinitiv

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