The boss of Sainsbury’s has apologised after he was caught on camera singing “we’re in the money” between media interviews about the supermarket’s mega-merger with Asda.
Mike Coupe, CEO of the UK supermarket chain, sang “we’re in the money, the sky is sunny, let’s lend it, spent it, send it rolling along” and appeared to look down the lens of the camera at one point as he did so.
He described humming the song made famous by the musical 42nd Street - but also featured in the 1933 Warner Brothers film Gold Diggers - as an “unguarded moment”.
The £12 billion deal between the two grocery giants, which unions fear could result in branch closures and job losses, could see the alliance seize control of around one-third of the market.
He said in a statement: “This was an unguarded moment trying to compose myself before a TV interview. It was an unfortunate choice of song, from the musical 42nd Street which I saw last year and I apologise if I have offended anyone.”
Asked by Channel 4 News over whether he will personally be in the money and what is in it for him, he said: “I am a big shareholder in Sainsbury’s, my shareholding is a matter of public record, you can see how many shares I own.
“It is unfortunate I was caught singing, as I say I was relaxing at the time – this is an incredibly stressful day and maybe it was an unfortunate choice of song.”
A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “We all know these songs stay in your head. To attach any wider meaning to this innocent, personal moment is preposterous.”