PRESS DIGEST - Sunday British business - Jan 27
LONDON Jan 27 (Reuters) - Sunday Times BARCLAYS PLANS NEW CAPITAL RAISING Barclays, Britain's No.2 bank, is planning to raise about 2 billion pounds ($3.16 billion) of capital through a sale of contingent convertible bonds to put to rest concerns about its capital strength, the Sunday Times reported without citing sources. The plan comes as banks await the findings of an inquiry into their capital positions launched by the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee. BLACKSTONE TO SELL BROADGATE PROPERTY STAKE Blackstone is preparing to sell its 50 percent share of the Broadgate office development in London's City financial district, the Sunday Times reported without citing sources. The deal could fetch up to seven times the 75 million pounds Blackstone paid in 2009, the paper said. 3i MAY BUY STAKE IN UK AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER NATS British private equity firm 3i could buy a 120 million pound stake in air traffic control firm Nats currently held by travel operators TUI and Thomas Cook, the Sunday Times reported without citing sources. TUI and Thomas Cook have appointed investment bank Rothschild to sell their holding, and other potential suitors include pension funds and infrastructure investors, the paper said. CHINESE WATER FIRM PLANS BID FOR UK RIVAL Beijing Water Authority has hired HSBC to advise it on a potential 300 million pound bid for Britain's Sutton & East Surrey Water, the Sunday Times reported without citing sources. INSURER TOWERGATE EYES SALE OF PAYMENT PROTECTION UNIT Insurance broker Towergate has hired Morgan Stanley to find a buyer for its Paymentshield business, which sells insurance that allows workers to keep up mortgage payments if they lose their income. The unit could fetch up to 400 million pounds which would be used to repay some of Towergate's debt ahead of a possible stock market listing, the paper said without citing sources. Sunday Telegraph BARCLAYS SEEKS THREE NEW DIRECTORS Barclays chairman David Walker has hired executive search firm MWM Consulting to recruit three new non-executive directors, and wants at least one of new appointees to be female, the Sunday Telegraph said without citing sources.