PRESS DIGEST - British Business - March 12

March 12 Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:53pm EDT

March 12 (Reuters) - The Telegraph

JOHN LEWIS 'ABUSING' SUPPLY CHAIN WITH REBATE DEMAND The department store chain John Lewis - praised by the government as a model British business - has been accused of "abusing" its supply chain by demanding a rebate from suppliers enjoying an increase in sales.

LLOYDS BANKING GROUP TO SELL 20 PCT STAKE IN ST JAMES'S PLACE Lloyds Banking Group is set to sell a 20 percent stake in wealth manager St James's Place in a deal that could raise as much as 400 million pounds for the taxpayer-backed lender. BLACKSTONE LOOKS AT 500 MLN STG TILT FOR MCCARTHY & STONE Blackstone, the U.S. private equity firm, is running the slide rule over a potential 500 million pound bid for McCarthy & Stone, the UK's largest retirement homes builder.

BIDDERS CIRCLE 1 BLN STG BID FOR LUCOZADE AND RIBENA A 1 billion pound bidding war for Lucozade and Ribena is bubbling up with a raft of private equity firms from Blackstone to Permira considering potential offers for the brands.

The Guardian

IBERIA UNIONS AND IAG CLOSE TO AGREEMENT TO SAVE 666 JOBS International Airlines Group accepts mediator's deal to reduce job losses from 3,807 to 3,141 and increase severance pay.

The Times

RECESSION FEARS PROMPT STERLING EXODUS Sterling hit a 30-month low against the dollar on Monday as hedge funds and long-term investors took flight amid fears of further weakening given contrasting outlooks for the UK and U.S. economies.

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