REFILE-PRESS DIGEST - Sunday British business - May 19

Sun May 19, 2013 9:24am EDT

LONDON May 19 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday:

The Sunday Telegraph

CARR IN POLE POSITION TO BECOME CHAIRMAN OF BAE SYSTEMS

Roger Carr, Chairman of Centrica and outgoing president of the Confederation of British Industry, is the front runner to become the next chairman of Europe's largest defence contractor BAE Systems.

MUDDY WATERS FOUNDER WARNS OF RISK IN CHINESE BANKING SYSTEM

Carson Block, the founder of U.S. activist investor Muddy Waters, said in an interview that the problems of bad debt within the Chinese banking system are worse than those faced by Western banks before the financial crisis.

SHELL LOBBIED AGAINST RULES TO CLAMP DOWN ON MARKET ABUSE

Royal Dutch Shell lobbied against proposed European rules designed to clamp down on commodity market abuse, arguing they would raise costs for consumers and increase market volatility, according to documents seen by the newspaper.

BOLLAND HAS BACKING OF M&S BOARD

Robert Swannell, the chairman of Marks & Spencer's board, said he is 100 percent behind Chief Executive Marc Bolland and his strategy despite the retailer's clothing business underperforming.

The Sunday Times

BRITAIN'S ROYAL MAIL TO UNVEIL BUMPER PROFITS

Royal Mail is set to post full-year earnings of between 300 million pounds and 400 million pounds next week, paving the way for the government's planned privatisation.

PRIVATE EQUITY GROUPS BATTLE FOR CHESAPEAKE

Buy-out groups Blackstone and Carlyle are vying to acquire Anglo-American packaging firm Chesapeake for 400 million pounds.

The Independent on Sunday

TYRRELLS CRISPS PUT UP FOR SALE BY PRIVATE EQUITY OWNER

Private equity firm Langholm Capital has put crisp maker Tyrrells up for sale for around 100 million pounds. It has appointed corporate finance advisors at McQueen to sell the company, with first round bids due next month.

FIRST GROUP TO UNVEIL RIGHTS ISSUE, CHAIRMAN TO LEAVE

Bus and rail operator FirstGroup is preparing to unveil a 600 million pound rights issue next week to help it pay down debt. The company, whose Chairman Martin Gilbert is poised to step down, will also cut its dividend.

The Mail on Sunday

SHIRE COULD RETURN 2 BLN POUNDS TO INVESTORS

British drugs group Shire is looking at ways to give as much as 2 billion pounds back to its shareholders to bolster its defences against a possible takeover bid by US-based Bristol-Myers Squibb.

CO-OP CHIEF EXECUTIVE SAYS CAPITALIST MODELS NOT WORKING

The chief executive of the Co-operative Group, Euan Sutherland, told the company's annual general meeting that people were looking to the Co-op to provide an alternative to the traditional capitalist model. "The group has challenges but it also has significant opportunities and potential," he said.