PRESS DIGEST-Sunday British Business-Aug 25

LONDON Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:39am EDT

LONDON Aug 25 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday:

The Sunday Times

ACTIVIST INVESTOR COULD DOUBLE STAKE IN G4S

Cevian Capital, an activist investor and second-largest investor in security contractor G4S, could increase its stake to 10 percent from 5.1 percent, according to City sources.

The sources say Cevian could encourage the group to attempt a complex three-way break-up, selling its cash management business to a rival and separating European and emerging markets operations. It could also, however, support a rationalisation plan led by the company's new chief executive, Ashley Almanza.

G4S reports interim results on Aug. 28

CO-OP FACES $2.5 BLN WRITEDOWN

The Co-operative Group is preparing to write off up to 1.6 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) on the value of its bank within weeks, as part of a rescue package.

The group is expected to unveil losses on bad loans running to hundreds of millions of pounds this week.

FOXTONS BOSSES IN LINE FOR 100 MLN STG

Bosses at Foxtons are in line for a windfall of up to 100 million pounds as the London estate agency prepares to list.

Foxtons is expected to announce its intention to float on Tuesday, with a listing expected to value the business at 400 to 500 million pounds.

BBA AVIATION IN MERGER TALKS WITH U.S. RIVAL

BBA Aviation, which specialises in servicing business jets, has begun merger talks with Arizona-based Standard Aero, an engine repair and maintenance business owned by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise.

Dubai Aerospace has put a price tag of 1.3 billion pounds on Standard Aero, a company it bought together with another servicing business for $1.8 billion six years ago.

WATCHDOG TO TELL RYANAIR TO END FIGHT FOR AER LINGUS

Britain's competition watchdog is expected this week to demand budget airline Ryanair sells all or part of its 29.8 percent stake in Irish rival Aer Lingus.

The Competition Commission's ruling could come as early as Tuesday, ahead of a Sept. 5 deadline.

RBS SALE DELAYS RISK EU FINE FOR BRITAIN

Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to be granted an extension to a Dec. 31 deadline for the sale of 315 bank branches, but the delay could result in a fine.

The European Commission, which gave RBS until the end of 2013 to sell the business, would be entitled to fine the government and there could be further penalties for the bank.

KENTZ SHAREHOLDERS PUT PRICE ON TAKEOVER TALKS

Top shareholders in engineering and construction group Kentz have told suitors they would be open to a takeover at a price of about 650 pence a share.

Amec, the engineering consultant, and German group M+W have made separate approaches, but both were rejected by the group this week.

Kentz shares, which have soared since the approaches were made public, closed on Friday at 567 pence.

Sunday Telegraph

LLOYD'S OF LONDON LAUNCHES SANCTIONS INQUIRY

Insurance market Lloyd's of London has launched a probe into potential breaches of international sanctions by members of its insurance market.

Investigators at Lloyd's are reviewing controls used by its members in an inquiry that began two months ago, with a final report due next year.

New York's top financial regulator is investigating whether reinsurance companies have written policies on international trade with Iran, which could potentially violate new U.S. sanctions. It has written to Lloyd's.

CENTRICA COULD RETURN MORE CASH TO SHAREHOLDERS

British Gas owner Centrica could consider returning more cash to investors after a 500 million pound share buyback this year, its boss said. Chief Executive Sam Laidlaw said it could opt to extend that buyback programme.

"We gave got the headroom," he said. No decision had been made, he said.

MINER BUMI ENDS TALKS TO APPOINT EX-BP MAN

Talks between beleaguered Indonesia-focused coal miner Bumi and a potential new chairman, former BP executive John Manzoni, have ended.

Bumi is concerned Manzoni's skills are operational, at a time when it needs to restore investor confidence. Manzoni, the paper said without citing sources, has concerns over becoming involved in a company dominated by a few big shareholders.

Sunday Express

OWNERS OF FASHION CHAIN LK BENNETT EYE SALE

Owners of LK Bennett, a retailer of women's clothes and shoes, are considering a sale of the company for more than 100 million pounds after its popularity was boosted by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Private equity firms Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius are seeking advisers.

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.