PRESS DIGEST - Sunday British business - Aug 17

LONDON Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:43am EDT

LONDON Aug 17 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday. Reuters has not independently verified these media reports and does not vouch for their accuracy.

THE SUNDAY TIMES

CARILLION WEIGHS FINAL BALFOUR SWEETENER

Carillion directors are weighing a last-ditch sweetener to rescue a 3 billion pound ($5 billion) construction merger with rival Balfour Beatty.

LASTMINUTE.COM FOR SALE

Lastminute.com, one of the best known British businesses from the original dot-com boom, is to be put up for sale by U.S. technology and travel specialist Sabre. Sabre's Travelocity bought Lastminute.com or 577 million pounds in 2005 but the business is likely to fetch much less now.

MONARCH AIRLINES TO CUT 1,000 JOBS

Monarch Airlines is to cut more than 1,000 jobs - about a third of its staff - as part of a major overhaul to reduce losses and woo new investors. The carrier's fleet of aircraft will be shrunk to 30 from 42.

NEW TESCO CHIEF URGED TO CUT DIVIDEND

Tesco's new chief executive Dave Lewis may need to make a drasti cut to the supermarket chain's 1.2 billion pound dividend, according to David Herro of Harris Associates, which owns 3 percent of Tesco.

MICK DAVIS IN TALKS TO BUY GOLDMAN COAL MINER

Mining tycoon Mick Davis is in talks to buy a $3 billion Colombian coal miner owned by Goldman Sachs. The deal for Colombian Natural Resources would be the first for X2, the company Davis set up after he sold Xstrata to Glencore.

PRESSURE MOUNTS ON OPHIR CHAIRMAN

Oil and gas explorer Ophir is considering replacing long-serving Chairman Nicholas Smith amid investor pressure over its falling share price.

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

POULTRY GROUP MOY PARK PLANS LONDON LISTING

European poultry producer Moy Park, is owned by Brazil's Marfrig, is working on plans for a 1 billion pound London stock market flotation. The food business is the biggest company in Northern Ireland.

RAC STAFF IN LINE FOR WINDFALL FROM IPO

Scores of senior managers in breakdown recovery service RAC are in line to share a 300 million pound windfall if the group pushes ahead with its expected stock market listing next month.

PRIORY IN TALKS TO BUY CYGNET HEALTHCARE

Private hospital group The Priory is in talks to buy Cygnet Healthcare for about 200 million pounds.

BUSINESS RATES CHAOS COSTS 4 BLN POUNDS

The British government is expected to pay back 4.2 billion pounds to businesses that appeal against their tax bill, reflecting the chaotic state of he country's business rates system. ($1 = 0.5990 British Pounds) (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Goodman)

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