LONDON Jan 26 British newspapers reported the
following business stories on Sunday:
The Sunday Times
U.S. ACTIVIST INVESTOR TARGETS BRITISH GROCERS
Activist fund manager Elliott plans to lead a campaign to force
grocers Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons
to hive off their property into separate listed
companies with the supermarkets selling minority stakes.
MOTHERCARE IN TALKS TO SELL EARLY LEARNING CENTRE
Retailer Mothercare is in talks with several suitors to
sell its Early Learning Centre toy shops as part of a recovery
plan after it issued a profit warning two weeks ago.
BUSINESS LEADERS SLAM LABOUR PLAN TO REVIVE 50P TAX RATE
Entrepreneurs and executives have hit out at Labour's plan to
reintroduce a 50 pence tax rate for high earners. Mike Rake,
president of business lobby group CBI and chairman of BT,
said the plan would lead to less tax income and the creation of
WATER COMPANIES PAID INVESTORS 11 BLN POUNDS IN PAST DECADE
Britain's big six water companies paid 11 billion pounds ($18.2
billion) in dividends in the past decade while increasing bills
by 55 percent and avoiding billions in income tax, according to
analysis by The Sunday Times ahead of a crackdown by the
UBM FACES BREAK-UP AFTER HEDGE FUND RAID
Hedge fund Hengistbury has built up a 5.2 percent stake in
business publishing and events group UBM, increasing
speculation that it will be broken up or will sell its PR
Newswire division, worth about 500 million pounds.
RSA COULD SCRAP DIVIDEND TO PLUG BALANCE-SHEET HOLE
Insurer RSA is understood to be considering scrapping
its dividend to help to raise at least 500 million pounds to
plug a hole in its balance sheet.
BARCLAYS WEIGHING END OF PREMIER LEAGUE SPONSORSHIP
Barclays is considering ending its 40 million
pounds-a-year sponsorship of English soccer's Premier League
when its current deal ends in 2016.
PRUDENTIAL TO BACK UK SOCIAL HOUSING
Prudential is to support efforts to build about 1,000
new homes by providing long-term financing of 156 million pounds
to about 17 local housing associations in Wales.
ARM CHAIRMAN TO STEP DOWN
John Buchanan is understood to be preparing to step down as
chairman of chip designer ARM for health reasons.
AT&T STOKES VODAFONE BID TALK
AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson met EU telecoms
commissioner Neelie Kroes in Davos to discuss the potential
takeover of a leading European rival, with Vodafone said
to be top of his list, Sky News reported.
RBS MAY PLACE BUSINESS BANKING BACK INTO BRANCHES
Royal Bank of Scotland is considering putting small
business lending back under the control of it branch managers as
part of a wider restructuring.
SHOE RETAILER OFFICE COULD BE PUT ON BLOCK
Shoe chain Office could be put up for sale in the next 12 months
by its private equity owner Silverfleet Capital in a deal worth
up to 300 million pounds.
Mail on Sunday
CHINA MOBILE WEIGHS VODAFONE INVESTMENT
China Mobile has examined buying between 5 percent and
20 percent of Britain's Vodafone in the hope of setting
up a joint venture, City sources said.