LONDON May 11 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
PHILIP GREEN PLANS STOCK MARKET RETURN WITH ONLINE RETAILER
Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green is heading back to the
stock market for the first time in 26 years after a deal to buy
a stake in Mysale, a fast-growing online store. Green will take
a 25 percent stake in Mysale, which is understood to be sounding
out investment banks over plans to float in London within
BANK SIGNALS RATES TO RISE BEFORE ELECTION
The Bank of England is expected to signal this week that
interest rate rises are likely before the election, as it
upgrades Britain's growth prospects yet again. Mark Carney, the
Bank's governor, is likely to "rubber stamp" market expectations
that the first rate rise will come in the first quarter of 2015
- up to three months earlier than forecast in February.
PFIZER: PLEDGES TO BRITAIN ARE BINDING
Pfizer has called in a top U.S. law firm to fight
accusations that its pledges over a planned 63 billion-pound
($106 billion) takeover of AstraZeneca are worthless.
Ian Read, the Viagra maker's chief executive, has been
advised by Skadden Arps that commitments, including the
retention of 20 percent of research and development staff in
Britain, are legally binding.
SKY PLOTS 22 BILLION-POUND EUROPEAN EMPIRE
BSkyB is planning a series of takeovers that would
turn it into a 22 billion-pound ($37 billion) pay-television
giant in Europe, with enhanced clout in the battle for football
Sky, 39 percent owned by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox
, is in early-stage talks to buy the tycoon's stakes in
Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. Sources close to Sky
cautioned, however, that the negotiations, first reported by
Bloomberg, were in their infancy.
FRESH UPHEAVAL AT PREMIER OIL
Another top executive at Premier Oil is poised to
resign amid a board shake-up that could leave the listed
explorer vulnerable to a takeover. Andrew Lodge, the head of
exploration since 2009, is understood to have informed the board
that he plans to leave.
BRANSON BANK TEES UP 2 BILLION-POUND LISTING
Sir Richard Branson is lining up a bumper payday from a
float of Virgin Money, the banking arm of his sprawling business
empire. The high street lender, which has more than 4 million
customers, is close to appointing two investment banks to begin
preparations for a listing next year.
LONMIN THREATENS TO CLOSE MINES
The world's third-biggest platinum miner is losing 1.8
million pounds ($3 million) a day and could be forced to close
mines if a damaging strike by South African workers is not
Ben Magara, Lonmin's chief executive, will issue the
warning tomorrow when he unveils a huge loss at the company's
PANEL MAY PROBE OFFER FOR COAL MINER
The Takeover Panel is considering launching a probe into a
proposal to wind up Asia Resource Minerals. The
company's only asset is an 85 percent stake in PT Berau
, an Indonesian coal producer that is managed by a
Last week Asia Resource Minerals revealed that Samin Tan,
the former chairman who holds a 47 percent stake, wants to
delist the company and hand its Berau shares, which trade on the
Jakarta exchange, to investors.
BALFOUR BEATTY'S SOP TO INVESTORS
Balfour Beatty is planning to return several
hundred million pounds to shareholders from the sale of its
American division Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The embattled construction company, which last week lost
Chief Executive Andrew McNaughton after a shock profit warning,
has employed Goldman Sachs to sell the arm.
The Sunday Telegraph
INVESTORS TELL ASTRA TO ENGAGE
Shareholders in AstraZeneca have told the company's
management they must engage with Pfizer if and when the U.S.
drugs giant returns with a higher offer.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that a number of major
investors who have met chief executive Pascal Soriot in recent
days are understood to have told him that a higher offer must
not be rejected without full engagement.
CARPHONE WAREHOUSE TO ANNOUNCE 3.6 BLN-POUND DIXONS TIE-UP
Carphone Warehouse is poised to announce its 3.6
billion pound ($6 billion) tie-up with Dixons Retail in
a deal that will change the face of British electronics
The two retailers are on Thursday expected to confirm their
"merger of equals" following two months of talks as to how the
deal would be structured and the potential benefits to
shareholders of both companies.
BT GEARS UP FOR 4G PRICE WAR WITH PLANS TO START NEW MOBILE
BT has promised to repeat its radical approach to the
television sport market when it launches its own mobile network
this year, threatening operators and raising the prospect of
price war on 4G services.
BT will re-launch its mobile network for businesses within
three months, with its re-entry into the consumer market due by
ANITE IN TRAVEL SALE TALKS WITH LLOYDS
Software company Anite has entered into exclusive
talks to sell its travel business to LDC, the private equity arm
of Lloyds Banking Group.
Anite, which sits in the FTSE 250 Index, said in February
that it was investigating a "potential disposal of the
business". Evercore is advising the company on the sale process.
It is thought Anite's travel division could fetch around 40
OFCOM POISED TO BLOCK MURDOCH PAY-TV MOVE
Ofcom is poised to obstruct any attempt by Rupert Murdoch to
unite his continental pay-TV businesses with BSkyB in a
way that would give him overall control of the British satellite
Sources said such a deal would be likely to prompt
opposition from the communications regulator, based on media
Mail on Sunday
City experts are warning that Lloyds Banking Group
plans to unleash fresh waves of closures which could mean
hundreds of branches being axed.
The predictions come after Barclays raised fears
that it would shut hundreds of branches as part of its
cost-cutting plans for its retail bank operations. Barclays boss
Antony Jenkins refused to be drawn on how many could close.
($1=0.5938 British pounds)
(Compiled by Kate Holton; Editing by Greg Mahlich)