LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday:
The Sunday Times
Vodafone and BSkyB have held high-level discussions to curb BT’s increasing grip on the broadband market.
Tesco weighed up a bid for baby products chain Mothercare six months ago as part of a wider effort to reinvigorate its British hypermarkets.
Blackstone and PAI Partners, owners of United Biscuits, have lined up investment bank JPMorgan to hunt for buyers for the business. American groups Mondelez, PepsiCo and Campbell’s are among those thought to have shown an interest, the newspaper said.
Pension fund manager Legal & General is planning to build five new towns across Britain in the next ten years at a cost of up to 5 billion pounds ($8.22 billion).
Britain’s biggest online takeaway service Just-Eat has hired JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs to look at a listing which could value the company as much as 800 million pounds. The listing could be launched in the first half of this year.
The Sunday Telegraph
The government is planning to accelerate the sale of the next tranche of shares in Lloyds Banking Group to as early as mid-February.
A second activist investor, Sandell Asset Management, has emerged as a shareholder in Morrisons. The supermarket group is already under pressure from another activist investor, hedge fund Elliot Associates, to sell off a large part of its property portfolio.
Legal & General’s chief executive has warned that the government’s Help to Buy mortgage support scheme could drive a price bubble which would make homes unaffordable for all except the most affluent.
British travel and insurance group Saga will invite its customers to become shareholders in a magazine article next week, kicking off the company’s potential 3 billion pound float.
Owners of the stalled Pinnacle skyscraper in London’s City financial district have opened discussions with about 12 potential new investors. The building is developed by Arab Investments, backed by Saudi Arabian wealth fund SEDCO and U.S. property investor Pramerica.
Financial Times Weekend
Sandell Asset Management, which is pressing for the break up of FirstGroup, said the bus and rail operator had to provide more detail on how it would engineer a turnaround after a weak trading update.