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PRESS DIGEST-Sunday British Business-Sept 29
September 29, 2013 / 2:00 PM / in 4 years

PRESS DIGEST-Sunday British Business-Sept 29

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - British newspapers reported the following business stories on Sunday:

The Sunday Times

HEDGE FUND PUSHES FOR G4S SPLIT

A powerful investor is pushing G4S to break itself up as the troubled security contractor attempts to recover from a string of blunders. Cevian Capital, Europe’s largest activist hedge fund, is pressing for the FTSE 100 company to explore the sale of its “cash solutions” arm, which provides about 25 percent of profits.

It is thought Chief Executive Ashley Almanza will resist Cevian’s radical scheme in favour of offloading non-core businesses.

WOLSELEY WOOS CITY WITH 300 MILLION POUND PAYOUT

Britain’s biggest plumbing parts supplier is expected to shower investors with a special dividend of about 300 million pounds this week, repaying investors who rescued the company four years ago.

Wolseley was bailed out by investors with a 1 billion pound ($1.6 billion) rights issue after it was caught out by the housing collapse in America and Britain.

EX-BARCLAYS BOSS IN RUNNING AT LLOYDS

Martin Taylor, a former chief executive of Barclays , has been tipped as a possible contender to become the new chairman at Lloyds Banking Group. Taylor, 61, is said to be one of a number of contenders in the running to replace Sir Win Bischoff at the helm of the taxpayer-backed bank.

RONSON INJECTS 100 MILLION POUNDS TO SAVE CITY SKYSCRAPER

Gerald Ronson is closing in on a deal to save his City skyscraper from the threat of receivership. The property veteran’s Heron International, which owns a third of Heron Tower, is close to announcing a crucial leasing to Powa Technologies, an ecommerce company run by the dotcom entrepreneur Dan Wagner.

LADBROKES CHIEF‘S LAST CHANCE

The chairman of Ladbrokes has told investors he will remove the bookmaker’s embattled chief executive if performance does not improve by next summer. Peter Erskine gave the ultimatum after Ladbrokes was forced to issue its second profit warning this year, piling pressure on Richard Glynn, the chief executive.

SOFA GIANT JOINS FLOAT RACE WITH 1 BILLION POUNDS OFFER

DFS is lining up a stock market flotation that would value the high street furniture chain at up to 1 billion pounds. Advent, the sofa retailer’s private equity backer, plans to cash in on the float fever that has gripped the City.

CHINA EYES SELLAFIELD

China’s state nuclear technology developer is in talks to buy land earmarked for new atomic reactors in Sellafield, Cumbria. It is understood that State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC) will go ahead only if it receives assurances from Whitehall that it will one day be able to build Chinese-designed nuclear stations in Britain.

The Sunday Telegraph

ENERGY GIANTS CLOSE IN ON GREEN TAXES DELAY

Britain’s biggest energy companies are in late-stage negotiations with the government to delay the implementation of a multi-billion pound green scheme to help take the pressure off the price of bills.

The coalition is considering agreeing to the demands to reform the controversial home insulation scheme, the Energy Companies Obligation, in a deal that could avert steep price rises in the run-up to the next general election.

SPLITTING RBS WILL ALLOW TAXPAYER ‘TO MAKE BIGGER PROFIT’

A radical plan to restructure Royal Bank of Scotland so that the government is able to sell the taxpayer’s stake at a profit has been put forward in a restricted report by the bank’s own broker. The report by UBS comes as the government is considering controversial plans to split RBS into a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bank housing its toxic assets.

GUY HANDS PULLS PLUG ON 1.25 BILLION POUND ODEON FLOAT

Guy Hands has pulled a planned 1.25 billion pounds float of the Odeon cinema chain amid weak trading in its Spanish business. The private equity veteran, who controls Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group through his Terra Firma funds, has decided to maintain control of the business until trading approves.

BOOST AS CHINA VISA RULES RELAX

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has agreed to bring in a joint visa system for the UK and other European nations in order to attract more tourists from China.

Chinese visitors will be able to apply for a tourist visa to the UK using the same application form used by the Schengen group of European Union nations, which includes France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

HEATHROW CEO: PRICE CAP THREAT TO AIRPORT

Investors in Heathrow could make better returns backing rival hub airports in Frankfurt and Paris if the UK’s aviation regulator pushes through “tough” price controls this week, the airport has warned.

Major infrastructure investors will turn their backs on Britain if regulators don’t allow them to make a fair return on their money, Heathrow has argued in a last-ditch attempt to persuade the Civil Aviation Authority to soften its stance.

The Mail on Sunday

OZ MINERALS IS TARGETED BY GLENCORE

Blue chip mining giant Glencore is weighing up a 750 million pound takeover of Australian copper producer OZ Minerals.

City sources said Glencore - one of London’s biggest mining groups, with a stock market value of 45 billion pounds - has secretly been buying shares in OZ Minerals and now its stake is up to 10 percent.

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