December 9, 2016 / 12:48 AM / in 8 months

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Dec. 9

Dec 9 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the
business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified
these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
    
    The Times
    
    McDonald's Corp is to move its overseas headquarters
to the UK from Luxembourg in a boost to Britain's status as a
trading post after Brexit. The American fast food company said
that it would pay corporation tax in the UK on royalties
generated by its hamburger restaurants outside the U.S. About
two-thirds of McDonald's revenue comes from non-U.S. markets. (bit.ly/2gH5TiD)
    
    National Grid Plc has agreed to sell a controlling
stake in its 82,000-mile gas pipeline network to a group of
international investors, including China's sovereign wealth
fund. Britain's power network operator is offloading a 61
percent holding in the largest distributor of gas in the country
to a consortium led by Mira, the infrastructure division of the
Australian investment bank Macquarie. (bit.ly/2hqGc68)
    
    The Guardian
    
    British outsourcing company Capita Plc, whose
contracts include collecting the BBC licence fee, is to replace
staff with robots as it slashes costs. Capita, a FTSE 100-listed
firm that also runs the London congestion charge, said it needed
to axe 2,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting drive in response to
poor trading. (bit.ly/2ghfel5)
    
    The pension funds that own the company running Britain's
only high-speed railway, HS1, are considering a sale after
receiving a number of offers. The Canadian investors, Borealis
and Ontario Teachers, have announced a strategic review of their
ownership of HS1 Ltd, which operates and manages the line on a
30-year concession until 2040. (bit.ly/2ggptRY)
        
    The Telegraph
    
    G4S and Serco are facing extensive losses as a result of the
Home Office's decision to extend its asylum seeker accommodation
contracts until 2019, despite efforts to improve the agreements.
Under the contracts, which were signed in 2012, both firms
provide accommodation, transport and other related services for
asylum seekers across the UK. (bit.ly/2hlk6WE)
    
    Plans championed by Algy Cluff to create a new North Sea
industry burning coal under the seabed to create gas have been
officially killed off after the government said it did not
intend to support the technology. The 76-year-old entrepreneur,
one of the pioneers of the North Sea oil and gas industry, spent
years lobbying for support for "underground coal gasification",
which he hoped to carry out at a series of locations around the
UK. (bit.ly/2gq0Rtc)
    
    Sky News
    
    The EU has announced legal action against the UK and six
other countries over the way they handled the policing of car
emissions, amid a backlash over the Volkswagen AG 
diesel scandal. Officials in Brussels said Germany, Britain,
Spain and Luxembourg were accused of not imposing the same kind
of penalties the automaker faced in the United States over its
use of illegal software to mask emissions levels. (bit.ly/2ggv2zH)
    
    The private equity firm whose investments include Wagamama
and Jimmy Choo is in talks to buy Loungers, the bar and
restaurant chain, for about 140 million pounds ($176.1 million).
Lion Capital is in exclusive negotiations to acquire the
company, which has more than 75 sites across the country. A deal
could be wrapped up before Christmas, according to insiders. (bit.ly/2gh86FA)
 ($1 = 0.7949 pound)

 (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru, editing by G
Crosse)

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