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Thursday Papers: WPP in crisis over Sorrell claims

And Peugeot has agreed to expand production at Vauxhall’s Luton plant.

 
Thursday Papers: WPP in crisis over Sorrell claims

Top stories

  • The Times: The world’s largest advertising group WPP has landed into crisis after claims about the conduct of its long-serving chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell; allegations have exposed a boardroom rift while raising concern regarding the company's succession plan.
  • Financial Times: French motor group PSA has announced investment of more than £100 million at Vauxhall’s Luton plant to produce new Vauxhall and Opel Vivaro vans, as well as future Peugeot and Citroën models, disregarding uncertain future trading conditions with Europe.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Chinese officials have warned of an all-out trade war with the US after retaliating with a potential list of additional tariffs on key American goods such as soy beans, beef, steel, aluminium, cars, aeroplanes and tobacco.
  • Financial Times: There has been a 20% decline in the number of high-end British homes owned through offshore companies since 2013 after a government crackdown on opaque ownership structures.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Collapse of Carillion and bad weather that slowed work on building sites and delayed deliveries of materials resulted in the slowdown in the Britain’s struggling construction sector.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: Fears of a full-blown trade war between the US and China have wiped £1.8trillion off the value of America's leading companies in recent weeks; the two main benchmarks on Wall Street – the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 – have fallen 10% since peaking on 26 January.
  • Financial Times: Bahrain has discovered an offshore field, which contains at least 80 billion barrels of shale oil and has estimated 10 trillion-20 trillion cubic feet of deep gas reserves, the kingdom's national oil and gas authority said.
  • The Daily Telegraph: John Flint, who took the helm of HSBC in February, is considering further slimming down the lender; he is reviewing up to a quarter of the remaining 67 countries the bank operates in.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Peppa Pig's expansion into Asia has boosted earnings in Entertainment One's family division by 50% in the 12 months to 31 March, compared with the previous year.
  • The Times: The flooring retailer Topps Tiles reported a slowdown in its second quarter as bad weather and an early Easter dampened sales.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Facebook has revealed that more than a million British Facebook users could have had their personal data accessed by Cambridge Analytica; the social media giant also increased its estimates of the total number of users affected from 50 to 87 million.
  • The Times: Smith & Nephew, the FTSE 100 orthopaedics group, has appointed Namal Nawana, a former head of Alere, as chief executive, as the company is facing mounting pressure from Elliott Advisors to break itself up.
  • The Guardian: Apple has hired Google’s AI chief, John Giannandrea, to run its machine learning and AI operations.
  • The Guardian: The struggling retail chain Mothercare has ousted its chief executive Mark Newton-Jones and replaced him with David Wood, previously president of Kmart Holdings.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank has roped in former Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain for its supervisory board, in a reshuffle seen as strengthening the lender’s commitment to its struggling investment bank arm.
  • Financial Times: The environmental group Friends of the Earth said it would file a lawsuit in the Netherlands if Royal Dutch Shell failed to fall into line with the Paris climate agreement.
  • Financial Times: Struggling Chinese conglomerate Anbang Insurance Group will get Rmb61 billion ($9.7 billion) bailout injection from the China Insurance Security Fund to tide it over until the company can find new long-term investors.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY NetApp; HOLD Sophos.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Faroe Petroleum; BUY Topps Tiles.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Zurich-based reinsurer Swiss Re has clarified that Japan's Softbank is considering buying a minority stake of up to 10% - significantly less than the 25% worth $9.6 billion that had been reported previously.
  • The Guardian: Dublin-based C&C Group - which owns Bulmers, Magners and Tennent’s - will acquire the wholesale arm of Conviviality, safeguarding more than 1,800 jobs.
  • Financial Times: A US financial services software provider has gatecrashed a planned £1.4 billion acquisition of the UK financial technology company Fidessa by Switzerland’s Temenos.
  • Financial Times: Viacom has rejected CBS’s below-market offer for failing to recognise the fair value of the company.
  • The Guardian (Comment): US and China playing a gigantic game of chicken.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): America and China risk 'Thucydides Trap' as economic rivalry blows open.
  • The Times (Comment): Wall Street grows wary as Spotify calls tune on fee-free market debut.

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Wednesday Papers: Disney offers to buy Sky News

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