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Wednesday Papers: Disney offers to buy Sky News

And Spotify ended first trading day with $30 billion valuation in one of the biggest technology flotations for years.

Wednesday Papers: Disney offers to buy Sky News

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Walt Disney has offered to buy Sky News from Rupert Mudroch immediately after Fox's acquisition of the television outlet, attempting to ease political and regulatory fears of the media mogul’s dominance in Britain.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Music streaming giant Spotify's value shot up to as high as $30 billion on the New York Stock Exchange debut making its listing the third-biggest for a technology company on record.
  • The Times: Much of the French railway system was on the verge of a standstill after French railway unions began a three-month strike aimed at halting President Macron’s drive to reshape France.
  • The Times: EDF has urged the UK government to come up with viable funding model for its planned nuclear power plants else the French energy company will abandon work on a proposed nuclear plant in Suffolk.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s second-largest housebuilder Persimmon is facing a revolt over executive payout at its annual meeting this month after leading adviser Glass Lewis called on shareholders to turn down the company’s pay plans.
  • The Guardian: US officials have drawn another list of Chinese imports set to be targeted by US tariffs, after Beijing imposed duties on about $3 billion in US exports in retaliation to similar act of the US.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The assets in star stockpicker Neil Woodford’s flagship fund have fell below £7 billion for the first time since 2015 amid dismal returns and a series of redemptions by investors.
  • The Times: Anglo American had to temporarily halt operations at its vast Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil after a second pipeline leak was found.
  • The Times: Cuadrilla, the only company to have fracked for shale gas in Britain, has admitted to further delays in its efforts to find new reserves in Lancashire.
  • The Guardian: The struggling toymaker Hornby is seeking a new finance deal with lenders on the back of poor sales in the first three months of 2018.
  • Financial Times: The US and European regulators have accepted regulatory submissions for AstraZeneca's cancer drugs as the first step towards granting approval for these medicines.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Despite increasing production of its “mass market” Model 3 electric cars, Tesla is still falling short of the targets that the company’s billionaire founder Elon Musk intended.
  • The Times: RAC’s insurance customers may get compensation after it was found that the roadside recovery company has breached rules about renewal premiums.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Regional airline Flybe's has issued a warning that its profits would take a hit after the brutal winter conditions forced it to cancel almost 1,000 flights.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Young's Seafood, the supplier of seafood to Marks & Spencer, may shut its Pinney's site in Annan, in the south of Scotland, endangering 450 jobs, saying it is "no longer financially sustainable" to keep the factory open.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Apple’s male staff in the UK earn on average 2% less salaries than its female employees, the company has revealed; however, the tech giant still employs more than twice as many men as women in the country.
  • Financial Times: Samsung is being probed by South Korean prosecutors for alleged role of the company to sabotage efforts to set up labour unions as South Korean workers push for improved rights under President Moon Jae-in’s administration.
  • The Times: The world’s largest advertising agency WPP has hired a law firm to look into allegations that its chief executive Martin Sorrell misused company assets.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): HOLD Jackpotjoy; HOLD Parity; AVOID Vodafone.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Superdry; HOLD Fidessa.
  • Daily Mail (Trader tips): BUY ground engineering contractor Keller, but SELL doorstep lender Provident Financial.
  • The Times: Sale of the financial software group Fidessa by Tenemos has been put on hold as the company said that it had received fresh bid approaches from two unnamed parties.
  • Daily Mail: Chinese private equity firm, ZQ Capital, has emerged as the front runner to buy the embattled drinks firm Conviviality.
  • Financial Times: CBS is set to make a below-market offer to acquire Viacom; a takeover at Viacom’s current share price would value the cable channel operator at more than $22 billion, including its roughly $10 billion of net debt.
  • The Times: Country Garden, the Chinese company that is among the world’s largest residential property developers, has bought a site in Poplar, east London, with planning consent for a £400 million development that includes 785 homes.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hundreds of British businesses, including the likes of Sports Direct, Savills and Foxtons are yet to reveal their gender pay gap figures despite the government deadline being midnight today.
  • Financial Times: The world’s second largest academic publisher Springer Nature is eying a stock-market listing in Frankfurt.
  • Financial Times: Abu Dhabi Financial Group has bought most of the stake of disgraced founding partner Dave McClure and several other employees in the Silicon Valley venture capitalist 500 Startups.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Oligarchs hide billions in shell companies, here's how we stop them.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): We cannot call for free markets, then pull up the drawbridge when it suits us.

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