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Sunday Papers: Builders walk away from new PFI deals

Sunday Papers: Builders walk away from new PFI deals

Top stories

  • The Sunday Times: Bosses of top construction and outsourcing companies have warned ministers they will no longer accept fixed-price PFI deals after the collapse of Carillion.
  • Mail on Sunday: A small band of City operators have made £200 million in profits from betting against shares in Carillion; the hedge fund of George Soros was a major short-seller following crash; banks provide £225 million of support to businesses at risk by the collapse.
  • Mail on Sunday: Short-sellers who cashed in on Carillion’s collapse are now targeting its rival Interserve and other Government contractors.
  • The Sunday Times: The CBI is calling for Britain to remain in a customs union with the EU, in a direct challenge to the government’s ambition to pursue an independent trade policy after Brexit.

Business and economics

  • The Observer: Irresponsible company bosses who “line their own pockets” while failing to protect workers’ pension schemes are to be hit with huge fines, under plans to be announced by Theresa May’s government within weeks.
  • The Sunday Times: Telegram, a “hack-proof” messaging app created by a Russian coder, is planning a $2 billion cryptocurrency fundraising that will set a record for a so-called initial coin offering.
  • The Sunday Telegraph: New Look’s bondholders have drafted in expert restructuring lawyers to represent their interests amid growing concerns that the struggling fashion retailer will be forced into a costly ­financial overhaul.
  • The Sunday Telegraph: Britain’s jobs miracle is back on track after companies renewed hiring in November, setting the economy up for a strong start to the year and quelling concerns that employment was slowing.
  • The Sunday Times: The economy held up well at the end of last year in the face of a squeeze on household incomes, but official figures this week are set to confirm that Britain missed out on a global growth spurt in 2017.
  • The Sunday Telegraph: Private equity firms have begun circling Poundland amid expectations that its scandal-ridden South African owner could be forced to sell the high street chain.
  • The Sunday Times: Hans Bishop, the chief executive and co-founder of Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics, could pocket more than $200 million (£144m) from the mooted sale of his five-year-old cancer drug developer.
  • The Sunday Telegraph: Selfridges & Co has put its struggling department store rivals to shame by toasting a 10pc jump in sales over the festive period.
  • The Sunday Times: Donald Trump is expected to slap new tariffs on America’s aluminium imports as a nine-month inquiry into the industry concludes this week.
  • The Sunday Times: The publisher of easyJet’s inflight magazines is weighing a multimillion-pound sale or float of the business; the owners of Ink have appointed corporate finance advisers from KPMG to look into “strategic options”.
  • The Sunday Telegraph: One of the backers of the Thames Tideway Tunnel is in talks to help ­finance the £16 billion Sizewell nuclear plant that is being built in East Anglia.
  • The Observer: UK consultancy giant Ernst & Young has been accused of “unlawful, unprofessional and unethical” conduct over its relationship with a Dubai firm that was allegedly involved in money laundering and buying gold from conflict zones.
  • The Sunday Telegraph: Brutal restaurant trading conditions could lead to a cut in shareholder payouts at the owner of Frankie & Benny’s as it braces for another steep fall in profits.
  • The Sunday Times: One of Informa’s largest shareholders has criticised the events and business information giant’s £3.8 billion swoop on smaller rival UBM.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Sunday Telegraph (Questor share tip): The goods might be fast-moving, but shareholders should not rush to invest their money in Unilever. SELL.
  • The Sunday Telegraph: A hostile takeover bid for FTSE-100 engineer GKN is set to face intense government scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic amid concerns over ­national security and the prospect of politically sensitive job losses.
  • The Sunday Times: The industrial turnaround outfit that has tabled a £7.4 billion hostile bid for GKN could be poised to hand its shareholders a cash windfall of up to £1 billion.
  • The Sunday Times: Airbnb has dropped its $1 billion (£722m) pursuit of a clutch of upmarket British holiday operators.
  • The Sunday Times: The owner of the Mirror newspapers is closing in on a takeover of the Express, valuing the rival publisher at more than £130 million.
  • The Sunday Times: Ivan Glasenberg’s plans to expand his Glencore commodities empire further into agricultural trading were thrown into doubt this weekend after a rival made a takeover approach for Bunge, the American grain trader he has been pursuing since last summer.
  • The Observer (Comment): Britain’s tired old economy isn’t strong enough for Brexit.
  • The Sunday Telegraph (Comment): Carillion fallout must trigger corporate governance changes, but it might not be enough to stop another casualty.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The PFI sham gives capitalism a bad name and paves the way for Corbyn.
  • The Sunday Telegraph (Comment): Donald Trump's Davos visit will be a breath of fresh alpine air.

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