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Friday Papers: Apple in talks for $3.2bn Beats deal

Friday Papers: Apple in talks for $3.2bn Beats deal

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Apple is closing in on its largest ever acquisition with the planned $3.2 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and music streaming operator.
  • The Guardian: Barclays is cutting 19,000 jobs in a radical overhaul of its business, including a dramatic scaling back of its investment bank that the chief executive said would avoid a rerun of last year's rows over bonuses.
  • Financial Times: The $35 billion merger of Publicis and Omnicom has collapsed, according to people familiar with the matter, after the deal to create the world’s largest advertising company by revenues became mired in management infighting, regulatory trouble and tax issues.
  • Financial Times: Britain’s biggest medical research foundation has told the government it has “major concerns” over Pfizer’s £63 billion offer for AstraZeneca, as the Wellcome Trust became the latest powerful voice to weigh in over the mooted deal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Mario Draghi hinted at monetary easing in June after keeping interest rates on hold yet again.
  • The Guardian: Centrica, the owner of British Gas, was forced to issue its third profit warning in five months on Thursday, after admitting it had lost an average of 2,200 customers a day since the start of the year.
  • The Independent: House prices fell slightly last month, by 0.2%, according to the latest figures from Halifax representing the second successive monthly price fall and the third in the past six months.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The head of Saga and the AA is in line to reap an estimated £80 million windfall from the expected sales of the services provider to the over 50s and the roadside recovery group.
  • Financial Times: None of the six motions the Co-operative Group’s elected representatives have tabled for discussion at its annual general meeting next Saturday will address the “dysfunctional” governance that Lord Myners said had contributed to a £2.5 billion annual loss and a halving of the 150-year-old group’s accumulated capital in the past four years.
  • Financial Times: Investors in Standard Chartered registered a significant protest vote against the bank’s new pay structure, with more than 40% opposing the policy.
  • Financial Times: Two senior Democratic lawmakers said they would move to stamp out corporate tax “inversions” in the wake of Pfizer’s bid for Britain’s AstraZeneca – a possible harbinger of mounting congressional pressure on the US drugs company.
  • Financial Times: The new owner of the New York Stock Exchange has waded into the raging debate over high-frequency trading and promised to simplify trading in an effort to restore investor confidence in the world’s biggest equity market.
  • Financial Times: Metro reported a slump in sales across all its markets in the first quarter of the year as the German retail group warned that conditions in Russia were creating particular risks for the company.
  • Financial Times: Heathrow Airport has appointed its development director, John Holland-Kaye, as its new chief executive, to take up the fight for a third runway at the London hub.
  • Financial Times: Intu, the FTSE 250-listed retail landlord, plans to sell off chunks of its biggest shopping centres to investors to raise funding for its development programme.
  • Financial Times: Channel 4 reported that advertising revenues were flat in 2013 at £846 million, contrasting with the 2% rise recorded by its larger rival ITV.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of Sage, the UK’s largest software group by market capitalisation, will step down within a year, as the accountancy software maker presses on with dramatically reshaping its business to take advantage of cloud and mobile technologies.
  • Financial Times: Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker by sales, has warned of a weaker year ahead, forecasting a decline in net profit on the back of softer domestic demand prompted by Japan’s first sales tax increase in 15 years.
  • Financial Times: The “disappearing” messages that attracted millions of users to Snapchat were not as ephemeral as they seemed, the start-up has admitted as it settled a privacy complaint from the US Federal Trade Commission.
  • Financial Times: Comcast, the US’s largest cable and broadband provider by revenues, abuses its market power and its behaviour will only worsen if it is allowed to merge with Time Warner Cable, critics of the deal told US lawmakers during a hearing on the proposed transaction on Thursday.
  • Financial Times: German chancellor Angela Merkel has thrown her support behind calls to ease restrictions on consolidation in Europe telecoms sector as the bloc’s competition watchdog nears a decision over two key mergers.
  • Financial Times: Oil companies with reserves in high-cost areas such as Canadian tar sands or deep water are at risk of committing too much capital to uneconomic projects, according to an environmental campaign group that works with investors to highlight the risks of climate change.
  • Financial Times: Apollo Global Management’s profits fell sharply as wobbly stock markets crimped its ability to harvest profits from its portfolio of private equity investments in the first three months of the year.
  • Financial Times: Some of London’s biggest hedge funds have taken up large and opposing positions in the shares of Man Group, their listed rival, ahead of the company’s first-quarter results released on Friday.
  • Financial Times: Charterhouse Capital Partners, the UK’s oldest private equity house, has closed one of the most acrimonious chapters of its 80-year history after defeating claims made by a former dealmaker that his fellow partners owed him millions of pounds and had engaged in improper business behaviour.
  • Financial Times: The Financial Conduct Authority said money managers should only use client dealing commissions to pay for “substantive research” or the cost of executing trades; new FCA rules also clarify that managers can only charge clients for research through trading commissions if it is original and adds value to trading decisions.
  • Financial Times: John Malone has intensified his push into Europe’s television markets, with his Liberty Global cable group, together with Discovery, agreeing a joint £550 million deal to acquire one of the UK’s biggest producers of drama shows.
  • Financial Times: Tesco has stepped up its offensive against the hard discounters and pound stores, dedicating aisles in its stores to cut-price products.
  • Financial Times: BT has completed a transformational year with a 15% rise in its annual dividend and record revenue growth at its consumer arm.
  • Financial Times: Investors in SuperGroup were given a sharp reminder of its volatile history after a dip in sales initially sent its shares down more than 20% on Thursday.
  • Financial Times: The Australian state of Queensland has approved construction of one of the world’s biggest coal mines, dismissing conservationists’ fears that the development of an associated port risks damaging the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Daily Mail: The trading woes facing Morrisons are worse than feared, as Britain’s fourth-biggest grocer has revealed that underlying first-quarter sales have fallen 7.1%.
  • Daily Mail: Marks & Spencer is close to fulfilling all online orders from its state-of-the-art £200 million warehouse in Leicestershire, a milestone on its path to achieving ambitious online sales targets.
  • Daily Mail: More than 3 million customers signing up to BT Sport has helped the former telecoms monopoly score a hit with investors; BT’s £2 billion foray into sport, in which it has launched its own channels and bought the rights to Premier League football and a host of other prestigious matches, was designed to slow the number of people switching their broadband to arch-rival Sky.
  • The Independent: Pret A Manger has reported a 15% jump in sales as appetite for a sandwich lunch in cities like Hong Kong and New York remains strong.
  • The Independent: RSA Insurance chief executive Stephen Hester has claimed that the group has seen "positive changes" after a year of "chaos".
  • The Independent: Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan is set to call for a full investigation by City regulators into the likes of MoneyGram and Western Union after his Africa Progress Report organisation accused the money transfer industry of ripping off the African diaspora to the tune of $1.8 billion a year.
  • The Guardian: The boom in house prices will continue for at least a further two years before interest rate rises bring the process to a halt in 2017, a leading thinktank has predicted.
  • The Guardian: The head of Britain's biggest independent co-operative has hit back at Lord Myners over the City veteran's attack on him and his fellow Co-operative Group board members.
  • The Daily Telegraph: News Corp revenues have fallen due to drop in sales but the media group claims it is seeing the green shoots of a turnaround.
  • The Daily Telegraph: MEPC, a division of Hermes Real Estate, is selling three business parks and reinvesting the cash in new hi-tech clusters.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Poundland closes in on £1 billion sales with 13.3% rise in revenue as customers turn to discounters.

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