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Friday Papers: Tyson offers $6.8bn for Hillshire Brands

Friday Papers: Tyson offers $6.8bn for Hillshire Brands

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Tyson Foods has injected itself into the deal frenzy gripping the US food industry with a $6.8 billion bid for Hillshire Brands, an offer that came less than 48 hours after Pilgrim’s Pride launched a $6.4 billion takeover.
  • Financial Times: Britain said on Thursday it would include prostitution and illegal drugs in its official national accounts for the first time; the move is one of the changes planned for September that will add up to 5% to the UK’s gross domestic product.
  • The Guardian: The US economy contracted for the first time in three years in early 2014 after a much worse performance than originally feared; Washington's commerce department said the world's biggest economy shrank at an annual rate of 1% during the first quarter – a period marked by an unusually harsh winter in some of the more populous states.
  • The Independent: Lending to small businesses has declined by £700 million while the taxpayer underwrites more than £1 billion of home loans with mortgage guarantees, official figures show.
  • The Daily Telegraph: US 'seeks to fine BNP Paribas more than $10 billion' accusing the bank of violating US sanctions on Iran, Sudan and Cuba.
  • The Guardian: Britain's economic prospects are the brightest they have been in more than a decade and optimism among consumers has surged to its best level in nine years, according to separate reports published on Friday.
  • Financial Times: Big investors, including hedge funds, mutual funds and real estate trusts, are replacing banks as the biggest users of the overnight funding market that played a key role in the financial crisis.
  • The Independent: BP has requested the US Supreme Court permission to freeze compensation claims as it waits for another judge in the court to review its litigation over businesses caught up in 2010’s Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Centrica is in advanced talks to appoint Iain Conn, head of refining at BP, as the successor to chief executive Sam Laidlaw, said people familiar with the matter.
  • Financial Times: The second stage of the government’s Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme is boosting sales in some of the slowest-growing parts of Britain’s housing market – where prices are still below the pre-crisis peak – but there is little sign it has influenced booming sales in London.
  • Financial Times: Almost a quarter of employers running final salary pension schemes face a substantial increase in the annual levy they pay into the pensions lifeboat fund under proposals announced on Thursday.
  • Financial Times: Transport for London is seeking a High Court ruling on the claim by the capital’s black cabs that Uber’s car service is breaking the law by using an app as a taxi meter to determine charges.
  • Financial Times: The growing disparity in Britain’s housing market was illustrated by household data published on Thursday showing a sharp rise in both empty homes and those that are intensively occupied.
  • Financial Times: The British Chambers of Commerce has become the latest organisation to upgrade its UK economic forecasts, predicting the economy will grow this year at its fastest rate since 2007.
  • Financial Times: Vince Cable will announce plans to force companies to publish information about their payment terms in an effort to shame big businesses into paying suppliers on time.
  • Financial Times: Google needs to do more to reduce the prominence of illegal websites in its search results, according to a report prepared by David Cameron’s adviser on intellectual property.
  • Financial Times: The International Monetary Fund has warned African nations issuing billions of dollars in sovereign bonds that they could overload their economies with too much debt and derail the best economic period for the region in a generation.
  • Financial Times: Ending the US ban on crude oil exports could raise the country’s production by more than 1 million barrels a day, according to IHS, a consultancy.
  • Financial Times: Electronic cigarette sales at US convenience stores have fallen for the first time, underlining a shift towards larger devices that are cheaper and allow more customisation.
  • Financial Times: The World Health Organisation has slapped down British American Tobacco’s attempts to involve itself in the public health debate on ecigarettes; the world’s second-largest tobacco company by market share had called on the WHO to allow the FTSE 100 group to have a say on the future regulation of ecigarettes and other non-tobacco products.
  • Financial Times: Filling three key executive posts at Centrica is likely to generate lucrative fees for the headhunters, but potential candidates may be disappointed by the pay packages on offer at Britain’s biggest household energy supplier.
  • Financial Times: GlaxoSmithKline has invited private equity firms to bid for some of its older drugs in the latest step by Sir Andrew Witty, chief executive, to reshape the UK’s biggest drugmaker.
  • Financial Times: Severn Trent is locked in talks to justify spending £255 million over the next five years aimed at improving the resilience of Birmingham’s water supplies from a site in Wales.
  • Financial Times: Italy’s health ministry said that it plans to seek damages of €1.2 billion from Roche and Novartis after the Italian antitrust authority ruled that the Swiss pharmaceuticals companies had colluded to protect one of their best-selling drugs against a cheaper alternative.
  • Financial Times: Ajay Kanwal, new head of Standard Chartered’s lossmaking business in South Korea has vowed to pursue growth in the country, even as the bank presses ahead with sweeping restructuring plans at an operation that has dragged down group profits.
  • Financial Times: Abercrombie & Fitch reported smaller-than-expected losses in the latest quarter, after discounting and product overhauls narrowed falling sales for the struggling teen retailer.
  • Financial Times: Activist hedge fund Marcato Capital Management has revealed itself as one of InterContinental Hotels Group’s biggest shareholders and called on the group’s management to seriously consider a takeover bid.
  • Financial Times: John Mack, the former chief executive of Morgan Stanley, is to step down from the board of Russia’s state-controlled oil group Rosneft; his move comes after the US Treasury department last month sanctioned Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s president, in connection with Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
  • Financial Times: Smith & Nephew was pushed firmly into the deal frenzy gripping the healthcare industry on Thursday after its US rival Stryker said it had been evaluating a takeover bid for the UK medical device maker.
  • Financial Times: Dish Network, the US satellite broadcaster, will become the largest company to accept payment in Bitcoin, underscoring how a tumbling exchange rate and security problems have failed to halt the march of the fledgling digital currency.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of Kingfisher said its B&Q DIY chain discounted “too much” in the first quarter after a drop in margin and an earnings miss sent shares down more than 6%.
  • Financial Times: British luxury carmaker Jaguar Land-Rover continues to shore up parent Tata Motors, as a prolonged economic slowdown weighs on India’s domestic business.
  • Financial Times: A closely scrutinised merger between two telecoms groups in Ireland has met with opposition from both the national regulator and rivals groups in spite of receiving the blessing of Europe’s antitrust watchdog.
  • Financial Times: English housing associations are taking increasing risks in the property market by developing more homes for sale, credit rating agency Moody’s has warned.
  • Financial Times: Tate & Lyle said it faced another year of lower earnings after reporting a 4% drop in full-year pre-tax profit because of sharply lower prices for its sucralose sweetener and weak US fizzy drinks sales.
  • Financial Times: Mediobanca, the Italian investment bank, has hired Francesco Canzonieri, formerly head of financial investments for periphery and eastern Europe at Barclays Capital, as it seeks to reposition itself as a pan-European boutique.
  • Financial Times: Australian billionaire Frank Lowy’s A$70 billion (US$65 billion) plan to split the Westfield shopping centre empire into two separate companies was delayed when a knife-edge shareholder vote was dramatically abandoned when it was about to be rejected.
  • Daily Mail: Hundreds of marchers descended on the offices of FTSE 100 miner Vedanta Resources in Zambia after explosive comments by its executive chairman about the firm’s vast profits; the march was sparked by a video showing Vedanta boss Anil Agarwal boasting that the firm has made up to $1 billion every year for nearly a decade from its Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) subsidiary.
  • Daily Mail: The Treasury has denied suggestions it may do away with the 25% tax-free lump sum after reports this morning the Government faces a potential £24 billion budget 'black-hole' over its pension freedom plans.
  • Daily Express: Tesco has forged a deal that will see a major overhaul of its business in China in a partnership with the country’s largest super­market group; Britain’s biggest retailer has formed a joint venture with state-owned China Resources Enterprise (CRE).
  • The Guardian: Walmart workers and supporters in the trade union movement say they intend to stage a new series of protests over wages and conditions at America's largest private employer, in which they will target the firm's family-friendly ethic ahead of its annual shareholders meeting next week.
  • The Guardian: Alex Salmond’s claim that Scotland is one of the richest countries in the developed world has been challenged in a study by Glasgow University academics which finds it is a middle-ranking economy with high levels of foreign ownership.
  • The Guardian: The head of the Financial Conduct Authority has warned City firms not to use the economic recovery as an excuse to lobby against rules put in place since the financial crisis.
  • The Guardian: The Co-operative Group will put reforms of its governance to a vote in September after consulting with its regional boards and independent societies.
  • The Guardian: Britain would be a significantly poorer country without deep cuts in interest rates and the Bank of England's emergency injection of £375 billion into the economy through its controversial quantitative easing (QE) programme, one of the Bank's leading policy makers has said.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Reebok aiming to become the number one brand for fitness consumers in the next five years.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gene therapy company, Oxford BioMedica, raised £20 million to develop eye medicines seeking major slice of growing ophthalmology market.

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