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Saturday Papers: Discovery in talks with BSkyB over joint Channel 5 bid

Saturday Papers: Discovery in talks with BSkyB over joint Channel 5 bid

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The John Malone-backed Discovery Communications is in talks with BSkyB over joining a bid for Channel 5, which is being sold by Richard Desmond, in a deal that would give America’s so-called “cable cowboy” a foothold in UK free-to-air broadcasting.
  • The Independent: A mysterious Saudi "princess" Sara Al Amoudi has won a £14 million High Court battle against two London property tycoons who accused her of tricking them out of a multi-million pound property empire.
  • Financial Times: Volkswagen has offered €6.7 billion to buy the rest of Swedish truckmaker Scania that it does not already own, as Europe’s largest vehicle manufacturer aims to deeper integrate its commercial vehicle businesses.
  • Financial Times: Ireland’s bad bank, the National Asset Management Agency, is trying to sell its entire €4 billion Northern Irish property portfolio, nicknamed Project Eagle.
  • Financial Times: A renewed sense of optimism about the US economy helped keep February’s global equity rally intact.
  • Financial Times: Emerging market outflows slowed this week as worries about China and US central bank tapering receded.
  • Daily Mail: Tesco is in talks with a private equity firm that could see the grocer reduce its exposure to yet another country by selling part of its troubled Turkish business.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Informa’s new chief executive has appeared to rule out major asset sales, as the events and publishing business seeks to revive organic growth.
  • The Guardian: Tesco boss Philip Clarke is expected to signal next week that the scale of the investment needed to win back disaffected UK shoppers will mean sacrificing the industry-leading levels of profitability that once made the supermarket chain one of Britain's most admired companies.
  • Daily Mail: Tony Bates, the finance chief who wiped out investors’ money at the firm that published Yellow Pages, is joining Inmarsat.
  • Financial Times: Royal Bank of Scotland has said it will increase its high street presence tenfold by piggybacking on the UK’s vast network of Post Office branches.
  • Daily Mail: The Real Good Food Company, one of the main suppliers of Danish pastries to Marks & Spencer, has issued a profit warning and warned of soaring patisserie prices following a spat with sugar supplier Associated British Foods.
  • The Independent: French fashion group Kering today revealed slowing growth at its flagship label Gucci as well as a 95% slump in net profits.
  • The Independent: The influential Treasury Select Committee is to launch an investigation into small business lending amid a growing scandal about banks’ treatment of the economically vital sector.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Mail: Shell continued a spring clean of assets with the £1.6 billion sale of its Australian downstream business to oil trader Vitol.
  • Daily Mail: Unilever has sold its Peperami snacks business to an American beef jerky giant as part of plans to slim down its portfolio of less important brands.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Investment firm offers to buy a 51% stake in either Barnes & Noble or its Nook e-reader business.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Google buys UK anti-fraud start-up; the search giant plans to use Spider.io's fraud protection technology in its display and video ad products.
  • Financial Times: Xeros, which has invented a near-waterless washing machine, is to float on Aim with an expected value of about £100 million.
  • Financial Times: Trafigura, the commodities trading house, will take a minority stake in a new copper smelter in southern China, marking only the second time that a foreign company has made a large investment in the Chinese non-ferrous metals industry.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Groupon tumbled at the fastest pace in a year after the company said it expected a loss in its first quarter.
  • The Independent (Comment): BAE boss Ian King keeps mum over Scottish independence.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Groupon: daily deals group rejected a $6 billion buyout only to be worth the same today. But its 44 million users shouldn’t be dismissed.
  • Financial Times (Lex): RBS: the UK bank needs capital, but its biggest shareholder might prove strangely reluctant to stump up. So what is a bank to do?

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