PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Feb 17

Reuters

Feb 17 - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Telegraph

RETAILERS REVEAL NEW BUSINESS RATES OPTIONS

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The British Retail Consortium has hired accountancy firm EY to research alternatives to the tax and will on Monday publish three potential options alongside modifying the existing system.

READER'S DIGEST SOLD FOR 1 POUND BY BETTER CAPITAL

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Reader's Digest has been sold for just 1 pound by Better Capital to a venture capitalist whose former television company created "Bob the Builder". The sale marks another chapter in the magazine publishing company's chequered history.

The Guardian

BRITISH GAS OWNER CENTRICA UNDER FIRE FROM FUEL POVERTY CAMPAIGNERS

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Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has come under fire from fuel poverty campaigners before announcing profits of almost 3 billion pounds this week. "Although Centrica care little for their customers freezing to death in their homes they have shown commitment to their shareholders, by recently handing back 420 million pounds to them", a spokeswoman for the Fuel Poverty Action group said.

ROYAL MAIL AND CWU IN TALKS OVER WORKING CONDITIONS CHARTER

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Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union have started talks on a company charter to enshrine their post-privatisation agreement over working conditions for more than 100,000 workers so that the terms can only be overturned by a vote of the company's shareholders.

The Times

ESSAR TAKEOVER DEALS BLOW TO CITY CREDIBILITY

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The Ruias are putting the final touches to a takeover bid for Essar Energy the power company they floated in 2010.

ROLLS-ROYCE FACES CLASH WITH INVESTORS AFTER ACCOUNTS PROBE

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Rolls-Royce faces a showdown with investors over how it accounts for lucrative contracts to service aircraft engines. The company will now hold a briefing on the issue at July's Farnborough airshow.

Sky News

HESTER FLOATS 200 MILLION POUNDS SALE OF RSA CANADA UNIT

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Sky News has learnt that RSA has commenced an auction of Noraxis Capital Corporation, a network of regional insurance brokers, which could raise as much as 200 million pounds.

BARCLAYS BEGINS SEARCH FOR WALKER SUCCESSOR

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Sky News has learnt that Barclays has engaged headhunters to begin a search process to replace Sir David Walker as chairman in the coming months and has already commenced board discussions about the plan.

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