PRESS DIGEST- British Business - May 1

Reuters

May 1 (Reuters) - 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

RECKITT BENCKISER BOWS OUT OF RACE FOR MERCK'S CONSUMER HEALTH ARM

Reckitt Benckiser has said it is no longer in discussions about buying U.S. pharma group Merck's consumer health business, leaving Germany's Bayer as the leading contender for the $14 billion business. (http://link.reuters.com/gyc98v)

ABU DHABI AND SOROS GOT 'GOLDEN TICKET' IN ROYAL MAIL SALE

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, billionaire investor George Soros and activist hedge fund Third Point were among the 16 investors given preferential treatment in the controversial Royal Mail privatisation. (http://link.reuters.com/zeb98v)

ARGOS TO OPEN STORES IN HOMEBASE

Argos is to open concessions in Homebase stores and will also roll out a collection of small convenience stores in London as the retailer ramps up its fight with Amazon. (http://link.reuters.com/cub98v)

The Guardian

MORRISONS CUTS PRICE OF 1,200 PRODUCTS IN BID TO WIN CUSTOMERS BACK

A supermarket price war will move a step closer on Thursday as struggling Morrisons slashes the price of more than 1,200 products in an attempt to regain customers lost to cheaper discount chains. (http://link.reuters.com/hyc98v)

GLAXOSMITHKLINE KEEPS DISTANCE FROM BID FOR RIVAL ASTRAZENECA

GlaxoSmithKline has distanced itself from a white-knight bid for rival British drugs maker AstraZeneca , which has received an unwanted 60 billion pound ($101.31 billion) takeover approach from Pfizer of the United States. (http://link.reuters.com/qyc98v)

The Times

SERCO ON BRINK AS ANDREW JENNER, FINANCE DIRECTOR, QUITS

The finance director of Serco has left his job in the wake of a disastrous profit warning as the struggling outsourcing group plots an emergency fundraising to shore up its ailing balance sheet. (http://link.reuters.com/nyc98v)

PARIS MAY TAKE STAKE IN ALSTOM TO STOP GE

France's Socialist government hinted it could take a stake in Alstom to thwart General Electric's 12.35 billion euro ($17.12 billion) bid for the French group's power division. (http://link.reuters.com/ryc98v)

CHANNEL 5 SOLD FOR 450 MLN BY DESMOND

Media baron Richard Desmond is set to complete the sale of Channel 5 to U.S. broadcaster Viacom, the owner of MTV, for up to 450 million pounds. (http://link.reuters.com/pyc98v)

PENSION TAX FEAR AFTER EU RULING

Britain's ability to limit damaging decisions made by eurozone countries was called into question as the European Union's highest court threw out a challenge to a financial transactions some fear could wipe billions from UK pension funds. (http://link.reuters.com/myc98v)

STANDARD LIFE SHRUGS OFF THE IMPACT OF PENSION CHANGES

The British government's shock changes to pensions announced in this year's budget, which mean that those retiring do not automatically have to take out an annuity, has resulted in the halving in sales of such investment products at Standard Life , one of the biggest providers. (http://link.reuters.com/kyc98v)

The Independent

SAGA CUSTOMERS SIGN UP AHEAD OF 2.2 BLN STG FLOAT

Saga has revealed that 700,000 customers have registered to take part in its stock market listing as it aims to raise around 550 million pounds. (http://link.reuters.com/tyc98v)

LADBROKES POISED TO CUT JOBS AFTER TAX HIKE

Ladbrokes has warned it will make job cuts and store closures after the British government's surprise tax hike for bookmakers. (http://link.reuters.com/vyc98v)

($1 = 0.5922 British pounds) ($1 = 0.7212 euros) (Compiled by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Ken Wills)

View Comments (0)