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Tuesday Papers: Failed Kraft bid ‘a wake-up’ call for Unilever

Tuesday Papers: Failed Kraft bid ‘a wake-up’ call for Unilever

by Himanshu Singh Feb 21, 2017 at 03:08

Top stories

  • The Times: Unilever is facing calls to simplify its complex shareholder structure amid claims that its convoluted ownership could have helped to scupper a proposed £115 billion deal with Kraft Heinz.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Greece's creditors have dashed hopes of a quick resolution to the country's looming cash crunch, even as talks paved the way for debt inspectors to return to Athens.
  • Financial Times: Apple is claiming that the European Commission breached its fundamental “right to good administration” when it demanded last year that the tech giant pay €13 billion in back taxes to Ireland.
  • Financial Times: 3G Capital, the private equity group that spearheaded Kraft Heinz’s failed $143 billion bid for Unilever, has up to $15 billion to deploy on its next megadeal, sources said.
  • Financial Times: Vodafone is finally getting out of pagers, the beeping business that seems archaic in the age of smartphones, but is still beloved, in dwindling numbers, by birdwatchers, coastguards and medics.
  • Financial Times: Theresa May stepped up pressure on the House of Lords on Monday not to disrupt her Brexit plans, taking the unusual step of watching from beside the throne as peers began debating the bill allowing Britain to begin exit talks.
  • The Guardian: MPs have reacted with incredulity after the boss of Volkswagen told them the carmaker in Europe had done nothing wrong and misled nobody, despite having agreed a multibillion-dollar settlement in the US over the emissions-rigging scandal.

Business and economics

  • The Times: Reports of a global glut of liquefied natural gas are greatly exaggerated, according to Royal Dutch Shell, which expects rapid growth in demand to match increasing supplies.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Volkswagen drivers affected by the “dieselgate” scandal have been left with no choice but to sue the company, according to lawyers acting for drivers.
  • Daily Mail: Catering giant Compass has secured a ten-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur at the club’s new 61,000-capacity stadium.
  • The Guardian: The Lego Batman Movie has won the weekend for the second week in a row at the US box office, easily holding off the challenge of Fifty Shades Darker (also in its second week) and new arrival The Great Wall.
  • The Guardian: Internet users will find it harder to search for pirated films and music and illegally streamed live football matches under a new plan to crackdown on piracy websites.
  • Daily Mail: Shopping centre owner Hammerson saw profits more than halve last year as the value of some of its property portfolio suffered, it revealed this morning.
  • The Times: Bovis said yesterday that it would build fewer homes and make lower profits this year, a move that sent its share price plunging by nearly 11%.
  • The Times: Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland surged yesterday to their highest level since the European Union referendum amid fresh hopes that the bank may be moving towards privatisation and paying dividends.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Indian mining group Vedanta Resources believes it can challenge industry titans BHP Billiton and Vale with a $10 billion (£8 billion) expansion programme that will boost its footprint in oil, gas, zinc and lead.
  • Financial Times: Brazil’s Vale said on Monday that its leading shareholders would dissolve a longstanding pact controlling the world’s largest iron ore producer from 2020, in a move intended to improve transparency at the company and enable increased trading in its stock.
  • Financial Times: Lloyd’s has confirmed that Bruce Carnegie-Brown will take over as chair of the London-based insurance market from John Nelson in June.
  • Financial Times: Emilio Saracho has been appointed chairman of Banco Popular, the Spanish bank that earlier this month unveiled an annual loss of €3.5 billion.
  • Financial Times: Freeport-McMoRan on Monday warned the Indonesian government it was prepared to sue Jakarta if it could not resolve an increasingly bitter dispute that has slashed production at its flagship copper deposit in the country.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): SELL Interserve; HOLD Hogg Robinson Group; AVOID Bovis Homes Group.
  • The Times: Saudi Arabia’s plans to float off a stake in the nation’s state oil producer have been delayed until next year at the earliest because of the complexity of the transaction.
  • Daily Mail: Poundland owner Steinhoff and supermarket chain Shoprite have abandoned a $14 billion deal to create Africa’s biggest shop network.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Political pressure over the London Stock Exchange’s £21 billion merger with German rival Deutsche Boerse is mounting ahead of a parliamentary debate on the controversial tie-up, amid concerns a major City institution will become “locked in the EU” following Brexit.
  • Financial Times: Portugal has entered “concluding” talks with Lone Star on the sale of Novo Banco as Lisbon seeks to close a deal with the US private equity fund on the future of the rescued lender.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Kraft Heinz vs Unilever: it was a capitalist clash in the making.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The eurozone peripheral nations paid a high price for single currency folly.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Vedanta Resources: shares have performed brilliantly but the structure remains opaque.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Tech IPO bonuses: the large stock award for Snap’s CEO would be better with some conditions.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Listed hedge funds: the market does a poor job valuing alternative managers.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Hammerson: retail sales in the UK are stalling. That is bad news for the property group.
  • Financial Times (Lex): WorleyParsons: the oil price recovery needs to continue for the Australian engineer to prosper.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Kraft Heinz/Unilever: risk of a brawl with European governments was too daunting for Buffett and 3G Capital.
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Comments  (1)

  • Roger Savage: 

    "MPs have reacted with incredulity after the boss of Volkswagen told them the carmaker in Europe had done nothing wrong and misled nobody, despite having agreed a multibillion-dollar settlement in the US over the emissions-rigging scandal"

    I'm sure VW will laugh at the crushing irony of all the 'upright' British MPs who did 'nothing wrong' with their expense claims criticising them for claiming to have done nothing wrong and misleading nobody.

    For the majority of MPs, if their lips move, they're lying!

    19:11 on 21 February 2017

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