PRESS DIGEST - Sunday British Business - Feb 17
LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Sunday Times
'DEATH BOND' INSURER SET FOR 1 BLN STG LONDON FLOAT
British insurer Partnership Assurance, which specialises in "death bonds" and owned by buyout firm Cinven, is set to be London's next big float, with plans for a 1 billion pound ($1.55 billion) listing. Plans for the listing have been stepped up in recent weeks following the bounce in the stock market with it on track to float as early as this summer.
LLOYDS SAYS NO BONUS UNTIL SHARES FLY
Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, could have his bonuses held back until the taxpayer's stake in the bank is back in the black. Horta-Osorio is expected to be told he can cash in his bonuses only once the share price is consistently above 74 pence - the average price paid by the government in its 2008 bailout of the bank.
POSTMEN TO TAKE ROYAL MAIL STAKE
Royal Mail staff are to be offered a 10 percent stake in the company as part of the biggest British privatisation for more than 25 years.
THOMAS COOK MULLS NEILSON SALE
British travel firm Thomas Cook is mulling a sale of its specialist skiing arm, Neilson, as part of a shake-up of the group. Chief Executive Harriet Green is in the final stages of a review aimed at reducing the company's 1.6 billion pound debt pile.
MORRISONS BUYS VIDEO STORES
Wm Morrison has bought 49 former Blockbuster sites from the administrators of the collapsed DVD rental chain. Britain's fourth largest supermarket group will turn the sites into small 'local' supermarkets, after lagging behind its rivals.
DE VERE CENTRES TO FETCH 350 MLN STG
De Vere Group, the hotel operator part-owned by Lloyds Banking Group, is expected to kick off the sale of its conference centre chain in the spring. It could be sold for up to 350 million pounds.
TESCO CALLS ON CAMERON FOR INDIA PUSH
Tesco is poised to make a decision on the size of a multi-billion pound investment in India. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, who begins a 3-day visit to India on Monday, is believed to have committed to Tesco's chief executive that he would press the Indian government about the opening up of foreign direct investment channels for British retailers.
FUTURE OF BUMI IN BALANCE
The future of Bumi hangs in the balance after it emerged a key 13 percent shareholder has found buyers for his stake. Rosan Roselani has identified two buyers who between them will buy his stake, valued at 117 million pounds, in the troubled coal miner. If the process can be completed by Tuesday, it means both new investors will be able to vote their shares by way of proxy at Thursday's EGM to decide the company's fate.
TREASURY CRACKDOWN ON SWAPS
Thousands of businesses mis-sold interest-rate hedging products by their bank should have their payments suspended, according to a senior Treasury minister. Greg Clark, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has told the Financial Services Authority that banks must allow businesses that could have been mis-sold an interest rate swaps to cease making premium payments.
Independent on Sunday
PLAN TO BREAK BIG FOUR'S AUDIT DOMINATION
The Competition Commission is set to break the dominance of the Big Four accountancy firms with proposals for sweeping market reform this week.
BAE's TOP THREE BOSSES TO MISS BONUS TARGETS
The top three bosses at BAE Systems are set to miss out on multi-million pound bonuses after failing to meet their earnings targets for 2012.
The Mail on Sunday
TESCO TO SPEND 1 MLN STG ON DNA TESTING
Tesco will spend 1 million pounds so it can ensure complete DNA testing on every product that contains processed or minced beef or chicken, with the results on the supermarket chain's website. ($1 = 0.6442 British pounds)
(Compiled by Lorraine Turner; Editing by John Stonestreet)