Live updates

Aer Lingus board signals approval for latest takeover offer

Aer Lingus's board has recommended an improved 1.36 billion-euro ($1.52 billion) takeover offer from the owner of British Airways, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the airline said.

Aer Lingus's board have recommended an approved 1.32 billion-euro takeover offer from the owners of BA. Credit: PA Wire.

The new proposal by IAG is its third in sixth weeks. It is worth 2.55 euros per share, up from a previous 2.40 euros, and includes a cash offer of 2.50 per euros share and a cash dividend of 0.05 euros per share.

Aer Lingus said its recommendation is subject to being satisfied with how IAG proposes to address the interests of its two largest shareholders; budget airline Ryanair and the Irish government.


Government adviser: North Sea oil industry 'winding down'

The North Sea oil industry has been hit by falling prices in recent months. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The North Sea oil industry is "winding down", a government adviser has said amid concerns over the tumbling value of the commodity.

Sir Ian Wood - founder of the Wood Group, which conducted a recent review of offshore oil and gas recovery for the government - said workers in Aberdeen must start planning for the future "pretty quickly" after taking it "for granted" for many years.

He told the Times' Scottish edition that employees and politicians "need to change their thinking".

"There is a potential way (forward) with the right kind of plan, and the right kind of people, and the right kind of local authority and the right kind of reception from the Scottish and UK governments to work our way through this"

The fact is that it will begin to wind down in the next ten years. The fact is it is winding down now, actually, but very slowly.

– Sir Ian Wood


Three owner in talks to buy O2 for £10 billion

A deal between Hutchison Whampoa and Telefonica would create the UK's largest mobile phone operator. Credit: Ian West/PA

Three owner Hutchison Whampoa has entered exclusive talks to buy O2 in a £10 billion deal which would create the UK's largest mobile phone operator.

Spain's Telefonica is hoping to sell O2 to the Hong Kong group after BT spurned the chance to buy the business in favour of EE.

The group said it had entered talks "over a period of several weeks" to buy O2 for £9.25 billion in cash followed by deferred payments of up to £1 billion.

A statement from Telefonica said: "Telefonica has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Hutchison Whampoa in relation to Hutchison's potential acquisition of O2 UK, Telefonica's subsidiary in the United Kingdom, for £10.25bn in cash."

Osborne: ECB support 'necessary but not sufficient'

Chancellor George Osborne says financial support from the European Central Bank is "necessary but not sufficient" to ensure a recovery in the eurozone economy.

Speaking in Davos, Mr Osborne said the "drastic action" taken by the ECB showed the weakness of the European economy compared to the British economy, as he called on governments to ensure they had their public finances "in order".

The Chancellor said Britain supported any measures that would make the European economy stronger.

Load more updates