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UK raises a further £500 million from Lloyds shares sale

The Government has raised a further £500 million from the sale of shares in Lloyds Banking Group, George Osborne has announced.

The Chancellor tweeted:

The size of the stake owned by British taxpayers in Lloyds has fallen below 22%, according to a regulatory filing.

When Lloyds was rescued in 2009 the Government took a 40% percent stake.


London taxi firm to build £250m factory in Coventry

Production of TX4 London Taxi at The London Taxi Company, Coventry Credit: PA

The firm that makes the iconic London taxi is to build a new £250 million factory, creating up to 1,000 jobs.

Chinese giant Geely said the new state-of the-art research, development and assembly facility for the London Taxi Company would be built in Coventry.

The group said it was preparing for the introduction of the next generation electric and ultra-low emission London Black Cab. mf 260607 MAR 15

Heinz to merge with Kraft Foods

Heinz is set to buy Kraft Foods Group, creating what the companies say will be the third-largest food company in North America.

The deal was engineered by Heinz's owner, the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

Current Heinz shareholders will own 51% of the combined company. Credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble

Kraft shareholders will receive stock in the combined company and a special cash dividend of approximately $10 billion dollars (£6.7 billion), or $16.50 per share (£11).

Current Heinz shareholders will own 51% of the combined company, with Kraft shareholders owning a 49% stake.

Mobile phone firm O2 to be sold for £10.25 billion

A deal to buy O2 has been reached Credit: PA

A deal has been reached by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa to buy mobile phone company, O2.

It will be sold for £10.25 billion.

HWL already owns the Three network and in acquiring O2 will become the UK's biggest mobile operator ahead of EE, itself recently the subject of a takeover.

Tesco faces huge compensation claim from shareholders

Tesco admitted in September 2014 it had overstated its profits. Credit: PA

Tesco is facing a multi-million pound compensation claim from shareholders over last year's accounts scandal.

The supermarket giant’s announcement in September that it materially overstated its profits caused a crash in its share value.

A non-profit organisation under the name Tesco Shareholders Claims Limited said:

A permanent destruction of value has occurred and had the accounting irregularities not taken place the share price, and value of the company, would today be materially higher.

TSC expects the claim to be in the region of 50p-70p per share. Tesco Plc has in excess of 8 billion shares listed.

– Tesco Shareholders Claims Limited


MPs: Insolvency system does not protect workers

The collapse of delivery firm City Link has exposed how company insolvencies do not offer enough protection to workers, according to a damning report by MPs.

MPs said the collapse of City Link highlighted issues with the insolvency system. Credit: John Stillwell / PA WIRE

MPs from two select committees said the system was too heavily skewed in favour of investors and the taxpayer, calling for the balance to be shifted.

The report into the controversial closure of the company over Christmas said that under current rules, it was in the financial interest of a company to break the law and ignore the statutory redundancy consultation period.

Any fine will be paid by the taxpayer, noted the Business and Scottish Affairs Select Committees.

The report added that under the current system, those who have given secure credit to a company are "cushioned" from the impact of an insolvency because losses are borne by workers, contractors or suppliers.

Mick Cash, leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said the "shocking" report vindicated its complaint about the "carefully engineered collapse" of City Link.

He said: "Lives were wrecked, with the taxpayer footing a massive bill, while those responsible skipped away unscathed and with large chunks of their assets protected."

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