UK media and telecoms correspondent
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May 7, 2014

British PM tells Pfizer wants more commitments for AstraZeneca deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron demanded U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) give stronger guarantees it will keep jobs and investment in Britain in order to secure his government’s blessing for a takeover of AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

By proposing the biggest ever foreign takeover of a British firm, New York-based Pfizer has sparked fierce debate on whether the government should let outsiders buy a pharmaceuticals group seen as a national champion in a strategically vital industry.

Apr 29, 2014

Apple supplier Cirrus to buy British chip maker Wolfson

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – U.S. handset maker Cirrus Logic
Inc is to buy Wolfson Microelectronics Plc for
an agreed 291 million pounds ($489 million) in cash, sending
shares in the British microchip maker up more than 70 percent.

Wolfson, an Edinburgh-based company which specialises in
audio technology, had suffered in recent months after missing
out on a deal to make chips for the 4G version of Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd’s Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Apr 17, 2014

Mulberry sees rocky road ahead as it reverts to lower-priced handbags

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Mulberry (MUL.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could take up to two years to return to profit growth after deciding to scrap an unpopular push into higher-priced handbags and return to more affordable luxury, its acting head said on Thursday.

Mulberry’s push to swap its “affordable luxury” tag for a more exclusive position was led by Bruno Guillon, ousted as chief executive in March after the strategy was undone by its core shoppers turning to cheaper affordable luxury rivals such as Michael Kors (KORS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Apr 17, 2014

Mulberry reverts to lower prices after latest profit warning

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – British luxury brand Mulberry
is to scrap its strategy of hiking prices after the move
away from more affordable handbags resulted in its second profit
warning in three months on Thursday.

Effectively lowering its outlook for the years ending March
2014 and 2015, Mulberry said its decision to reverse the
strategy of higher prices brought in by ousted chief executive
Bruno Guillon would have a short-term impact on profit.

Apr 16, 2014

Tesco to step up price cuts as CEO defies pressure to quit

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – Tesco, Britain’s
biggest retailer, said it would slash millions of pounds off
prices to win back customers as a second year of falling profit
stepped up pressure on chief executive Philip Clarke to quit.

Clarke insisted he would see through his “bold” plan to
rebuild the world’s third-largest retailer, which had been the
darling of the sector during two decades of uninterrupted
earnings growth before a shock profit warning in 2012.

Apr 15, 2014

Ex-Murdoch editor says he played no part in murdered girl phone hacking

LONDON (Reuters) – Former Rupert Murdoch editor Andy Coulson told a London court on Tuesday he had not been involved in illegally tapping into the mobile phone messages of murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler, the incident that ignited Britain’s phone-hacking scandal and sent shockwaves through the country’s establishment.

Coulson, who later became Prime Minister David Cameron’s media chief, said he had never engaged in illegal hacking activity, nor had known staff working for the News of the World Sunday tabloid had tapped into Dowler’s messages.

Apr 14, 2014

Cameron’s ex-media chief says Brooks affair was wrong

LONDON, April 14 (Reuters) – David Cameron’s former media
chief Andy Coulson told a London court on Monday he had not
spoken to the British prime minister since his arrest, and
admitted his affair with Rebekah Brooks when working for Rupert
Murdoch tabloids was wrong.

Coulson and Brooks, the ex-boss of News Corp.’s
British newspaper arm, are on trial accused of charges linked to
phone-hacking. Prosecutors have suggested that their affair
played a key role in their involvement in criminal offences.

Apr 10, 2014

Top executive exit throws Co-op’s future into fresh doubt

LONDON (Reuters) – A former government minister appointed only four months ago to revive Britain’s Co-operative Group (42TE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) quit on Thursday, becoming the second experienced executive to walk away and throwing into fresh doubt the future of the 170-year-old mutual.

Paul Myners, in his role as senior independent director, had warned in March that the customer-owned group, whose activities range from supermarkets to farms, faced extinction unless it reformed to become more commercially driven.

Apr 10, 2014

Top executive abandons effort to revive Co-op

LONDON (Reuters) – A former government minister appointed only four months ago to revive Britain’s Co-operative Group quit the job on Thursday, throwing the 170-year-old mutual deeper into crisis.

Paul Myners, in his role as senior independent director, had warned in March that the customer-owned group faced extinction unless it became more commercially-driven.

Apr 10, 2014

Top executive abandons effort to revive Britain’s Co-op

LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) – A former government minister
appointed only four months ago to revive Britain’s Co-operative
Group quit the job on Thursday, throwing the
170-year-old mutual deeper into crisis.

Paul Myners, in his role as senior independent director, had
warned in March that the customer-owned group faced extinction
unless it became more commercially-driven.

    • About Kate

      "I am based in London and cover the UK media and telecoms sectors including BSkyB, Vodafone and WPP. I have previously covered UK general news and sports including major events such as the Olympics and football World Cups."
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