UK media and telecoms correspondent
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May 13, 2014

Pfizer urges AstraZeneca to talk as MPs slam offer

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Pfizer suggested it could raise its proposed $106 billion (62.9 billion pounds) offer if AstraZeneca engaged in talks, as its boss was grilled by MPs on his commitment to British research spending and jobs.

The New York-based group said it was disappointed by AstraZeneca’s refusal to discuss its proposed merger. Chief Executive Ian Read did not rule out a hostile bid, telling a parliamentary committee he had various “options” for his next move.

May 13, 2014

Pfizer urges AstraZeneca to talk as UK lawmakers slam offer

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Pfizer suggested it could raise its proposed $106 billion offer if AstraZeneca engaged in talks, as its boss was grilled by UK lawmakers on his commitment to British research spending and jobs.

The New York-based group said it was disappointed by AstraZeneca’s refusal to discuss its proposed merger. Chief Executive Ian Read did not rule out a hostile bid, telling a parliamentary committee he had various “options” for his next move.

May 8, 2014

EU likely to block any UK intervention in AstraZeneca bid: lawyers

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Commission would probably block any attempt by the British government to intervene in Pfizer’s (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) proposed takeover of AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as Brussels itself would rule on a deal of that size, competition lawyers say.

AstraZeneca has rejected the $106 billion bid to create the world’s largest pharmaceuticals business. However, Pfizer is still pursuing its British rival, and political pressure is growing on Prime Minister David Cameron to show he can protect jobs should the New York-based company prevail.

May 8, 2014

Demand for broadband lifts BT to strong full-year results

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Strong demand for fibre broadband
and television helped Britain’s BT Group Plc to report
higher-than-expected full-year results and give a bullish
outlook on Thursday, sending its shares up more than 3 percent.

The 168-year-old former state telecoms monopoly said it
would increase its payouts to shareholders and forecast earnings
growth this year and next, signaling it has fully recovered from
two major profit warnings that hit the group in 2008 and 2009.

May 7, 2014

Cameron tells Pfizer wants more commitments for AstraZeneca deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron demanded U.S. drugmaker Pfizer give stronger guarantees it will keep jobs and investment in Britain in order to secure his government’s blessing for a takeover of AstraZeneca.

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.

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.

    • 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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