Saga, the over-50s travel and insurance specialist, is in talks about a £170m debt package as it seeks to chart a course through the remainder of the coronavirus pandemic. Sky News has learnt that the company, which rebuffed a takeover approach last year, has kicked off talks with a group of debt funds about refinancing
Tech giant Google has fired the head of its artificial intelligence (AI) ethics programme, claiming she had broken the rules on moving files outside of the company. Margaret Mitchell tweeted the she had been let go by the firm on Friday, with the move coming a month after she had publicly vented about the way
A specialist finance provider advised by David Cameron, the former prime minister, is in talks with the giant American investment firm Apollo Global Management about a multibillion dollar deal. Sky News has learnt that Apollo is among a number of parties in discussions with Greensill Capital, a London-based firm set up by Lex Greensill a
The pound passed US$1.40 on Friday for the first time in nearly three years. Just after 1.30pm, the pound was up 0.4% on the day but earlier it hit $1.4024 – its highest since 20 April, 2018. The UK’s rapid COVID-19 vaccination programme has sparked hopes that there might be a sharp economic recovery after
The boss of LloydsPharmacy is facing questions from a prominent MP about its treatment of employees as its American owner plots a £400m sale of the chain. Sky News has seen a letter from Robert Halfon, a member of the Conservatives’ 1922 Committee, to Toby Anderson, chief executive of McKesson UK, querying prospective changes to
The chief executive of Robinhood has dismissed suggestions the zero-commission trading platform tried to stop its own users profiting at the expense of hedge funds during the GameStop saga. Vladimir Tenev was among prominent figures involved in the share trading frenzy last month to give evidence to a House of Representatives’ committee investigating any wrongdoing
Employers may be able to draw up contracts requiring new staff to get a coronavirus jab, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has suggested. The cabinet minister said it was unlikely bosses could legally require workers to receive a jab under existing agreements, but indicated it could be tested in court. Pimlico Plumbers and Barchester Healthcare, one
Nightclubs, bars and music venues face “extinction” unless urgent government action is taken, a cross-party group of MPs has warned. Some businesses have been unable to open at all since March of last year and others have already gone under. This time last year, Jeremy Joseph’s club Heaven in London was hosting the Pussycat Dolls
Ford has announced its entire passenger range in Europe will be all-electric by the end of the decade. The motor giant also said its commercial models will be 100% zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024. The move comes after Ford reported a return to profit in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2020.
VAT should be reduced on home energy efficiency projects and products using recycled materials to help boost a green recovery from the pandemic, MPs have said. The parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has also called for tax incentives to make electric vehicles more affordable as part of efforts to “grow back better” after the outbreak.
Bitcoin has crossed the $50,000 (£36,000) barrier for the first time on the back of surging demand for the so-called crypto king among mainstream investors. The cryptocurrency, which has endured wild swings in its value during a chequered 12-year history, struck a record high above $50,100 on Tuesday, according to the CEX.IO exchange. The milestone
Chancellor Rishi Sunak should ensure next month’s budget secures the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis to date rather than try to start fixing the public finances, according to a report. Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and Citi Research warns of a hit to lower-income households ahead, in particular, if the furlough
Jaguar Land Rover has committed to keep all three of its British plants open in the drive for all its models to be fully electric by the end of the decade. The major shift forms a key plank of the carmaker’s plan to become a net zero carbon business by 2039. The firm, owned by
In 2012, the Eurozone was facing an existential crisis, with the future of the euro itself in doubt. Investors were seeking an ever-greater premium to lend to countries like Spain and Italy and there was real concern in European capitals that at least one country might have to be ejected from the single currency zone.
Rolls-Royce Holdings, the FTSE-100 engineering group, will this week name a former Deloitte partner as its next finance chief as it tries to navigate through the headwinds of the COVID-19 crisis. Sky News has learnt that Panos Kakoullis, who spent 30 years at the accountancy giant, has been picked as the Derby-based industrial titan’s next
The shake-up of Britain’s big four audit firms is to continue in earnest when Deloitte unveils the sale of its restructuring arm to Teneo, a strategic consulting firm which advises many of the UK’s biggest companies. Sky News has learnt that Teneo, which is backed by the private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, is in
The £4bn flotation of Darktrace, one of Britain’s most prominent technology companies, has been dealt a severe blow by the resignation of one of the investment banks hired to lead it. Sky News has learnt that UBS, the Swiss bank, has informed Darktrace that it is no longer able to work on the cybersecurity provider’s
The worst GDP since the invention of GDP. By now we’re mostly all familiar with the scale of the economic contraction this country has faced over the past year. We have lived the lockdowns, the furloughs, the closures. Even so, the scale of the fall in economic output still takes the breath away. Image: Bank
The coronavirus crisis meant the UK economy endured its deepest annual slump last year since the Great Frost in 1709, according to official figures. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said early estimates, subject to revision, showed that gross domestic product (GDP) tumbled by 9.9% in 2020. It was a consequence of large parts of
Food exports to the European Union fell by as much as 60% at the start of the year as traders and officials struggled to adapt to post-Brexit arrangements, MPs have been told. Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), said changes since Britain’s trade deal with Europe came into force on
Royal Dutch Shell has revealed a new set of targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, with carbon intensity reductions to include third party oil and gas the company sells as products. The energy company, which has received criticism from institutional investors over the power behind its earlier climate ambitions, said a “comprehensive carbon