AstraZeneca, the UK's second-biggest drug developer, will this week outline its next big hope in the battle against cancer by unveiling new data on a class of treatments, known as DNA damage response (DDR) medicines, at a conference in Chicago. The drugs work by stopping cancerous cells repairing themselves, in effect by blocking them from attracting the proteins needed to regenerate, as well as proving much less damaging to the body than chemotherapy.
London's appetite for oil investment has returned and will support several small-cap oil and gas flotations on the London market in the next 12 months. The rallying shares
of mid-cap oil and gas explorers is driving interest towards oil minnows, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
Marks & Spencer's new boss Steve Rowe is expected to cut around 1,000 jobs, according to rumours emanating from the company's Paddington headquarters cited by the Sunday Times. Interviewing the newly promoted CEO, who is nicknamed 'Nails' by staff, the paper suggested Rowe will announce retreats from loss-making outposts in France and China when he updates on the next stage of his turnaround plan in the autumn.
France has no intention of backing down on Google taxes, with the country's finance minister warning he will "go all the way" to ensure that multinational companies operating on French soil pay their taxes. The Observer said more cases were possible following Google and McDonald's targeting in tax raids.
A pack of private equity predators is stalking the FTSE-listed industrial testing company Exova Group, which has seen its share price sink from 220p to under 180p since going being floated in 2014. The Sunday Times said it had heard from City sources that buyout firms including PAI Partners and Carlyle Group were running the rule over the business, whose work includes checking Hitachi trains and Apache helicopters for defects.
The tycoon behind fashion retailer Peacocks and Edinburgh Woollen Mill has made a surprise bid for Dobbies Garden Centres after Tesco put the chain up for sale. Retail billionaire Philip Day is understood to be considering the deal to diversify his and Peacokcs empire, the Sunday Times reported, setting him up against potential suitors looking at Dobbies that include Wyevale Garden Centres, owned by Terra Firma.
Terra Firma, the private equity firm run by Guy Hands, has put renewable energy producer Infinis up for sale just six months after taking it private. The auction, the Sunday Times said, is expected to be conducted in two parts, with Goldman Sachs hired to sell the windfarm operation RBC Capital Markets handling the sale of the UK's largest landfill gas business.
Bayer is ready to sweeten its £42bn all-cash offer for Monsanto, the world's biggest producer of genetically modified (GM) seeds. An improved proposal could be tabled as early as this week after weekend meetings of Bayer's top bosses, City sources told the Sunday Times.
Homebuyers have been warned they could be paying more than necessary for home insurance after research revealed one in seven took out policies with their mortgage lender. The Observer reported a study by Gocompare.com had found 14% of homeowners opted for that route. Almost half (49%) of those said they did so out of convenience, while nearly three-quarters (72%) had not compared other products and prices.
BT Group's pension deficit has rocketed 50% to more than £10bn in 18 months, putting the telecom giant's sacred dividend payments at risk, just as it attempts to protect its costly sports content rights. Following a health check of Britain's biggest private-sector retirement plan, the Sunday Telegraph reported that some analysts were estimating that the pension black hole has shot up to £10.6bn, from £7bn at its last official review in 2014.
Also on BT, its Openreach infrastructure arm is set to come under pressure from plans by Hyperoptic, an ultra-fast broadband network builder backed by George Soros, to roll out "gigabit" services across seven UK towns and cities by 2018. On top of an existing network in London, Brighton and Manchester, the new £15m network will deliver speeds of 1,000Mbps, around 10 times faster than those available today, with the aim of reaching 500,000 homes with fibre optic cable right into premises in Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Leicester, Southampton, Slough, Watford and Woking, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
Centrica boss Iain Conn, the UK's biggest energy provider, has called an end to the era of the big six suppliers that have dominated the market since Margaret Thatcher launched privatisation 30 years ago, the Sunday Times wrote. Centrica's British Gas and its five largest rivals have seen their market share sink from 99% in 2012 to 85% as millions of customers defect to a crop of nimble, web-based upstarts, while a rise in natural gas, electricity imports and a blossoming of small generators and solar panels, while new technology introduces smart thermostats and mobile applications to manage consumption.
Tata has shortlisted four bidders for its Port Talbot steelworks - despite mounting speculation that the Indian conglomerate could halt the sell-off and retain the business, the Sunday Times reported. Tata's board met in Mumbai last Wednesday, with industry sources naming three of the four still in contention as commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House, London family investment fund Greybull Capital, and Leeds-based turnaround fund Endless, believed to be backed by American billionaire Wilbur Ross.
Britain is poised to buy 50 US-made Apache attack helicopters for £425m, said the Mail on Sunday and several other papers, dealing a blow to the UK's last helicopter maker, Somerset-based AgustaWestland, which is led by former defence secretary Geoff Hoon. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is expected to announce a contract at the Farnborough airshow in July that will be worth £2bn over its lifetime.
Some of the City firms advising Sir Philip Green and Dominic Chappell in last year's ill-fated BHS buyout are to be recalled to Parliament after Frank Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, said the some had sent juniors or understudies to the hearings and must now allow MPs to question the key advisers. Goldman Sachs, Linklaters and Nabarro advised Green, while buyer Chappell employed Olswang and Grant Thornton, the Mail on Sunday reported.
IAG's British Airways has offered staff a three-year pay deal that will see salaries rise above or in line with inflation. The plan, which has been put to the GMB and Unite unions, would give cabin crew and baggage-handling staff a 2% increase this year, the Sunday Times reported.
Britain's industrial peers in Europe spend more than twice as much on state aid to business as the UK, according to figures compiled for the Mail on Sunday. A study by economic research group Oxera shows the UK spent on average 95 (£70) a year per head of population on state aid to business and industry between 2009 and 2014, compared with 235 in France and 240 in Germany and the 165 average for the EU.
Britain's biggest food producer, 2 Sisters, has been hit by the first of a wave of strikes, with a further three in the pipeline, after workers objected to the company's planned pay cuts to fund the new National Living Wage. According to staff representatives, more than 1,000 workers have been drawn into a series of disputes over pay at the group, which makes Fox's biscuits, Goodfella's pizza and supermarket meals for a number of leading chains, the Mail on Sunday reported.