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Friday newspaper round-up: Twitter, Diageo, Meta

(Sharecast News) - British taxpayers are now shareholders in a further 65 companies because of a government rescue funding scheme set up during the Covid crisis - including a medical cannabis firm, a video game studio and a chain of bars offering activities like ping pong. A list published by the government's development bank reveals an eclectic range of firms that have received convertible loans as part of the Future Fund. - Guardian Twitter has rejected Elon Musk's claims in court that he had legitimate reasons to back out of a $44bn deal to purchase the social media platform, marking the latest development in a dramatic legal showdown. In a filing made public on Thursday, Twitter called Musk's arguments for abandoning the deal "a story, imagined in an effort to escape a merger agreement that Musk no longer found attractive once the stock market and along with it, his massive personal wealth, declined in value". - Guardian

Gordon Ramsay's restaurant empire shed 300 staff last year as lockdowns pushed losses at his restaurants to almost £7m. Restaurant staff were let go as Covid-19 brought business to a halt but the company also lost almost a quarter of its head office workers, new accounts show. Pre-tax losses at the Kitchen Nightmares presenter's restaurant group rose to £6.8m in the 12 months to August 2021, up from £5m in 2020. - Telegraph

The chief executive of Diageo received $10.5 million in what could be his penultimate year as boss of the giant drinks company. For the year to the end of June Ivan Menezes was paid a basic salary of $1.7 million, up 2.3 per cent on 2021, with pension and benefit payments lifting his fixed pay to $2.15 million. He also received variable pay of $8.33 million, comprised of an annual incentive of $3.2 million and long-term incentives of $5.12 million. - The Times

The owner of Facebook and Instagram is set to raise $10 billion in its first ever bond offering as it looks to fund share buybacks and investments to revamp its business. The offering from Meta Platforms, which included bonds with maturities ranging from five years to 40 years, received over $30 billion of orders from investors, with demand skewed towards the longer-dated bonds, according to Reuters. Meta did not respond to a request for comment. - The Times

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