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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

Sunday newspaper round-up: Wilko, Telegraph Media, Pizza Hut...

(Sharecast News) - Wilko's administrators are facing pressure to accept a rescue deal for the ailing budget retailer after a second last-minute white knight bid worth £90m emerged from an Anglo-Canadian private equity firm. [...] Shops are expected to close within weeks, with thousands of job losses unless a buyout can be secured. M2 Capital, a restructuring specialist which owns a string of upmarket hotels around the world under the Como brand and is in the process of buying Michigan-based car parts maker Superior Industries, is understood to have put forward a bid that would keep the entire Wilko chain trading. - The Guardian The Barclay family have tabled a bid to regain control of Telegraph Media Group from Lloyds Banking Group. The former owners of the newspaper group, comprising the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Telegraph.co.uk, have secured backing from Middle Eastern investors to buy back roughly half the debt it owes Lloyds, Sky News reported. The unnamed backers are said to be based in Abu Dhabi, while the offer is believed to be in the region of £500m to £600m. This would mark a significant writeback for Lloyds, which wrote down the value of its loans to the family several years ago. - The Telegraph

Pizza Hut's UK restaurant business has plunged into a debt crisis as it grapples with the fallout from soaring inflation. The US giant's biggest British franchise, with more than 4,000 workers in 152 outlets, is locked in tense negotiations to refinance tens of millions of pounds due to be repaid to lenders in April. Bosses have been forced to seek revised terms on its debt this year as soaring prices pushed the company further into losses in 2022, despite benefiting from the relaxation of Covid restrictions. - The Sunday Times

Iceland has been accused of transferring "significant" sums of money from its Irish subsidiary's accounts in the run-up to a sale of the division earlier this year. Metron Stores, the owner of Iceland stores in the Republic of Ireland, has written to Iceland's chief executive, Richard Walker, with "concerns around several transactions" that took place in the lead up to its acquisition in February. The letter claims more than €1.6m (£1.37m) was transferred out of the business's accounts in the lead up to the deal, as well as around €900,000 in revenues from its stores in the week between the deal being signed and its completion. - The Telegraph

Exasperated shareholders in Home REIT have approved a change to the firm's investment policy that effectively abandons its focus on providing housing for vulnerable people. The company has also admitted that Knight Frank, the real estate firm which performed the initial valuation of its portfolio, had quit in May because it couldn't stand behind its own figures. The ongoing farce has sparked calls for the FCA, the City regulator, to join the officials and law firms investigating Home REIT to see if it misled investors - or at least to delist its still-suspended shares from the stock market. But so far the regulator is keeping quiet, telling Whispers it is 'not able to comment either way' on whether it will launch a probe into the matter. - Mail on Sunday

Rishi Sunak faces a new conflict of interest row before a G20 summit in New Delhi next month over claims that his family could stand to benefit financially from a post-Brexit trade deal that he is negotiating with India. MPs and trade experts say there are concerns at the highest levels of government over potential "transparency" issues relating to his wife Akshata Murty's shareholding - worth almost £500m - in the massive Bengaluru-based international IT services and consultancy company Infosys. - The Observer

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Thursday newspaper round-up: Border controls, McKinsey, KPMG
(Sharecast News) - New post-Brexit UK border controls coming into force later this month will cost British businesses £2bn and fuel higher inflation, according to a report warning that UK-EU trade will be damaged as a result. With less than a month before the introduction of new checks on animal and plant products from 30 April, the insurer Allianz Trade said the controls agreed under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal could add 10% to import costs over the first year. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Shoplifting, EnQuest, Klarna
(Sharecast News) - The government is investing more than £55m in expanding facial recognition systems - including vans that will scan crowded high streets - as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting. The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offence of assaulting a retail worker. - Guardian
Tuesday newspaper round-up: Pharma companies, Puig, Thames Water
(Sharecast News) - Rachel Reeves has said an incoming Labour government would launch a £5bn crackdown on tax avoiders to close a gap in its spending plans exposed by Jeremy Hunt scrapping the non-dom regime to finance tax cuts. Warning households and businesses that Labour was prepared to adopt tough measures to tackle tax fraud and non-compliance, Reeves said the funding would be used to pay for free school breakfast clubs and additional NHS appointments. - Guardian
Monday newspaper round-up: Boeing, rent rises, e-scooters, Santander UK
(Sharecast News) - US airline regulators have launched an investigation after an engine cowling on a Boeing plane fell off during takeoff and struck the wing flap. The Southwest Airlines flight 3695 rose to about 10,300ft (3,140 metres) before returning safely 25 minutes after takeoff to Denver international airport at about 8.15am local time on Sunday. It was towed to the gate after landing. The Boeing aircraft with 135 passengers and six crew members aboard had been headed to Houston. No one was injured. - Guardian

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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