March 13, 2018 / 12:59 AM / a year ago

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - March 13

March 13 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Times

- Aviva Investors has backed Melrose Plc's proposed hostile takeover of GKN Plc. After a dramatic day in which the bid was raised to 8.1 billion pounds ($11.26 billion) and the war of words between the two intensified, Aviva Investors, a top 25 shareholder in GKN, said that it would support Melrose.

- UK's Competition and Markets Authority is assessing whether the proposed merger of SSE Plc and Npower, the energy suppliers, could be affected by the sale of Npower's parent to a rival. Npower is owned by Innogy SE.

The Guardian

- Housebuilder Persimmon Plc's award of a 75 million pounds bonus to its chief executive, Jeff Fairburn, was "almost unfathomable", UK housing minister Dominic Raab has told parliamentarians. The company faced criticism earlier this year after it emerged that a rise in profits, which has been attributed to the taxpayer-backed help-to-buy scheme, would trigger more than 2oo million pounds in bonuses for three executives.

- Hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars are preparing to hire at the fastest pace in a year, with many being forced to act due to growing fears of an exodus of migrant workers as Britain leaves the European Union, according to a poll of 2,102 employers across nine different industry sectors by the recruitment firm ManpowerGroup.

The Telegraph

- Capita Plc's has appointed Will Serle as the company's new chief people officer. Serle will join Capita next month in the newly established role as part of company's ongoing transformation plan.

- Online meal kit company Gousto has raised 28.5 million pounds from venture capital investors as it aims to be responsible for 400 million meals in UK homes by 2025.

Sky News

- The board of GKN Plc has rejected a "final offer" worth 8.1 billion pounds in a hostile takeover attempt by Melrose Industries Plc.

- The European Union has vowed to stand up to protectionist "bullies" as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to impose trade tariffs on many metal products. Talks in Brussels over the weekend with the U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer failed to resolve the row - leaving the prospect of an all-out trade war firmly on the table.

The Independent

- Britain's Labour party's nationalisation agenda is as serious a threat to the economy as a hard Brexit, according to the Confederation of British Industry president.

- Lego has been voted UK's strongest consumer brand in an annual ranking, as last year's leader British Airways slipped out of the top 20 altogether. A survey of 2,500 members of the British public awarded the Danish toy manufacturer the highest honour in Superbrands' 2018 consumer list. ($1 = 0.7191 pounds) (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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