This weeks news includes; Barclays faces criminal fraud charges, Time Warner enter $100m deal with Snapchat, Uber CEO resigns and Blackstone buys out Office Group for £500m.
Below are our top 10 stories that you need to know about. Be sure to check our twitter page and Facebook page for regular posts of important headlines. Click on the links for full stories. Get all the important stories and insights straight into your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list here.
Opinion articles of the week:
- Sky News explores a JP Morgan economist’s claim that the UK’s expectations of Brexit talks are ‘unrealistic’.
- The Lawyer explores why Artificial Intelligence will eat the law (sign up required).
- The Independent looks at HSBC’s claim that London jobs flight to EU can be stemmed if a hard Brexit is shelved.
1. UK QUEENS SPEECH
After Theresa May’s disastrous election she had to put together a Queen’s speech contain the Government’s legislative agenda. The failure of the conservative party to win a majority in Parliament meant that Theresa May had to remove a some of her most controversial proposed policies.
The Queen speech primarily contained legislation on Brexit and also counter-terrorism legislation and announcements on infrastructure investment.
Reforms to social care, expansion of grammar schools and an open vote on fox-hunting were all removed the Queen’s speech as the lack of a majority in Parliament means that it is unlikely that they will be passed.
For a detailed view on the Queen’s speech, read Sky News’ comprehensive guide.
2. BARCLAYS & FORMER CHIEFS CHARGED WITH FRAUD
Barclays and four of its former senior officials have been charged with fraud by the Serious Fraud Office. The charges arise from irregularities in the way the bank raised money from Qatar during the 2008 financial crash.
The SFO is charging former Barclays chief executive John Varley and three former colleagues – Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath. They are being charged with offences relating to the £11.8bn emergency fundraising conducted by the bank in 2008 which allowed the bank to avoid receiving a taxpayer bailout.
This marks the first occasion where senior bankers have faced criminal charges for events relating to the 2008 financial crash.
To read more on this issue read the Guardian’s analysis. .
3. STANDARD LIFE AND ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT MERGER GETS APPROVAL
The £11 billion merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management cleared a big hurdle after receiving approval from the UK competition authority. The Competition and Markets Authority found no reason to launch any further investigation into the deal and were satisfied that it would not breach competition regulations.
Earlier in the week, both sets of shareholders also gave their approval, gaining 95% support so it looks as if the deal is set to go through. The deal is expected to be in completed in August and the combined firms will form Europe’s second-largest fund manager with over £650 billion in asseys under management.
Business Reporter looks closer at the deal.
4. SNAPCHAT TO EXPAND TELEVISION OFFERINGS WITH TIME WARNER DEAL
Time Warner has announced that it will begin making shows for viewers on Snapchat. This is one aspect of their new partnership to help both companies develop their digital viewership , allowing them to challenge platforms like Facebook. The new shows will last 3 to 5 minutes and will host scripted comedies and dramas. The partnership is valued at $100 million.
- Time Warner owns HBO and CNN and has produced shows such as Game of Thrones and the Sopranos. Snapchat’s shares rose by 2% on the announcement of the deal.
To find out more about the deal read the BBC’s analysis.
5. DUNKIN DONUTS BOSS ACQUIRES LEYTON ORIENT FC
Leyton Orient FC, an English football League 2 team has been acquired by the owner of Dunkin Donuts. A consortium, Eagle Investments 2017 has bought out Francesco Becchetti, the former owner. The club has been in crisis and earlier this month avoided going into administration after striking a deal with creditors but there are serious questions about whether the club can survive.
Details of the amount paid by the consortium and the total stake acquired have not been disclosed.
The BBC Sports explores the deal further.
6. GEORGE CLOONEY’S TEQUILLA COMPANY BOUGHT FOR $1 BILLION
Casamigos, a tequila maker founded by George Clooney has been sold to Diageo for $1 billion. The company was founded by Clooney and 2 friends, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, in 2013.
Diageo, a British company and it is looking to expand Casamigos internationally. It will pay $700m initially for the brand, and pay a further $300m due over 10 years, based on performance. (BBC News)
7. UBER CEO RESIGNS
The CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick has resigned in wake of a series of scandals in the company. Earlier in the month, Uber fired 20 employees after an internal investigation uncovered a culture of sexual harassment . Last week Mr Kalanick announced that he was going to take an indefinite leave of absence after the sudden death of his mother in a boating accident.
Mr Kalanick will remain on the board of the ride-hailing firm.According to New York Times, five of Uber’s main investors called for Mr Kalanick’s immediate resignation as chief executive.
To find out more about the scandals at Uber and Mr Kalanick’s resignation click here. (BBC News)
8. BLACKSTONE BUYS OFFICE GROUP FOR £500m
Private Equity Giant Blackstone has announced that it will be acquiring Office Group for £500m. The deal will see Blackstone take a controlling share in the flexible office provider. In 2015, The Office Group posted pre-tax profits of £15 million and their strong performance was a key factor that attracted Blackstone to the company and is a strong sign of investor confidence in UK real estate post-Brexit.
It has been a busy period for Blackstone as earlier this year they sold their stake in warehouse owner Logicor for €12.25 billion. Blackstone is one of the world’s largest private equity firms and the largest real estate investor, holding more than €140 billion in real estate assets.
To find out more about the deal check out Sky News’ analysis.
9. DRAFTKINGS AND FANDUEL MERGER BLOCKED
A federal judge in the US has approved a temporary block of the merger between DraftKings and FanDuel, two of the US’s largest sports fantasy companies. The US Federal Trade Commission had sought to block the mega merger because the combined companies would have a 90% market share creating an uncompetitive market.
The deal was announced in November and was agreed with a view to cut overall legal costs. It is unclear whether the merger will still go through but both companies are considering their legal options.
The Washington Post looks further at blocked deal.
10. JAGUAR LAND ROVER CREATES NEW UK JOBS
Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it will hire 5000 new UK staff in a move to expand its electric and autonomous vehicle technologies. Jaguar Land Rover currently employs 40000 people globally and will be hiring over these 5000 new employees over the next 12 months, the majority of whom will be based in the UK.
This marks a significant vote of confidence in the post-Brexit UK economy and the news came to the delight of the government. Jaguar Land Rover have been very active recently as earlier in the month they announced that they would be investing £20 million in Uber’s main rival Lyft to further develop their driverless car technology.
To find out more about Jaguar Land Rovers new job creation view Reuters’ analysis.