The week’s news included; Trump convicted for falsifying records, Royal Mail owner accepts £5bn takeover offer, NYT sues Wordle spin off, WeWork returns from bankruptcy.

Below are our top 10 stories that you need to know about. Be sure to check our X page, Facebook page, TikTok page and Instagram Page, for regular posts of important headlines. Get all the important stories and insights straight into your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list here.

Opinion articles of the week: 

  • City A.M. – Is the Bank of England’s quantitative tightening causing problems for banks?
  • The Times – How to land a £150,000 job in law — just don’t expect to have a life.
  • City A.M. – Why Greggs is beating Pret in the battle of the lunch break
  • Sports Pro Media – Women’s soccer leagues are going independent, so what’s stopping clubs doing the same? 

1. TRUMP CONVICTED FOR FALSIFYING RECORDS

Former US President Donald Trump has been convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records. Trump falsified records and concealed payments made by his lawyer to former adult actress Stormy Daniels. Daniels was reportedly paid “hush-money” to be silent about her alleged relations with the former President. Trump will be sentenced on 11 July. A fine is the most likely penalty as opposed to a prison sentence.Trump slammed the verdict and judge, calling it a “disgrace”. 

This is the first time in US history that a president, former or serving, has been convicted of a crime. A felony does not however, bar Trump from running for President. The US constitution does not bar convicted criminals from holding office. He currently remains ahead in polls against Biden but some analysts predict that the conviction could change that. Many voters however, will not care and will focus on policy. This will only embolden his supporters who see this ruling part of an establishment witch hunt against Trump.

2. ROYAL MAIL ACCEPTS £5BN DEAL

The owner of Royal Mail, International Distribution Services (IDS) has accepted a £5 billion takeover offer. Billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, a current shareholder, will take over IDS and this will include its assumed debts. Kretinsky already owns 27.5% of IDS. Under the deal, the Royal Mail brand, UK headquarters and residency must be retained. The company’s 150,000 staff will also retain their benefits and pensions. Given that Royal Mail is an essential public service and the buyer is a foreign entity, the UK government may further scrutinise the deal. 

3. NYT SUES WORDLE SPIN-OFF

The New York Times, owner of Wordle, is suing the maker of similar geography-based game, Worldle. The New York Times accused the spin off of confusing consumers and unfairly using the “goodwill” that its own game possesses. Software developer Kory McDonald pushed back on the legal action saying that “Wordle is about words and Worldle is about the world”. He also highlighted a similar game Flaggle, which is about flags. The New York Times however said the Worldle is almost identical to its own Wordle in “sound and meaning” and has taken legal action against him.

Wordle became a hit game in 2021 gaining millions of global downloads. Worldle has fewer users with 100,000 monthly users and the game is only available to play on a web browser. 

4. CMA INVESTIGATES NATIONWIDE VIRGIN MONEY DEAL

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching an investigation into Nationwide’s £2.9 billion takeover of Virgin Money. Nationwide and Virgin Money will have a combined 25 million customers and around 700 branches. The regulator has expressed concerns that the deal will weaken competition in the UK retail banking sector. Interested parties now have until June 14 to respond. After this consultation period the CMA will decide whether to escalate the matter by July 26. The deal between Nationwide and Virgin Money was initially agreed in March. Last week, the vast majority of Virgin Money shareholders voted in favour of the deal so regulatory issues remain the only hurdle. 

5. WEWORK RETURNS

WeWork is emerging from the ashes of its disastrous collapse. The office space rental company is coming out of bankruptcy albeit in a smaller way. WeWork has successfully renegotiated its terms with lenders and leases. Now, the company will slash its global office spaces in half to just 337. 170 of these will be in the US and Canada. After hearing WeWork’s plan the New Jersey bankruptcy court eliminated $4 billion of debt  and cut its future rent obligations by $12 billion. This gives WeWork much needed breathing room to restart and flourish. Founder Adam Neuman had offered to buy the company for $500 million but this was not accepted. This was a far-cry from its 2019 valuation of nearly $50 billion. Neuman was pushed out in 2019 albeit with a $1.7 billion golden parachute. WeWork’s failed IPO (see previous top 10) pushed the company into financial difficulty and ultimately the pandemic and the reduced demand for office space saw WeWork fall into bankruptcy. Whether its restructuring will be successful remains to be seen.  

6. NIKE WINS THREE STRIPE DESIGN BATTLE

Nike has won a lawsuit against Adidas in Germany allowing it to use a three stripe design on some of its trousers. The sportswear giant previously lost lawsuits in Germany covering five trouser designs after Adidas sued them over this. Last week however, a German court ruled that Nike could use the three-strip design on four trousers but one will remain banned. Adidas has been relentless in protecting its three-stripe design, filing 90 lawsuits since 2008 over alleged infringements. See our previous top 10 for one of their most recent battles. 

7. NATWEST BUYS BACK GOVERNMENT SHARES

Natwest has bought back more of the Treasury’s shareholding bringing the government holding down just 22.5%. The bank spent £1.24 billion to buy 4.5% of the government’s share capital. Natwest, formerly Royal Bank of Scotland, was bailed out in the 2008 financial crisis and taken into public ownership. After the crisis, the government began gradually selling off its 84% stake. In recent years, Natwest has turned its fortunes around and returned to profitability. The bank posted an operating profit of £6.2 billion last year. The government’s plan is to sell all its remaining stake in Natwest by 2026, provided Natwest’s share price remains at a good level.

8. DELIVERY FIRMS LOSE $20BN

Online food delivery firms across Europe and the US have collectively lost over $20 billion in the past seven years, according to the Financial Times. As demand for takeaway has waned due to the cost of living crisis, online delivery companies have been bearing the brunt of this. Typically, online delivery firms are loss making and rely on fresh investment to stay afloat. JustEat Takeaway was formed in 2020 after Takeaway.com merged with Just Eat. Since then, the company has posted a huge $9.1 billion in operating losses. US firm Delivery Hero also posted huge losses of $7.8 billion. 

Uber however, is a good example of a loss-maker turned profitable. 2023 marked the company’s first full-year operating profit after nearly a decade of losses. Food delivery firms will be keen to emulate the success to become sustainable. 

9. FRASERS GROUP UPS HUGO BOSS STAKE

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has increased its stake in Hugo Boss to £305 million. Hugo Boss has not been performing well in the markets, falling by 13% in one day last year and by over 25% since the start of 2024. Despite weakening demand in China and the US, Hugo Boss is still aiming to expand. And in spite of the challenges, Frasers Group is still looking to increase its stake. Frasers Group has a range of fashion brands under its umbrella including Sports Direct, Jack Wills and USC. The company sold off Missguided to Shein last year after buying it out of administration. 

10. LAW FIRM PAY WARS

As the battle for top talent among law firms heats up, Clifford Chance is the latest major firm to bump up pay. The magic circle firm is now increasing the pay of its newly qualified solicitors to £150,000. This represents a 20% price increase. Clifford Chance will also increase pay to £56,000 for first year trainees. The pay increase for NQs also bring it in line with competitors Freshfields and Linklaters but is still beneath US firms such as Quinn Emanuel who pay their NQ solicitors £180,000.