Sunday newspaper round-up: Meggitt, GlaxoSmithKline, Luxury goods

Ministers must be prepared to block a takeover of Meggitt if any bidder tries to buy it without giving binding commitments on investment and jobs, the FTSE 250 aerospace and defence manufacturer’s chairman warned this weekend. Sir Nigel Rudd said that while “clearly, price is important”, any new owner would need to give Meggitt and the government undertakings, including to keep the company’s headquarters in Coventry and maintain R&D spending. – Sunday Times

A legal battle between Britain’s two pharma champions has escalated after Glaxo Smith Kline launched a counter-claim against rival Astra Zeneca. It revolves around sales of Glaxo’s top-selling cancer drug, Zejula, a treatment for ovarian and other cancers. Astra licenses the underlying technology to Glaxo, and claims it should receive a greater share of Zejula’s sales. It accused Glaxo of breaching the terms of its agreement and has hired accountants KPMG to audit Zejula’s sales. A source suggested the claim could reach hundreds of millions of pounds. – Sunday Times

The fortunes of the world’s biggest luxury goods groups have been lifted by a splurge on expensive jewellery, watches, fashion and champagne as billions in spare cash is spent on big-budget treats. Sales at 11 of the largest luxury groups and their brands have grown by a fifth on average compared with 2019, before the pandemic began. And they have more than doubled on last year. – Financial Mail on Sunday

Talks to get the US investment giant Apollo on board to finance a bid to buy Morrisons have cooled after a shock increase in the offer price earlier this month. New York-based Apollo had been lined up to join a takeover consortium led by the private equity firm Fortress. But market sources this weekend said they believed Apollo had baulked at the dramatic £400 million price increase for the supermarket chain. – Financial Mail on Sunday

The magazine publisher behind The Week is on the verge of being sold to Future, the FTSE 250- listed media group. Future, which also owns Marie Claire and football magazine FourFourTwo, is in ‘advanced’ discussions with the private equity owners of Dennis Publishing about a takeover of a large number of the company’s most well-known publications. – Financial Mail on Sunday

Imposing “premature austerity” again will undermine the fight against climate change and stop poorer households going green, one of the world’s leading climate economists has warned the government, amid claims that the Treasury is resisting policies to tackle the crisis. Nicholas Stern, the author of the seminal 2006 government study into the costs of climate change, said comprehensive programmes were needed to help poorer households make the switch to electric cars and away from gas heating, if the government hoped to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. – Guardian

BT is threatening to crush competition and slow Britain’s upgrade to faster full-fibre broadband by bringing in unfair prices, Virgin Media O2 has warned. The newly merged telecoms giant claims discounts being offered to broadband retailers buying access to the new network set a “dangerous precedent” that will scupper investment. – Sunday Telegraph

Amazon is adding own-brand groceries to its UK website to bolster its online offering, as the retail titan steps up its assault on British supermarkets. The business will allow shoppers to add hundreds of “By Amazon” and “Our Selection” products to their virtual baskets in the coming weeks. Bosses are expected to launch an advertising blitz to promote the ranges as they seek to attract more customers to its Fresh service, sources said. – Sunday Telegraph

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