Sunday newspaper round-up: Renewables, Pearson, IAG

by | Mar 13, 2022

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The UK needs to massively expand wind farms across the country in order to safeguard national security, the business secretary has said, as the government considers sweeping changes to planning laws in order to improve energy independence. Against that backdrop, the Prime Minister will unveil a radical new “energy strategy” within a fortnight in order to make sure that that UK can get all the energy that it needs from a combination of renewables and nuclear. – Guardian
Speculation among analysts is that US private equity outfit Apollo will need to table a bid of 900.0p for Pearson – valuing the business at £7.3bn including debt – if it is to succeed in its takeover attempts. Sources close to the publishing group, which has already rejected two buyout bids, say that it will not “roll over”. With £1.8btrn worth of funds to spend, the private equity industry has been stalking the UK market looking for deals, S&P Global says. – Financial Mail on Sunday

Virgin Atlantic is set to go at in again against British Airways after its bet on rocketing oil prices paid off in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The carrier locked in fuel prices at a cost of $90 per barrel, resulting in savings of tens of millions of pounds. Hence, Virgin Atlantic will offer an identical number of seats for summer of 2019, unlike British Airways owner IAG which will offer 6% less. – Sunday Telegraph

Sergey Sudarikov, a Russian billionaire and co-owner of sanctioned lender Credit bank of Moscow, has purchased a 29% stake in Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk. Sudarikov, who is behind Region Financial Group, purchased the stake from fellow Russian tycoon Konstantin Strukov, the owner of gold miner UGC, which in turn is the largest shareholder of the FTSE-250 listed miner. – Sunday Times


Morrisons’ finance director is set to leave just months after the grocer’s takeover by private equity and following eight years at the post, saying that now “was a good time to take on a fresh challenge”. Morrisons boss David Potts said: “Michael has made a significant contribution to the business over the last eight years.” – Financial Mail on Sunday

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has called on UK companies not to invest in Russia and welcomed decisions by BP, Shell, Aviva, M&G and Vanguard to divest. Sunak urged companies to think “very carefully” about their investments in Russia and how they might aid Putin. Sunak and economic secretary John Glen held a meeting with fund managers and other leading figures during the previous week to discuss UK investment in Russia and welcomed the unanimous view among corporates of the need to economically isolate Putin and his regime. – Guardian

Insiders at Rolls Royce are said to be frustrated by the UK government’s approach to nuclear energy as it tries to speed up the roll out of its mini nuclear reactors, saying that the approval process is unnecessarily slow. Sources in government say that the engineer’s product, being new and with no prototypes available, must go through exhaustive safety checks. Rolls however contends that its reactors are based on established technology and its decades-long understanding of nuclear power learnt from submarine development. – Sunday Telegraph


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