Thursday newspaper round-up: Boohoo, rail industry, Musk, Pendragon

by | May 20, 2021

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Boohoo has bowed to pressure from shareholders and linked a £150m bonus scheme for its top managers to improvements in conditions at the factories it uses. The company said that the board would have the power to reduce the pay out to 15 key managers, including co-founders Carol Kane and Mahmud Kamani, if the group’s Agenda for Change programme was not implemented in full. The changes include establishing a whistleblowing system and responsible sourcing plan as well as publishing the names of all factories used by Boohoo worldwide. – Guardian
The rail industry will be simplified but still substantially privatised as a rebranded Great British Railways, the government will pledge when it publishes long-awaited overhaul on Thursday. A white paper will place control of rail infrastructure and services under the new arm’s-length public body, with franchises replaced by contracts that will incentivise private firms on punctuality and efficiency rather than raising revenue. – Guardian

Ministers are hunting for a site for a major new car plant in a move stoking speculation that Elon Musk is exploring building Teslas in Britain. Sources said the Government’s new Office for Investment called on regional agencies to urgently submit potential locations for a new factory that would be a significant post-Brexit boost for Britain’s £80bn car industry. – Telegraph

A high-profile row between the boss of Santander and the top financier who was briefly set to be the lender’s chief executive has finally reached the courtroom, with the head of the Spanish group arguing that Andrea Orcel was not given a contract for the job. The dispute centres on a multimillion-euro payment that Orcel – who was one of the most senior investment bankers in the City of London – argues he is owed by Santander over its decision in 2019 to reverse its plan to appoint him to the bank. – The Times

Pendragon’s war with its shareholders has continued into a second year after more than two fifths of votes at its annual meeting cast against the executive bonus bonanza during the Covid-19 crisis and investors indicating the director in charge of remuneration policy should stand down. However, the car retailer appeared to indicate that it would once again ignore investor anger. – The Times

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