Wednesday newspaper round-up: Unilever, Together Energy, Royal Mail


Unilever has been warned that buying GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer products arm is likely to substantially swell its debt pile and could trigger a “multi-notch downgrade” to its credit rating. Ratings agency Fitch said Unilever would not be able to keep hold of its current A rating with a stable outlook beyond 2024-2025, and would be cut to BBB, if it were to acquire GSK’s consumer products division or another large business. – Guardian
Together Energy has become the latest supplier to go bust weeks after the struggling council-owned company assured its customers that the business was stable despite record-high gas market prices. The energy regulator, Ofgem, will appoint a new supplier to take on the 176,000 households affected by the collapse of Together Energy, and its subsidiary Bristol Energy, which are part-owned by Warrington borough council. – Guardian

A data intelligence firm partly owned by an influential Tory backbencher has won a government contract to monitor foreign takeovers of British companies, under new laws to curb Chinese and Russian influence. Tom Tugendhat, the chairman of the foreign affairs select committee, is a shareholder in Business Funding Research Ltd, which trades as Beauhurst. – Telegraph

Letters and parcel deliveries are subject to unprecedented delays as Royal Mail struggles with thousands of staff absences, demand for Covid-19 tests and a deluge of Christmas returns. Around 15,000 – or one in seven – of the postal service’s workers were sick or isolating as the omicron variant spread in the first week of January. The figure still stood at 13,000 last week, double the normal level for this time of year. – Telegraph

A luxury penthouse flat on the edge of Regent’s Park in London is at the centre of a $131 million legal battle between Barclays and the tycoon behind two FTSE 350 companies that collapsed amid a fraud scandal. The property off Prince Albert Road is among assets belonging to Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, the founder of NMC Health and Finablr, over which the bank has been granted a worldwide freezing and asset disclosure order. – The Times

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