Friday newspaper round-up: Facebook, Morrisons, Ultra Electronics, Vectura

by | Aug 20, 2021

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The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday refiled its antitrust case against Facebook, arguing the company holds monopoly power in social networking and renewing the fight to rein in big tech. The agency also dismissed a request from Facebook that its chair, Lina Khan, step aside in the case because of her criticism of them in the past. – Guardian

Morrisons has agreed a £7bn takeover by the US private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in the latest round in a fierce fight for control of the country’s fourth largest supermarket chain. The Bradford-based grocer confirmed on Thursday night it had accepted an improved offer of 285p per share from the private equity firm that bettered the offer on the table from rival suitor Fortress. – Guardian

Ministers blocking the £2.6bn sale of Ultra Electronics to a private equity-backed buyer would be an act of “political and economic suicide”, a top shareholder has warned. The takeover of the defence company by Cobham must go ahead despite national security concerns or international investors will question Britain’s commitment to open markets, the shareholder told The Telegraph. – Telegraph


The chief executive of Philip Morris International has lashed out at opponents of his widely condemned bid for the British inhaler maker Vectura, accusing them of “settling old scores” against the tobacco industry. Jacek Olczak claimed critics of the £1.1bn takeover, which include the charities Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, were “not interested in progress” and seeking to prevent the company moving away from cigarette sales. – Telegraph

Lloyds Banking Group’s push into residential letting appears to be more ambitious than it had previously disclosed, with internal documents showing it aims to own 50,000 homes for rental within nine years. An internal job advertisement for a director role in Citra Living, its new property rental division, reveals the scale of its intentions, with a target for it to make £300 million in annual profit by 2025. – The Times

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