<strong>Ski breaks hit by the recession</strong>

Almost 20 per cent of UK consumers intend to sacrifice their annual winter sun or ski break this year to combat the financial pressures of the recession, research from accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has shown. But consumers will balance their winter thriftiness with a travel spending spree in the summer, with a mid-year holiday remaining second only to repaying debt on credit cards, loans and overdrafts in the spending priority stakes.

<strong>Glazers in refinancing talks</strong>

The Glazer family is reported to be considering a bond issue with the aim of raising between £500m and £600m to refinance Manchester United Football Club. The family has asked JPMorgan Chase & Co and Deutsche Bank to work on the plans, according to reports.

<strong>Threshers owes taxman £13.7m</strong>

The taxman is the biggest casualty so far from the collapse of Threshers, the off-licence chain, with First Quench, the holding company for the group, owing £13.7m in unpaid alcohol duty.
The figure comes from papers released by KPMG, the administrator. KPMG is trying to sell some of the off-licences in an effort to raise funds.

<strong>UK M&A plumbs depths in 2009</strong>

The number of mergers and acquisitions involving UK target companies dropped by almost a quarter in 2009, the lowest M&A volume since 1994, according to business advisory firm Grant Thornton. The number of announced deals fell to 2,086, while the value of those deals fell by a third to £97.6bn. However, the firm's head of M&A David Brooks said there are "grounds to be cautiously optimistic about mid-market M&A for 2010".