FORMER TESCO CHIEF PUTS MONEY INTO NICOTINE
A medical devices group developing non-tobacco nicotine delivery systems has won the backing of Sir Terry Leahy in the latest private investment by the former Tesco chief executive since he retired in March. Sir Terry has put an undisclosed sum behind Kind Consumer, a start-up that will announce on Thursday a commercial partnership with Nicoventures, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco devoted to the marketing and sale of non-tobacco consumer products.
WATCHDOG PROBES PEEL MOVE FOR PINEWOOD
The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation into the proposed acquisition of Pinewood film studios by Peel Holdings, the real estate investment company owned by property magnate John Whittaker. The competition watchdog told the Financial Times that it was looking at the provision of studio facilities for television production resulting from a sale. Possible outcomes include referring the case to the Competition Commission.
PUBLIC SERVICE REFORM PLAN ON HOLD
David Cameron’s plan to free public services “from the grip of state control” has been put on hold until July, in the face of opposition from the Liberal Democrats and public concern over the privatisation of health and social care. The plan to transform public services through greater use of private providers, mutuals and social enterprises has already been cut back and is now the subject of coalition wrangling. Downing St insiders confirmed on Wednesday that the vaunted white paper on reform – originally set for publication in January – is now unlikely to be published until mid-July.
CHARITIES PREPARE TO STEP IN IF LEADING CARE HOME FIRM FAILS
Charities are drawing up plans to take over care homes from the biggest private provider, which has run out of money. Industry insiders told The Times yesterday that some of the biggest rival care home operators, including charities and private companies, are planning to take over the homes.
GOLDMAN TRADER’S DEFENCE FOUND ON DISCARDED LAPTOP
Lawyers for Fabrice Tourre, the Goldman Sachs employee facing Securities and Exchange Commission allegations of fraud, are questioning why their client has been singled out as the only individual to face charges over mortgage-backed securities. The New York Times claims to have obtained the information from a discarded laptop found among rubbish.
The Daily Telegraph
BHP BILLITON WINS £352M AUSTRALIAN TAX DISPUTE
BHP Billiton, the largest mining company in the world, has won a Au$540m (£352m) dispute with Australian tax authorities. The high court of Australia has upheld a federal court ruling that BHP properly wrote off debt after building a plant that manufactured briquettes from iron ore particles at Boodarie in Western Australia.
HEALTH SECRETARY: FUNDING CRISIS THREATENS THE NHS
The National Health Service is facing a £20bn-a-year funding black hole that will threaten its founding principles unless the Coalition’s controversial reforms are brought in to prevent it, the health secretary has warned. Andrew Lansley says the core values of the NHS are under threat as never before from a “financial crisis” that will see health spending double.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
EUROPE'S STRESS TESTS TO BE DELAYED
The results of Europe’s latest round of bank “stress tests” will be delayed until July as European regulators worry that banks and their national supervisors submitted overly optimistic data, according to people familiar with the matter. The European Banking Authority previously had planned to publish the test results later this month.
GOOGLE MAIL HACK BLAMED ON CHINA
Google said Chinese hackers targeted the Gmail accounts of hundreds of prominent people in a fresh computer attack certain to intensify growing concern about the security of the internet. The victims, including senior US government officials, military personnel, Chinese activists and journalists, were tricked into sharing their passwords with “bad actors” based in China, Google said.