PRESS DIGEST – British business – Aug 29

The Mail on Sunday

TESCO TO CUT 2,000 TOP ROLES

Supermarket chain Tesco (TSCO.L: ) is to cut 2,000 duty
manager positions from its Express convenience stores to be
replaced with either deputy manager or line manager positions.

Tesco said that the move was designed to bring the smaller
stores in line with the management structure used at larger
stores.

It will see current duty managers either becoming deputy
managers, a position with more responsibility, or line managers,
a position with less. The changes will be brought into effect at
the end of a 90-day period of consultation with employees.

FINDEL HAS CATALOGUE SELL-OFF ON ITS RADAR

Education supplies firm Findel (FDL.L: ) is conducting a
review that could result in the sale of its home shopping
business Express Gifts.

The division has sales of approximately 220 million pounds a
year and profits of about 20 million pounds a year. Rival home
shopping business N Brown (BWNG.L: ) has been suggested as the
most likely buyer but no formal talks have been held.

Findel is reviewing operations with a view to stabilising
its finances; it revealed last month that it currently has debts
of 310 million pounds with 76.1 million pounds’ worth of losses
for the year to April.

Sunday Times

BUFFETT EMERGES AS SURPRISE BIDDER FOR DIRECT LINE

Berkshire Hathaway, the investment vehicle owned by Warren
Buffett, has been revealed as one of the bidders for the Royal
Bank of Scotland’s (RBS.L: ) insurance arm Direct Line.

Direct Line, which in turn owns the Churchill car insurance
brand, has seen claims increase by 36 percent during the first
half of 2010, condemning it to a loss of 231 million pounds over
the same period.

The heavy losses have put paid to any hopes of a
stock-market flotation for the business, an option which was
originally preferred to that of a sale.

VODAFONE IN FOUR BILLION POUNDS CHINESE SELL-OFF

The mobile phone company Vodafone (VOD.L: ) is hoping to raise
over four billion pounds with the sale of a stake in the
Hong-Kong-listed China Mobile (CHL.N: ).

Vodafone is planning for the sale to take place before the
company’s strategic update in November. The sale may be easier
than similar sell-offs in France and the US, as the price will
be reduced by the only likely buyer being the controlling
shareholder.

PRESS DIGEST – British business – Aug 29