PRESS DIGEST – British Business Press – July 3

The Daily Telegraph

APOLLO THREATENS TO WITHDRAW OFFER FOR BRIT OVER LACK OF
ACCESS

Apollo (APOL.O: ), the private equity firm, has threatened to
withdraw from its proposed offer to buy Brit Insurance (BRE.L: )
without preliminary access to its books. The Lloyds of London
insurer rejected a proposed 10.50 pound bid on Thursday, saying
it “undervalued the company and, accordingly, would not
represent a basis on which the board is prepared to engage with
Apollo”. Brit’s share price soared 30 percent from 720 pence
earlier this month after the approach was announced. They
climbed 12.5 pence to close at 900 pence on Friday.

ITALY DRILLING BAN HITS UK OIL EXPLORER’S SHARE PRICE

Mediterranean Oil and Gas (MOG.L: ), the exploration and
production company, saw its share price fall 7.5 pence to 21
pence after the group warned it could be hit by new Italian
restrictions on deepwater drilling. Italy’s new rules to prevent
drilling close to the coast follow BP’s (BP.L: ) disaster in the
Gulf of Mexico, which has become the worst ever accidental
spill. Stafania Prestigiacomo, the country’s environment
minister, banned exploration and production within five miles of
the shore and within 12 miles for protected areas.

GW ALLAYS WORRIES

GW Pharma (GWP.L: ) has played down reports that private care
trusts were not paying for prescriptions for Sativex, a multiple
sclerosis drug that is derived from cannabis. Earlier in the
week it was suggested that PCTs in the south central area would
not prescribe the drug. However, GW said the decision by certain
PCTs was made last year, prior to its regulatory approval. The
company added that 90 percent of PCTs in the UK paid for the
drug on the NHS. Its shares increased eight pence to reach 108
pence.

RBS ‘PAYS’ HSBC TO BUY INDIAN UNIT

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ) has agreed a deal with
HSBC (HSBA.L: ) that could see the bank paying its larger rival to
take its Indian operations off its hands. The move underlines
the urgency of the bank’s efforts to slash the size of its
international businesses. HSBC is set to buy RBS’ commercial and
retail banking operations in India for 63 million pounds.
However, RBS will also cover the majority of any losses made by
the business, meaning it could in effect end up paying HSBC for
the privilege.

The Guardian

CABIN CREW UNION TELLS BA DISPUTE IS ‘TRASHING’ THE
COMPANY’S BRAND

Airline British Airways (BAY.L: ) has been warned by a trade
union that there will be no “true peace” between the company and
its striking staff until it withdraws sanctions against striking
cabin crew. Unions have claimed that they will be able to bring
the strike to a close if the airline restores to its staff the
discount on its flights that has been taken away for life from
those who chose to strike. In the letter to chief executive
Willie Walsh, union representatives said that the dispute is
“trashing” the reputation of the airline.

PRESS DIGEST – British Business Press – July 3