Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Business: News In Brief


Monday, June 21, 1999 Published at 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK

NatWest bids for Bradford & Bingley

National Westminster Bank reportedly plans to buy Bradford & Bingley Building Society, after the society's members recently voted to cash in and convert to a company.

According to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, NatWest is said to have offered more than 2.5bn. The preliminary approach was described as "casting a fly" by a close observer.

When B&B's members decided to turn their society into a bank, analysts had expected that bigger financial institutions would soon line up with their takeover bids.


Seagrams sells champagne

The drinks giant Seagrams has sold its champagne brands.

Dallas-based investment house Hicks Muse Furst & Tate has bought the rights to Mumm and Perrier-Jouet, the world's third most popular brand of champagne, for $310m.

It now says it is looking for further champagne acquisitions in Europe.

The company also owns global brands like Ghirardelli chocolates and Dr Pepper.


First Leisure in sell-off talks

First Leisure is in talks with a number of firms keen on its 10-pin bowling, nightclubs and bars divisions.

The group wants to focus on its core health and fitness clubs.

First Leisure could not confirm which companies had made offers, but Allied Leisure and Bass have both been tipped to bid.

The division, which includes 26 bowling alleys, Trecco Bay caravan park in Wales and Snowdome indoor ski-slope in Tamworth Low had been hit by low consumer demand and sales had dipped 6% to 26.3 million for the half year.

First Leisure's core health and fitness division was in good shape and maintaining its expansion, it said.

The healthy demand helped push pre-tax profits for the six months to April 30 to 16.1m, up from 14.8m.

First Leisure had been in talks earlier in the year to merge its health and fitness operations with rival Cannons Group.


Brown says euro tests not met

UK Chancellor Gordon Brown has told the House of Commons that the government's economic tests for joining the euro, the single currency for 11 EU countries, have not yet been met.

But he said that the government's policy of joining if it was in Britain's economic interest to do so was unchanged.

"It is clear that at this stage convergence and the euro tests are not being met," he said.

But the government would not be "taking irrevocable decisions before all the facts are with us."

He insisted that the UK was leading the way in the EU, pushing for reform of labour, capital and product markets to make Europe more competitive.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |


Business Contents

Your Money
Market Data
Economy
Companies
Business Basics
E-Commerce
In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

NatWest bid timetable frozen

No longer Liffe as we know it

France faces EU action over electricity

Inquiry into energy provider loyalty

The growing threat of internet fraud

Christmas turkey strike vote

Brown considers IMF job

Train robbery game hope for SCi

From Sport
League to rule on Sky shares

Mannesmann fights back

Online share dealing triples

Chinese imports boost US trade gap

Pace enters US cable heartland

The rapid rise of Vodafone

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

Brown's bulging war-chest

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

House passes US budget

Rate fears as sales soar

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

Maxwell pledge to pensioners

Power cuts spark union warning

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

Oil reaches nine-year high

'Asian management culture must change'

US 'prepared for Millennium Bug'

Gucci on a spending spree