Elon Musk has secured additional funding to purchase Twitter, according to financial filings made public on Wednesday, moving the billionaire closer to completing the high-profile deal. The Tesla CEO said in the regulatory filings he has increased his personal funding of the purchase from $27. 3bn to $33. 5bn and secured an additional $6. 25bn in equity financing, reducing the amount of debt the entrepreneur would take on in the $44bn purchase. – Guardian.
An international deal that would force the world’s biggest multinational companies to pay a fair share of tax has been delayed until 2024 amid fresh wrangling over the painstakingly negotiated agreement. Mathias Cormann, the secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that there were “difficult discussions” taking place that meant the deal could not come into force in 2023, as previously hoped.
Washington DC’s attorney general has sued Mark Zuckerberg, seeking to hold the Facebook co-founder personally responsible for his alleged role in allowing the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to harvest the personal data of millions of Americans during the 2016 election cycle. The suit, filed in the capital by the District of Columbia attorney general, Karl Racine, alleges that Zuckerberg directly participated in policies that allowed Cambridge Analytica to gather the personal data of US voters without their knowledge in an attempt to help Donald Trump’s election campaign.
HSBC has suspended a senior banker after he referred to climate crisis warnings as “unsubstantiated” and “shrill” during a conference speech that has since been denounced by the lender’s chief executive. Stuart Kirk, who has been HSBC’s head of responsible investing since last July, will remain suspended until the bank completes an internal investigation into the matter. - Guardian.
The Barclay family has revived plans to list its e-commerce empire, The Very Group, during the middle of next year following a decision to postpone its plans in 2021 due to the worsening in market conditions. Very Group generated sales of £2. 3bn in 2021 for pre-tax profits of £81. 7m, making it one of the UK's largest retailers. The company had been on the auction block in 2017 but plans for a sale were jettisoned after potential private equity buyers balked at the £3bn price tag.
The cost of decommissioning the UK’s seven ageing nuclear power stations has nearly doubled to £23. 5bn and is likely to rise further, the public accounts committee has said. The soaring costs of safely decommissioning the advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs), including Dungeness B, Hunstanton B and Hinkley B, are being loaded on to the taxpayer, their report said. - Guardian.
Unions have called on the government to take urgent action to fix a “whopping pensions gap”, as research showed women working in many industries have half the retirement savings of men. The TUC said Thursday was “gender pensions gap day”, when female pensioners in Great Britain start getting paid after effectively going four and a half months without retirement income. - Guardian.
The business department’s handling of Covid support schemes left an “open goal” to fraudsters and embezzlers that has added “billions to taxpayer woes”, parliament’s spending watchdog has found. In its review of the annual report of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it recognised that the government offered crucial support to businesses at the height of the pandemic. - Guardian.
Pressure on the government to help those hardest hit by Britain’s cost of living crisis has intensified after the head of one of the country’s leading employers’ groups said immediate support was a “moral imperative”. Tony Danker, the director-general of the CBI, said Rishi Sunak should step in to provide assistance to households skipping meals as a result of rising food and fuel bills. - Guardian.
Administrators for the collapsed rent-to-own firm BrightHouse, which specialised in loans for big-ticket items such as fridges and sofas, have warned they will not have enough money to compensate thousands of customers who were left with unaffordable debts. The latest report from the accountants Grant Thornton, which is managing the administration, shows a plan to set aside £600,000 for payouts to customers who may have been mis-sold expensive loans by BrightHouse has been scrapped.
State-controlled Emirates Telecommunications Group has amassed a 9. 8% stake in Vodafone. However, Etisalat, as the Abu Dhabi telecoms operator is know, has said it has no intention of making a takeover bid nor is it "seeking to exert control or influence". That statement in effect bars it from being able table a bid for six months. Be that as it may, Enders analyst. , Karen Egan, believes that the move adds to the pressure on Vodafone boss, Nick Read, to accelerate his restructuring plans.
Twitter announced the departure of two top leaders in a major shakeup that comes as billionaire Elon Musk is working to close a $44bn deal to acquire the company. In an email to employees on Thursday, chief executive Parag Agrawal said Twitter’s leaders for consumer product and revenue will leave the company. Agrawal said the company was temporarily pausing hiring, and would review all existing job offers to determine whether any “should be pulled back”. - Guardian .
Client meetings and emails could be picked up alongside a pint of milk and a box of eggs under a new deal between Tesco and flexible office operator IWG. From later this month, the owner of office operator Regus is to test out a 3,800 sq ft flexible working area within Tesco’s New Malden supermarket, with room for 12 private desks, 30 co-working spaces and a meeting room. - Guardian.
More than 250,000 households will “slide into destitution” next year, taking the total number in extreme poverty to around 1. 2m, unless the government acts to help the poorest families hit by the energy price shock, according to the National Institute for Economic & Social Research (NIESR). More than 1. 5m households will see the rise in food and energy bills outstrip their disposable income, forcing them to rely on savings or extra borrowing to make up the shortfall, said the thinktank, which blamed welfare spending cuts since the Brexit vote in 2016 for leaving millions of families in a vulnerable financial position.
Drivers are scrambling to buy secondhand electric cars, more than doubling sales in the past year as demand for zero-emission vehicles surges. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the number of transactions for electric cars increased from 6,600 in the first three months of 2021 to almost 14,600 in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 120%. - Guardian.
Barclays has avoided nearly £2bn in tax via a lucrative arrangement in Luxembourg that allowed it to pay less than 1% on profits in the tax haven for more than a decade. A Guardian analysis of Barclays’ tax bills shows it is still benefiting from a controversial decision in 2009, in which it booked profits from the $15. 2bn sale of a fund management business in Luxembourg rather than in the UK where it is headquartered. - Guardian.
A new tech watchdog will be given the power to impose multibillion-pound fines on major firms such as Google and Facebook if they breach rules designed to protect consumers and businesses. The Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will protect small businesses from predatory practices and will give consumers greater control over how their data is used, the government said. - Guardian.
The UK’s biggest electricity distribution business has agreed to pay £14. 9m after its support for vulnerable customers during power cuts was deemed “totally unacceptable”. The energy regulator said National Grid’s Western Power Distribution (WPD) did not provide proper support to 1. 7 million customers during the outages. An Ofgem investigation, launched in 2020, found that WPD had failed customers in a number of areas including not carrying out criminal record checks for all staff visiting customers’ homes.
Cuts to rail funding could lead to more serious rail accidents as well as fewer, more crowded trains, unions have said. A TUC report said passenger safety will be compromised should Network Rail press ahead with reductions to its maintenance workforce to save £100m a year. About 2,500 jobs are expected to go and the TUC said it would be impossible to make such cuts without putting passengers at risk. It warned that the Treasury was also demanding cuts from train operators that would disrupt services and leave fewer trains running, leaving commuters “packed like sardines”.
Six in 10 people think company bosses should be prevented from earning more than 10 times the average paid to employees, according to polling shared exclusively with the Guardian. A poll for the High Pay Centre, a thinktank that campaigns for fairer pay for workers, found that 63% of Britons said chief executives should be paid no more than 10 times the earnings of lower- or mid-ranking employees. - Guardian.
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