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Maplin in last-ditch bid to secure 'solvent sale'

Maplin in last-ditch bid to secure 'solvent sale'

Business
The owner of Maplin, one of Britain's biggest electrical goods retailers, is racing to avoid calling in administrators amid deepening pessimism about the outlook for the high street.Sky News has learnt that Rutland Partners, which took control of Maplin in 2014, is this week in crunch talks with potential buyers - including Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM), the clothing empire run by one of the industry's most acquisitive tycoons.Rutland wants to secure new investors for Maplin by the end of this week, with a pre-pack administration being considered as a viable option if a solvent sale cannot be concluded.The urgent talks aimed at finding new backers for Maplin follow the withdrawal of credit insurance to some of the chain's suppliers last autumn.Maplin, which employs approximately 2,500 peopl...
Carillion investors were 'fleeing for the hills'

Carillion investors were 'fleeing for the hills'

Business
Carillion's investors fled the failing company as it headed for disaster, according to MPs.The construction firm's annual reports were a worthless guide to its financial health and raise major questions about corporate governance, the MPs say.The comments come in a joint report published on Monday by the Work and Pensions and Business committees.Carillion's former auditor, KPMG, will be questioned by MPs on Thursday.Britain's second largest construction company collapsed last month, with the loss of almost 1,000 jobs. There were also job cuts and widespread disruption among sub-contractors.The Work and Pensions and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committees have already taken evidence from former Carillion directors. On Monday, the MPs released details of written comments from the...
Pentagon's 'deploy-or-be-removed' policy takes effect

Pentagon's 'deploy-or-be-removed' policy takes effect

Business
Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The Pentagon on Friday released new policy guidance on retention of non-deployable service members, which could result in nearly 300,000 soldiers being kicked out of the military.The new directive seeks to improve overall readiness and lethality of forces by reducing the number of service members who cannot be deployed overseas, according to Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Robert Wilkie, who testified before Congress on Wednesday."On any given day, about 13 to 14 percent of the force is medically unable to deploy -- that comes out to be around 286,000 service members," Wilkie told the Senate Armed Services Committee's personnel subcommittee on Wednesday.The new directive, requiring review of all non-deployable personnel, comes from a 2017 directive fr...
MPs want Brexit fund for UK farmers

MPs want Brexit fund for UK farmers

Business
MPs scrutinising the government's plans for the agriculture industry after Brexit want funding for farmers when EU subsidies end, they said in a report.Without an EU-UK trade deal, farm exports face tariffs from March 2019.UK shoppers would also likely see price rises from EU imports such as Danish pork and French cheese, the MPs found.However the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it could both "secure ambitious free trade deals while supporting farmers".The environment secretary Michael Gove told farmers in January the government would guarantee subsidies at the current EU level only until the 2022 election.The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee assessed the impact of World Trade Organization (WTO) levels of tariffs and regulations being applied to...
British film industry at a defining point

British film industry at a defining point

Business
As the British film industry prepares for its biggest celebration of the year, it finds itself at a defining point in its history according to some of the leading voices in UK movie-making.The BAFTAs on Sunday night will highlight the best in film acting, directing and a variety of production skills.But away from the glitz and red carpet, there are some profound questions facing the film business, which has developed into one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the British economy.Its growth has been supported by a group of factors.For one thing, successive governments have maintained tax incentives to encourage companies to make films in Britain.For another, some huge blockbuster series have made their homes in the UK - James Bond, Harry Potter and now Star Wars. Their presence has hel...