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Sunday newspaper round-up: Greensill, Card Factory, ITV

Sun 07 March 2021 19:49 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta owes an estimated £4 billion to stricken Australian finance house Greensill and some of the world's biggest lenders. Analysis of the industrialist's spending and borrowing spree over several years reveals that he owes more than £3 billion alone to Greensill, the business that fuelled his growth spree but is now on the brink of administration. - Sunday Times

Consultants from Deloitte are understood to have approached specialist lenders asking to borrow £100 million, half of which would be used to repay Card Factory's existing debts. After those discussions ended without agreement, Card Factory entered talks with its existing lenders - HSBC, NatWest, Santander and Lloyds - over new financing arrangements. Card Factory's banks agreed to waive covenants on its £200 million revolving credit facility in January and again in February. A source close to the company said discussions with the banks were positive. - Sunday Times

A hedge fund chaired by an investor in the Right-leaning TV network GB News has made a £33m bet against ITV. Marshall Wace is shorting the Love Island broadcaster ahead of its annual results on Tuesday, where it is poised to reveal a hit from the pandemic. - Sunday Telegraph

Investment house Tilney Smith & Williamson is eyeing up the wealth management arm of Punter Southall amid speculation it is bulking up ahead of a stock market flotation of the private equity-owned business. Acquisition-hungry Tilney Smith & Williamson was created in September when Tilney - which owns the Bestinvest digital platform - completed its delayed £1.8 billion tie up with Smith & Williamson. As well as being a wealth manager, it is also an accountancy and professional services operation. - Sunday Times

China's top diplomat has called on the US to drop the sanctions and restrictions introduced by Donald Trump and warned against international "hegemony and bullying" and interference in what Beijing considers internal affairs, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the South China Sea. On day three of China's annual National People's Congress (NPC), the country's foreign minister, Wang Yi, signalled that Beijing intended to hold firm against growing international criticism of its perceived expansionist and hostile activity and domestic human rights abuses. - Guardian

Rolls-Royce is expected to unveil the largest cash outflow in its history this week as bosses lay bare the catastrophic impact of the Covid crisis in annual results. The engineer is expected to reveal on Thursday that it burned through £4.2bn in 2020, as well as plunging to an underlying pre-tax loss of £3.1bn on revenues of £11bn - down £4.5bn on last year. Rolls has been hammered by a collapse in air travel caused by coronavirus, as aircraft powered by its jet engines were grounded because of a lack of demand. - Sunday Telegraph

House prices are expected to hit record highs this year after the Chancellor announced an extension of the current stamp duty holiday. The holiday will save thousands more buyers up to £15,000 in costs. However, experts warn it will help push home ownership even further out of the reach of many wannabe first-time buyers. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Three of Britain's biggest internet providers have told the regulator that broadband customers are suffering outages due to poor service from BT's infrastructure arm. Vodafone, Sky and TalkTalk - which use Openreach's network - have written to the chief executive of telecoms watchdog Ofcom claiming that increasing numbers of customers are suffering faults. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Supermarket firm Morrisons has quietly built a wholesale business worth more than £1billion, analysts have calculated. The company last week extended a deal with convenience chain McColls and it has a separate partnership with Amazon which includes supplying the online giant's new London store. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Britain's economic recovery from the pandemic risks being seriously damaged by thousands of "missing" overseas workers who have left the country and will not return, senior figures from across industry are warning Boris Johnson. Executives from hospitality, social care, construction and manufacturing all raised concerns that a lack of overseas workers after the pandemic will put a "handbrake on the recovery". - Guardian

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