Telewest, the cable operator, bid an agreed pounds 679m for SBC Cablecomms, leading to speculation that there would be only four or five operators within a few years.
Camelot, operator of the National Lottery, announced a maiden profit of pounds 10.8m for the year to March. The Lottery began on November 19.
The Bank of England, and Lloyds, Barclays and Midland banks, decided to sell 21 per cent of 3i, the venture capital firm.
Peter Troughton, managing director of UK retailing at WH Smith, the newsagent, announced he was leaving the company by mutual agreement after criticism of its strategy.