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Strong demand for Costa coffee and a solid performance by budget Premier Inns saw a sharp rise in third-quarter sales at Whitbread, leaving it confident it will meet targets for the year

Chocs away as Dairy Milk shrinks

It has been a common complaint: chocolate bars perennially seem to be getting smaller. Now Cadbury has admitted it is cutting the size of its Dairy Milk bar by two squares despite the price remaining the same.

Cadbury deal turns sour for Green & Black's

When Craig Sams sold his organic chocolate company Green & Black's to Cadbury for £20m in 2005, he was anxious to emphasise that his ultra-ethical brand was in good hands.

Smith & Nephew prepares defence against US bidder

The US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will face a battle if it launches a renewed bid for the joint-replacement specialist Smith & Nephew (S&N) that could value the company at £7bn. On Friday, S&N's share price closed at 685p, valuing the company at just over £6bn, but had hit 735p as speculation about an offer mounted.

Advertising Eden: Triumphant start for Adam & Eve

The founding directors of Adam & Eve may have paid £1m to Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP to break their contract and go it alone, but it was worth every penny.

Knighted – for services to high gas prices and Cadbury's demise?

Roger Carr, the tycoon who saw through the sale of the 200-year-old British company Cadbury to the US multinational Kraft in February, has been knighted for services to industry in today's New Year Honours list.

Margareta Pagano: From Cadbury to Cablegate, and beyond ...

Takeover fever marked 2010, but moves are afoot that could make it tougher for such bids to succeed

Margareta Pagano: Fairness is the only way to reform our tax

Something is deeply disturbing about a government which steam-rollers controversial changes to higher education funding through yet shows no inclination to reform regulations which allow British companies to avoid millions in tax.

Natalie Haynes: Birmingham: more gastric band than Bull Ring

This week saw the release of figures from the Public Health Observatories which concluded that Birmingham is the fattest city in Europe. Some 29 per cent of adults in the city are obese, which is more than twice the European average. And the prospects don't look good for the next generation either: 25 per cent of 11- and 12-year-olds in the city are obese too.

Foreign firms prepare to swoop on British targets

Foreign companies have stepped up their interest in acquisition targets in the UK despite an official review of takeover policy following the controversial purchase of Cadbury by America's Kraft earlier this year.

The Cinematic Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, London

It's been three years since The Cinematic Orchestra (TCO) last performed at the Royal Albert Hall. Then, a live album followed the adventurous electronic jazz outfit's acclaimed performance. Returning to celebrate the 20th birthday of their label, Ninja Tune, they again offered a transcendental soundtrack to imaginary movies that existed exclusively on wobbly reels in their fans' minds.

David Prosser: Canada embraces protectionism

Outlook If only Britain had more Canadian instincts. That presumably is the feeling in Bournville – six months after Cadbury was sold to Kraft, despite a vociferous campaign to keep it British, people will have noticed that the Anglo-Australian mining company, BHP Billiton, has just been told it will not be allowed to buy Potash, the giant Canadian fertiliser business.

Cable set to tighten up foreign acquisitions

A radical shake-up of Britain's takeover laws has been signalled by the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable.

Business Diary: Caan safe in his non-dom Den

James Caan, for one, is pleased with the Chancellor's spending review. "Nobody likes to see spending cuts but the Government has to make savings, just as every businessman has to," the Dragon's Den tycoon says. Still, might the cuts have been lower, were it not for wealthy businessmen choosing to become non-doms, depriving the UK of tax revenues? What does co-Dragon Duncan Bannatyne think about Caan's non-dom status now, we wonder?

Takeover Panel plans to make hostile bids more difficult

Changes to Takeover Panel rules are set to make hostile bids more difficult in the wake of Kraft's controversial £11.6bn buyout of Cadbury. The panel's updated code aims to redress imbalances giving hostile bidders a "tactical advantage" and making it too easy for hostile bids to succeed, the City regulator said yesterday.

Proposed changes to make hostile takeovers more difficult

A raft of changes to UK takeover rules was put forward today as part of a so-called "Cadbury Law" after the chocolate firm's controversial takeover by US giant Kraft.

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