Labour in row over pounds 5.3m honours sale

LABOUR WAS embroiled in a new "cash for honours" row yesterday after a leaked document revealed its list of rich donors who had pledged to give the party pounds 5.3m this year. The Tories seized on the internal report, claiming it provided new evidence that businessmen giving cash to Labour could expect knighthoods or peerages.

Norwich Union buys nine hotels

HILTON GROUP, owner of theHilton International chain, the Stakis leisure group and the Ladbroke betting shops, has exchanged conditional contracts with Norwich Union, the life assurance company, to sell nine hotels for pounds 68.8m.

People and Business: Count the days

THE TYPICAL non-executive chairman of a FTSE 100 company is likely to spend more than 150 days a year on the company's business, compared with around 50 days for a chairman of a company with a turnover of around pounds 100m, according to a survey by Monks Partnership.

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Ladbroke to change name to Hilton

LADBROKE PLANS to change its name to Hilton Group to reflect its focus on hotels after the completion of its pounds 1.2bn acquisition of the Scottish-based Stakis hotel group. The change will also underscore its alliance with US partner Hilton Hotels. The Stakis purchase means the company will generate more than two-thirds of profits from hotels.

Market Report

LAMBERT HOWARTH, the shoe group, stepped out with a total dividend of 12.5p a share against 8.5p, although profits after restructuring costs were down. The shares rose 35p to 215p after the figures.

Prepared for euro

Prepared for euro

Vaux investors cool on break-up attempts

INSTITUTIONAL investors in Vaux, the troubled Sunderland brewer, are backing the board's strategy of selling off the brewing operations to the chairman's brother, though they expect the group to fall to a break- up bid.

Ladbroke buys Stakis chain for pounds 1.2bn

LADBROKE, THE hotels and gaming group, yesterday moved quickly to complete its bid for Stakis, the Glasgow-based hotels chain, with a recommended cash and share offer valuing the group at pounds 1.16bn.

Stakis receives pounds 1bn bid offer

STAKIS, the hotel and casino group, yesterday revealed that it has received a pounds 1bn bid approach, believed to have come from Ladbroke, the hotels and bookmaking giant. The approach, pitched at around 140p per share, pushed Stakis shares 23 per cent higher to 137p.

Move for farmers' fair deal

SUPERMARKETS reacted warily yesterday to a government announcement that a new food industry group would consider a code of conduct for retailers to guarantee farmers a fair return when dealing with big stores.

$85bn cost of euro preparation

EUROPE'S LARGEST companies could spend as much as $85bn (pounds 51bn) on preparations for European Monetary Union, according to a survey carried out by KPMG, the consultants. KPMG, which estimates the average cost per company of transition to the euro at $51m, says most European firms now have an EMU strategy in place. However, four in 10 of companies surveyed have yet to estimate the costs of changing over to the euro.

Rugby League: Dave Hadfield named Rugby League Writer of Year

Dave Hadfield was named the Tesco Rugby League Writer of the Year by the Rugby League Writers' Association last night in a ceremony at the Leeds Hilton Hotel.

Rugby league: Dave Hadfield named Tesco Rugby League Writer of the Year

Dave Hadfield was named the Tesco Rugby League Writer of the Year by the Rugby League Writers' Association last night in a ceremony at the Leeds Hilton Hotel.

Ladbroke pounds 9m down on new game

DISAPPOINTING sales of its new football lottery game Easy Play will wipe pounds 9m off Ladbroke's profits this year, the hotels and betting group said yesterday.
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