Europe

French dairy giant Lactalis is in talks to buy Kwality Dairy (now Kwality) in a fire sale as the company’s creditors have failed to reach a timely agreement on its debt resolution, forcing the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to send it to liquidation, the Economic Times of India reported. Talks between Lactalis and Kwality Dairy’s creditors have gathered steam over the past few weeks and could result in the former making a formal proposal for Kwality Dairy in the next 8-10 days. This could be Lactalis’s fourth acquisition in India, if the creditors agree to its proposal.
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Credit Suisse Group AG’s London legal battle with Sanjeev Gupta was delayed by another six months, as the metals tycoon continues to seek funding for his empire, Bloomberg News reported. An initial hearing over the bank’s attempt to push some of Gupta’s companies into insolvency has been rescheduled to March by consent between the parties, a court official said by email. Earlier this year, the Swiss lender, through Citibank, filed “winding-up petitions” against a number of companies in Gupta’s GFG Alliance Group, including Liberty Commodities Ltd.
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The government of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is preparing its first full annual budget with a view to keeping up extra spending even with the economy rebounding faster than expected, Bloomberg News reported. Finance Minister Daniele Franco’s staff are working on a new fiscal law worth about 20 billion euros ($24 billion) to sustain measures supporting families and businesses during the pandemic, according to officials familiar with the matter who declined to be identified discussing confidential plans.
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Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle, which exited bankruptcy protection in May, reported on Tuesday an improvement in its first-half earnings as the beleaguered travel sector picks up speed amid rising vaccinations, the Times of Malta reported. In the first six months of the year, Norwegian posted a net profit of 1.6 billion kroner (€155 million) thanks to financial restructuring, compared to a loss of 5.4 billion kroner in the first half of 2020.
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The Financial Reporting Council has issued a formal complaint against KPMG and several of its current and former employees for allegedly providing “false and misleading information” relating to its audits of the outsourcing firms Carillion and Regenersis, The Guardian reported. The accounting watchdog’s allegations of misconduct relate to documents provided to the FRC during its inspection of audits carried out on Carillion in 2016 and Regenersis in 2014.
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The European Central Bank wants to make sure credit is flowing into Europe’s economy to support its recovery as the pandemic drags on. Banks are cashing in, the Wall Street Journal reported. Eurozone banks are making money from an ECB program that basically pays them to lend, boosting their earnings and helping offset some of the costs associated with the continent’s long-running negative interest rates.
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The High Court has overturned Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIAs) that would have allowed a married couple write off a debt of about €250,000 owed to a bank, the Irish Times reported. In a detailed judgement, Mr. Justice Mark Sanfey upheld EBS DAC’s objections to the Circuit Court approving PIAs in respect of Niall McKiernan, a Garda sergeant, and his wife, Karen Fitzpatrick, a secondary school head teacher. The judge said the PIAs in this instance were premature, and unfairly prejudicial to the interests of the objecting creditor.
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European technology giant Prosus NV said that it struck a $4.7 billion deal—its largest-ever acquisition—to buy Indian payments platform BillDesk, the latest investor bet that more and more consumers will conduct transactions online, the Wall Street Journal. Amsterdam-listed Prosus, which is majority owned by South African holding company Naspers Ltd., said that its payments and fintech subsidiary PayU will pay 345 billion rupees, equivalent to $4.72 billion, for BillDesk in an all-cash deal. Prosus shares rose 5% Tuesday following the announcement.
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It began as a market stall in West Yorkshire, selling eggs and butter just before the turn of the 20th century. Today that market stall is Morrisons, Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket chain, with nearly 500 stores and the prize in a 7 billion-pound ($9.6 billion) bidding war between American private equity groups. It is a financial drama that is playing out almost weekly in Britain: A domestic company is courted and snapped up by, most likely, private equity investors awash with cash, the New York Times reported.
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U.K. mortgage approvals fell for a second month in July but remained well above pre-pandemic levels, suggesting demand for property is holding up despite the tapering of a tax break on purchases, Bloomberg News reported. Banks and building societies authorized 75,152 home loans, the least in a year and down from 80,272 in June, the Bank of England said Tuesday.
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