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Mike Ashley dismisses claim he offered expert £15m as nonsense

Billionaire Mike Ashley said a claim that he agreed to pay a finance expert £15m during a drinking session in a pub is “nonsense”. Investment banker Jeffrey Blue said the Newcastle United owner promised to pay him £15m if he increased Sports Direct’s share price to £8 each. He was ...

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Worldpay ties up with US rival Vantiv in preliminary deal

US payment processing giant Vantiv has agreed to merge with its British rival Worldpay in a preliminary deal, valuing the company at about £9.1bn. Vantiv has offered to pay 385p a share for Worldpay, or £7.7bn, plus £1.4m to cover debts. In a joint statement, the two companies said that ...

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Hackers steal Bitcoin funds from Bithumb exchange traders

One of the world’s largest cyber-currency exchanges is under investigation after it acknowledged that one of its employee’s PCs had been hacked. South Korea-based Bithumb has said that it believes personal details of more than 30,000 of its customers were stolen as a result. It appears the data was subsequently ...

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UK productivity falls to pre-crisis level

The productivity of UK workers has dropped back to pre-financial crisis levels, according to official figures. Hourly output fell 0.5% in the first three months of the year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Productivity had climbed steadily before the financial crisis but has struggled to recover since the ...

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UK car registrations fall for third month

The market for new cars in the UK has declined for the third month in a row. New car registrations fell by 4.8% in June compared to the same month last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). In total of 243,454 vehicles were sold. The ...

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Cheaper rail fares now available on day of departure

Millions of rail passengers can now buy cheaper “advance” tickets on the day of departure, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced. Until now, advance fares have generally only been available up until midnight on the day before. Eight train operators are offering the service, claiming that the cheaper tickets ...

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Volvo to drop traditional engines

Volvo has become the first traditional carmaker to signal the end of the internal combustion engine by saying all its cars will have an electric motor in three years’ time. The Chinese-owned firm best known for its emphasis on driver safety, is not killing petrol and diesel altogether. By 2019 ...

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HMRC wins Rangers 'big tax case' ruling

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in its fight with Rangers over the club’s use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs). More than £47m was paid to players, managers and directors between 2001 and 2010 in tax-free loans. However, HMRC argued the payments were ...

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Ocado still tight-lipped on mystery deal

Online grocer Ocado is remaining tight-lipped over its deal with a mystery overseas European retailer, but says it will be the “first of many”. Chief executive Tim Steiner said the firm was pursuing conversations with “multiple” international companies. It also said Amazon’s recent takeover of US chain Whole Foods was ...

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Scottish economy rebounds in first quarter of 2017

Scotland’s economy rebounded in the first quarter of this year, boosted by strong growth in the production sector. Official figures showed GDP grew by 0.8%, having shrunk by 0.2% in the previous three months. Scotland outstripped the UK as a whole, which saw growth of just 0.2% in the first ...

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