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Sunday newspaper round-up: Restrictions, Brexit, Pennon

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Sunday 15 Nov 2020

Sunday newspaper round-up: Restrictions, Brexit, Pennon

(Sharecast News) - Today's death toll, which is usually lower on Sunday and Monday due to weekend reporting lags, is up by just 12 from last Sunday - in a sign that fatalities may be flattening out. It comes after the head of the Office for National Statistics said that growth in infections is 'slowing' too. Some 24,962 new confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported today- just five more than last Sunday. Professor Sir Ian Diamond says that while there remains an increase in the number of Covid cases, the data shows a 'slowdown in the rate of growth', providing a small ray of hope for an end to harsh countrywide restrictions. - Financial Mail on Sunday
The departure of Dominic Cummings from Downing Street will not lead to fresh concessions to get a Brexit deal over the line, Boris Johnson's chief negotiator has warned. In a clear message to Brussels and London before resuming talks this week, Lord Frost said that Britain's red lines had not changed. Any settlement had to be "compatible with our sovereignty", he insisted. "That has been our consistent position from the start and I will not be changing it," he posted on Twitter. - Sunday Times

Water giant Pennon is looking into a takeover of embattled rival Southern Water. The FTSE 100 owner of South West Water recently sold waste business Viridor to private equity titan KKR for £4.2bn, netting £3.7bn of cash. It has told shareholders it is keen to recycle that cash via a takeover, rather than hand it back to them. Pennon, run by new boss Susan Davy, is also understood to have run the rule over Wessex and Bristol Water, but Southern is thought a more likely target. - Sunday Times

Big supermarkets should hand back almost £2bn in business rates relief on offer during the coronavirus pandemic because they are paying out dividends to shareholders, according to a former minister in Boris Johnson's government. [...] In total the big six supermarkets - Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrison, Aldi and Lidl - will save £1.9bn in bills during the tax year to 31 March 2021, according to figures from Altus Group, a property adviser. - Guardian

Countryside Properties is facing demands for a break-up from an American hedge fund that has been rapidly building a stake in the housing giant. Browning West has told Countryside to sell its housebuilding arm and also wants a board seat, Sky News reported. The hedge fund disclosed a 5pc stake in the FTSE 250 business, which is valued at £2bn, less than two months ago. It has since increased its stake to 8pc. - Sunday Telegraph

Billionaire Fred Done is backing a £2.9bn takeover bid for William Hill by Las Vegas casino operator Caesars Entertainment. The betting tycoon, William Hill's biggest investor, will back the swoop when it is put to a shareholder vote on Thursday, according to sources close to the businessman. Caesars struck a deal with the William Hill board in September after US private equity fund Apollo tabled a competing bid. - Sunday Telegraph

Royal Mail is edging towards a truce in its long-running modernisation battle with unions - just as its postal workers are deluged by a surge in parcel deliveries. Britain's 504-year-old postal service will this week reveal a boost for its parcels business, GLS, when it posts results for the six months to September 27. The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated a shift away from letters and towards parcels, though these are costlier to deliver. - Financial Mail on Sunday

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