Friday newspaper round-up: Sports Direct, Amazon, Branson

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Friday newspaper round-up: Sports Direct, Amazon, Branson

Fri, 28 July 2017
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Friday newspaper round-up: Sports Direct, Amazon, Branson

(ShareCast News) - Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has increased its stake in French Connection to 27%, taking it close to a level at which it must launch a takeover bid. Sports Direct has bought out activist investors, including Gatemore Capital Management - a London-based hedge fund that had an 8% stake - and OTK, an investment firm that owned about 7%, to add to an existing 11% stake. - Guardian
A company preparing to be the first to start large-scale UK fracking has breached its planning permission by delivering a drilling rig overnight, prompting the local authority to warn it is considering action against it. Cuadrilla said that around 30 trucks had made deliveries to its Preston New Road site near Blackpool at 4.45am on Thursday. It has permission to frack at the site later this year. - Guardian

Amazon's quarterly profit slumped 77pc after it stepped up spending in the three-month period to boost its international presence and invested heavily in video content. Net sales rose 25pc to $38bn (£29bn) in the second quarter of 2017, up from the $30.4bn posted a year earlier, but operating expenses came in 28pc higher at $37bn, as Amazon said it continued to see "many high-quality opportunities to invest". - Telegraph

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is to receive a major windfall by selling down part of its stake in Virgin Atlantic in a major joint venture deal set to include Air France-KLM and existing investor Delta Air Lines. Air France-KLM is to buy a 31pc stake in Virgin Atlantic for £220m. Virgin will hold on to a 20pc stake in the trans-Atlantic airline, and hold onto the chairmanship, as a result of the deal which will see a closer union between the four airlines. - Telegraph

A Libor expert whose firm was paid more than £400,000 by the Serious Fraud Office is facing a police investigation after lawyers representing two traders convicted during trials in which he gave evidence made a criminal complaint against him. Lawyers for Tom Hayes and Ryan Reich have asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate Saul Haydon Rowe, a former trader who has been the expert witness in every High Court Libor trial, over a range of allegations including perjury, fraud by false representation and contempt of court. - The Times

Heathrow has recorded a sharp rise in passenger numbers and profits since the start of the year as Britain's biggest airport paves the way for the construction of a third runway. Heathrow said yesterday that it had turned a pre-tax loss of £232 million during the first half of last year into profits of £311 million for the six months to the end of June this year. - The Times