City editor of Sky News, City AM columnist and Charlton Athletic fan. London Press Club Business Journalist of the Year 2011.

Aviva In Talks To Buy £5bn Friends Life — Aviva is in secret talks to buy Friends Life in a £5bn deal that would accelerate the consolidation of the UK life insurance and pensions industry. Sky News has learnt that Aviva, which has a market value of approximately £15bn, is working on a deal to buy Friends Life, which has a market capitalisation of around £4.85bn.

RBS And Software Firm Settle Over IT Failure — The software supplier at the centre of a catastrophic IT failure at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in 2012 has paid millions of pounds to the taxpayer-backed lender under a confidential settlement. Sky News understands that CA Technologies, which is listed on New York's Nasdaq stock exchange, reached an agreement with RBS which softened the financial impact on the bank of the systems breakdown.

German Fund Aurelius Buys PIP Implants Firm — A secretive German investment fund has snapped up the cosmetic surgery provider at the centre of a controversy over PIP breast implants involving thousands of British women. Sky News has learnt that the owners of Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group agreed a sale earlier this week to Aurelius Investments.

Bank Watchdog Hands Out Maiden Fine To RBS — The regulatory arm of the Bank of England will hand out its first-ever fine on Thursday when it censures Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for an IT meltdown in 2012. Sky News has learnt that the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) will impose a multimillion pound penalty on the taxpayer-backed lender, alongside a larger fine levied by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Mortgage Tycoon Eyes £800m Sale Windfall — A Manchester-based financier who was once censured by the City watchdog is plotting a deal that could value his controlling stake in his company at well over £500m. Sky News has learnt that Henry Moser, the chief executive of Jerrold Holdings, a specialist mortgage lender, will appoint an investment bank in the next few days to examine options for the future ownership of the business.

Drinks Group Britvic Seeks Board Refreshment — Britvic, the soft drinks manufacturer behind Robinsons and J2O, has begun a search for heavyweight figures to refresh its boardroom nearly a decade after it became a separately listed company. Sky News understands that directors of Britvic have appointed Spencer Stuart, the executive search firm, to identify a successor to senior independent director Bob Ivell.

Controversial Quindell Bosses Quit In Clearout — One of the most controversial bosses of a London-listed company will bow to calls to quit on Tuesday, Sky News learns.

Saudi Electric Vies For UK Nuclear Stake — A Saudi-based company is in talks on completing a cosmopolitan line-up of investors in the vast nuclear project, Sky News learns.

Branson Lures Bain To Virgin Cruises Venture — One of the world's biggest buyout funds is to inject hundreds of millions of dollars into a new cruise-line venture founded by Sir Richard Branson. Sky News can exclusively reveal that Bain Capital, the private equity group which owns a stake in the Toys 'R' Us retail chain, has agreed to become a major shareholder in Virgin Cruises, the latest in a string of transport ventures set up by Sir Richard.

Paintmaker Farrow & Ball Close To £250m Sale — The premium paintmaker Farrow & Ball is close to sealing a £250m-plus sale to the owner of Neiman Marcus, the American department store chain. Sky News understands that Ares Private Equity has entered exclusive talks to buy the Dorset-based company.
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Nov 21, 2014

An initial take on my scoop about Aviva's proposed £5bn takeover of Friends Life as industry consolidation hots up.

Nov 21, 2014

Exclusive: Aviva is in detailed talks to buy Friends Life for around £5bn, with statement expected as soon as this evening. Full story soon.

Nov 21, 2014

Exclusive: RBS reached settlement with the software-maker at the centre of 2012 IT chaos which triggered £56m fines.

Nov 20, 2014

Exclusive: Aurelius buys cosmetic surgery firm Transform - and refuses to rule out using pre-pack administration.

Nov 20, 2014

@thegazbewing Mostly the Government, a bit to the regulators themselves to cover costs...

Nov 20, 2014

..."a poor legacy of IT resilience and inadequate management of IT risks"? Could be seen as a slap on the wrist even with £42m FCA penalty.

Nov 20, 2014

PRA confirms my story that RBS is the recipient of its first penalty since being set up last year; but is £14m enough for what PRA calls...

Nov 19, 2014

I'm told chemical group Ineos will unveil tmrw plans for a $1bn investment programme to develop UK shale gas. Govt likely to welcome it.

Nov 19, 2014

Exclusive: Bank of England watchdog to impose first-ever fine on Thursday when PRA censures RBS over 2012 IT failure.

Nov 19, 2014

Exclusive: Founder to hire bank in next few days to sell or float Jerrold Holdings in deal worth more than £800m.

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