With the government’s roadmap slowly easing us out of lockdown and back to normal life, it’s a good time as ever to sharpen your commercial awareness – in this week’s commercial news round-up find out who is bidding over Morrisons, read about the significance of compliance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and consider what Vauxhall’s announcement could mean for the UK’s battery-powered future.
After reading the round-up below identify whether any of the stories are relevant to your target firms and their clients.
- The government has announced that fully vaccinated adults and all children will “no longer have to quarantine on their return from amber list countries from 19 July”, according to Sky News. This news allows many to travel for leisure or to see their family members abroad. In the House of Commons, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps clarified that people travelling to these countries will still be “required to take a test every three days before returning the pre-departure test, demonstrating they're negative before they travel, and a PCR test on or before day two” but they won’t be required to take a day eight test.
- On another theme altogether, the SRA acts against firms who fail to fulfil their anti-money laundering obligations. A fresh batch of fines have been issued to six firms that took over a year to comply with new legal regulations. Law firms are required to carry out a risk assessment to identify the businesses’ risk of money laundering and prevent terrorist financing. Law firms that fail to meet the deadline for the risk assessment will face sanctions, which the SRA hopes will “serve as a warning shot” to other firms. According to the Law Gazette, this is the first time sanctions have related to the 2020 risk assessment requirement.
- In retail news, the BBC reports on a bidding war over Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest UK supermarket chain. The supermarket had previously agreed to a £6.3 billion takeover bid from a consortium of investment groups but is still evaluating rival bids. At present, there stands three worthy contenders: Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), Fortress Investment Group and Apollo Global. The supermarket’s share price increased significantly since January 2020. Neil Wilson, an analyst at Markets.com, says: “There could be more juice to be squeezed.”
- Meanwhile, in the car industry, the BBC reports that Vauxhall owner Stellantis has announced plans to invest £100 million to build electric vehicles at Ellesmere Port. Vauxhall’s parent company previously ditched its plans to build a new Astra model but this move will create thousands of jobs in the British automotive industry. The move is in line with the UK’s target to ban petrol and diesel cars from 2030.
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