BT Sport is to broadcast live international cricket for the first time following the announcement that it has won the rights to Australia’s home internationals for the next five years. 210 days of Australian cricket are included in the deal, which covers the 2017-18 Ashes series and the KFC Big Bash League, Australia’s domestic Twenty20 competition. This is the first time Sky hasn’t broadcast cricket from Australia since 1986/87, when the BBC broadcast highlights and a single live one day international. It is now likely that BT will bid for English international cricket rights when Sky’s deal with the ECB expires in 2019.
Fairpoint Group has bought the consumer legal services business Colemans for £9m. The deal gives Fairpoint additional expertise in the areas of volume personal injury, volume conveyancing and travel law. Fairpoint acquired Simpson Millar in 2014 and believes the acquisition of Colemans will fully complement this area of its business.
Informa has bought Ashgate Publishing. A publisher of academic reference works, Ashgate will operate alongside Informa’s existing academic publishing business, Taylor & Francis.
Pearson has agreed to sell its 50% stake in The Economist Group for £469m. The deal sees the Italian investment company EXOR S.p.A. increase its shareholdings in the company from 4.7% to 43.4% to become the largest single shareholder. The Economist Group offers magazines, newspapers, electronic services and conferences. The Economist magazine sells more than 1.6m printed and digital copies every week. Pearson has now fully exited the publishing business, allowing it to focus fully on its global education strategy.
Melrose has agreed to sell Elster to Honeywell for £3.3bn. Elster specialises in measuring and improving the flow of natural gas, electricity and water.
Google is restructuring its business and creating a holding company called Alphabet. Alphabet Inc will replace Google Inc as the publicly-traded entity and all shares in Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares in Alphabet. Google will become one of a number of wholly-owned subsidiaries of Alphabet. Other companies in the group will include Calico, a business focussed on longevity, Google Life Sciences, the investment arms Ventures and Capital, and X lab, which incubates new enterprises such as Wing, the drone delivery business. Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will become CEO and President of Alphabet respectively, while Sundar Pichai is made CEO of Google.
Carphone Warehouse says that it has suffered a cyber attack in which personal data of up to 2.4 million customers may have been accessed. The personal data may include name, address, date of birth and bank details. In addition encrypted credit card data of up to 90,000 of the phone retailer’s customers may also have been accessed. The attack affected the division of Carphone Warehouse that manages the websites of OneStopPhoneShop.com, e2save.com and Mobiles.co.uk and also provides a number of services to iD Mobile, TalkTalk Mobile and Talk Mobile.
Fokker Technologies, a Dutch aerospace supplier, has been bought by GKN for £500m. Fokker consists of four divisions which cover aerostructures, electrical systems, landing gear and services.
LloydsPharmacy has agreed to buy Sainsbury’s pharmacy business. The £125m deal includes 281 Pharmacies, all of which will be rebranded under the LloydsPharmacy name. Sainsbury’s will receive annual rent payments from LloydsPharmacy for each location.
The vegetable packaging and distribution company Kerfoot Group has been bought by the French Avril Group. Kerfoot’s services are focussed on edible oils, speciality oils and fats which are supplied to the food service market.