Sunday newspaper round-up: 888 Holdings, Cop28, PwC...
The owner of betting giant William Hill was the target of a £700 million swoop by gambling tech provider Playtech, The Sunday Times can disclose. FTSE 250 company Playtech made a written indicative approach to acquire William Hill owner 888 Holdings at a price of 156p a share in July, only for it to be rejected as undervaluing the company, according to City sources. - The Sunday Times
The president of Cop28, Sultan Al Jaber, has claimed there is “no science” indicating that a phase-out of fossil fuels is needed to restrict global heating to 1.5C, the Guardian and the Centre for Climate Reporting can reveal. Al Jaber also said a phase-out of fossil fuels would not allow sustainable development “unless you want to take the world back into caves”. The comments were “incredibly concerning” and “verging on climate denial”, scientists said, and they were at odds with the position of the UN secretary general, António Guterres. - The Guardian
The decision by PricewaterhouseCoopers to resign as Wilko's auditor without giving any warning about the company's precarious finances was like a 'doctor turning away a cancer patient', according to a leading accountancy expert. The High Street chain and 12,500 jobs might have been saved if PwC had raised the alarm before it quit in 2019, Atul Shah, a professor of accounting and finance at City University, told The Mail on Sunday. [...] In the accounts for the year to February 2019, PwC did not challenge the directors' conclusion that the business had the resources to continue for the foreseeable future. - The Mail on Sunday
Most of the green aviation fuel needed for “guilt-free flying” will have to be shipped in from America unless the UK government puts taxpayer money into domestic production, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways chiefs have warned. Ministers have mandated that 10 per cent of UK flights must be powered by sustainable aviation fuel by 2030. Virgin Atlantic last week completed the first commercial transatlantic flight powered by 100 per cent SAF. - The Sunday Times
One of Switzerland's oldest private banks is to invest up to £200 million in British firms in a vote of confidence in the UK. Geneva-based Pictet is understood to be looking at companies in education and IT, as well as sectors such as facilities management – dealing with the maintenance of offices and other buildings. - The Mail on Sunday
MPs charged taxpayers almost £300,000 for energy bills and other utilities at their second homes over the past year, a new analysis by The Independent has found. Campaigners said the record-high figure shows that Britain’s politicians are “insulated” from the cost of living crisis, since so much of their energy costs are covered by the public purse, while millions struggle to pay. - The Independent