HIPs failure leaves taxpayers £7m bill
Sunday Telegraph reported that the government’s failed attempt to introduce HIPs has cost taxpayers £7m on marketing, advertising, external consultants to advise on the packs and stakeholders events.
Hosting Olympics at Wembley would slash cost to £30m
The Sunday Times said that it would be possible to convert Wembley Stadium into the main Olympic venue for London 2012 for £30m. It said that according to sports consultancy Sports Concepts in a report for the Football Association, the transformation could be achieved by laying a 20ft-thick concrete platform across the football pitch. The paper said that it would save hundreds of millions of public money which is planned for the main Olympic stadium, would take 11 weeks to install and six months to remove.
Metronet in cash plea
The business section of the Sunday Times said that stakeholders in Metronet, the PPP company that maintains two-thirds of London Underground, were being pressed to inject fresh cash after banks blocked access to its loan facilities.
The paper said that cost overruns of more than £750m had pushed Metronet over cost thresholds included in its loans. The banks, led by the European Investment Bank - which has put up £600m of the £1.6bn loan facility – granted a six-month waiver last September to allow Metronet to continue to draw funds. Another waiver request has been declined.
Paper houses are the future, builders told
The one million tones of sludge created as a by-product of paper recycling may help build the ultimate green house, the Independent on Sunday reported. A two-year government-funded project has turned the sludge into a strong building material, the paper said.
Lafarge on track for Tarmac
The Sunday Times also reported that the chief executive of Anglo American, Cynthia Carroll, is considering a £3bn auction of Tarmac, its building materials division, this summer. It said that French materials giant Lafarge was thought to have expressed interest and that Irish company CRH as well as a number of private equity groups were also interested.
David Lloyd sell-off set to raise £920m
Whitbread is close to selling its David Lloyd leisure chain to developer London & Regional for £920m, The Observer reported on Sunday.
Property tycoon targets buy-to-let
Vincent Tchenguiz is bidding to become one of Britain’s biggest residential landlords with a £500m venture to take advantage of the exodus from the buy-to-let sector, the weekend FT reports.
Time bomb for 1m mortgages
The FT reports that up to a million homeowners could see their mortgage repayments jump by almost a third in the next 12 months as they approach the end of cut-price mortgage deals.
British Energy stake sale raises £2.34bn
The government has sold a 28% stake in British Energy for £2.34bn to help pay decommissioning costs for nuclear reactors, the FT reports. The government placed shares with institutional investors on Friday.
Greener than thou
The Independent on Sunday visited David Cameron’s newly converted eco-home and admired its rainwater harvesting tank, cavity wall insulation, glass wall and solar panels. His contentious roof turbine is still missing, though. “It was a sweet little thing,” he says. “We will apply again. We’re still in the learning phase.”
Hammerson bid talk caps another short week
Saturday Telegraph reported that renewed hopes that Hammerson could be up for sale sent shares in the property group soaring as high as £16.56. Dealers suggested once again that it could be a takeover target for British Land.