Costa Coffee owner's share price jumps after reports the cafe chain will be spun off

US fund is now largest investor in hospitality group which also owns Premier Inn
The owner of Costa Coffee is facing pressure to spin off the high street cafe chain after activist investor Elliott Advisors built up a stake of more than six per cent in the group.
Whitbread’s share price jumped more than 6 per cent on Monday morning following reports over the weekend that Elliott had bought more shares in the company.
Read more Costa Coffee launches ‘Flat Black’ and receives mocking response Elliott’s holding is now worth more than £430m, making it the largest shareholder in Whitbread and giving it various voting rights that will allow the investor to press its case for splitting Costa Coffee from the rest of the business.
Whitbread, which also owns the Premier Inn brand, is also under pressure to spin off Costa from another New York-based investor, Sachem Head, which has a 3.4 per cent stake in the group.
Whitbread, which reports its full-year results next week, declined to ..

WPP shares drop 5% on first day of trading since Sir Martin Sorrell quit

Advertising boss said investigation was putting “unnecessary pressure” on the business
Shares in advertising group WPP dropped 5 per cent at the open on Monday, after the departure of chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell over the weekend.
Earlier this month, the group announced Mr Sorrell was under investigation over allegations of personal misconduct regarding company assets, which he rejected “unreservedly”.
Read more The business world needs more bosses like Martin Sorrell Sir Martin Sorrell quits as WPP boss after misconduct allegations WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell is under investigation On Saturday, Mr Sorrell said he was standing down as the “current disruption” was “putting too much unnecessary pressure on the business”.
Confirming his departure in a statement to the London Stock Exchange, WPP said: “The previously announced investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Sir Martin has concluded. The allegation did not involve amounts that are material.”
Roberto Qua..

UK car leasing costs driven up 9% in a year because of Brexit, research shows

Monthly costs rose most for German-made vehicles
The cost of leasing a new car in the UK has gone up 9 per cent in the space of a year due to the weak pound in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Research by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young shows the monthly cost of leasing a car rose from an average of £232 in February 2017 to £253 in the same month this year, based on a basket of some of the most popular car models in the UK.
Read more UK car registrations fall for 12th consecutive month The weakened pound is pushing import costs up for motor manufacturers, UHY said, and those companies are beginning to pass the expense on to consumers.
Prices are also being pushed up by strengthening sales in European markets, the accounting firm said, with less stock making its way to the UK.
The three biggest rises in monthly costs were all for German-made cars: the Mini Cooper D, up 31 per cent; the Audi A3, up 23 per cent; and the Mercedes-Benz C220, up 19 per cent.
This is in contrast ..

JD Wetherspoon to close Twitter, Instagram and Facebook of all its 900 pubs after online abuse of MPs

JD Wetherspoon is closing its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for all its 900 pubs and head office following the abuse directed at MPs and others.
The pub chain said the move also takes into account recent concerns over the misuse of personal data and the addictive nature of social media.
Tim Martin, the chairman of Wetherspoon, said: “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business.
In a world of social media, J D Wetherspoon has decided to close down all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts for individual pubs and head office.
— J D Wetherspoon (@jdwtweet) April 16, 2018 “I don't believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers.
“It's becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion.

News Analysis: After Trump Strikes Syria, Syrians Wonder ‘What’s Next?’

After Trump Strikes Syria, Syrians Wonder ‘What’s Next?’ Photo A research center near Damascus that was hit by the American strike on Saturday. Credit Youssef Badawi/EPA, via Shutterstock BEIRUT, Lebanon — The day after the United States and its allies launched missile strikes against the Syrian government, very little had changed for most Syrians who have spent years suffering through their country’s civil war.
In Damascus, hundreds demonstrated in support of President Bashar al-Assad, whose grip remained unchallenged. In Raqqa, which was recently liberated from the Islamic State, teams defused mines the jihadists had strewn across the destroyed city. Thousands of people from Douma, the site of the reported chemical attack that prompted the American strikes, looked for shelter after joining the millions of other Syrians who have been displaced from their homes.
And on the front lines separating hostile parties throughout country, fighting continued as it has for years.
Now that the du..

People don't save enough for retirement because they live longer than they think they will, research finds

Those in their 50s and 60s underestimate chances of survival to age 75 by around 20 percentage points and to 85 by five to 10 percentage points, study finds
People live longer than they think they will, potentially harming their ability to save adequately for their retirement, new research has found.
It is increasingly important to plan for the future because recently introduced pension freedoms have given people more control over their retirement funds, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said.
People in their 50s and 60s underestimate their chances of survival to age 75 by around 20 percentage points and to 85 by around five to 10 percentage points, the study found. For example, men born in the 1940s who were interviewed at age 65 reported a 65 per cent chance of making it to age 75, whereas the official estimate was 83 per cent. For women, the equivalent figures were 65 per cent and 89 per cent.
Read more Pensioners paying £4,300 each to bankroll children and grandchildren Howev..

Employees Jump at Genetic Testing. Is That a Good Thing?

Employees Jump at Genetic Testing. Is That a Good Thing?

Levi Strauss & Company introduced a novel benefit for employees at its San Francisco headquarters last fall: free genetic screening to assess their hereditary risks for certain cancers and high cholesterol.
Chip Bergh, Levi’s chief executive, said he had hoped that the tests would spur employees to take preventive health steps and in that way reduce the company’s health care costs. But even Mr. Bergh was surprised by the turnout. Of the 1,100 eligible Levi’s employees, more than half took the genetic tests. Now, he wants to extend the benefit to employees in other cities.
“It really is a differentiator,” Mr. Bergh said.
West Coast companies vying for talent offer an unusual array of benefits like college loan repayment, egg freezing, surrogacy assistance and, for new mothers away on business trips, overnight breast milk shipping. Some companies have added genetic screening as well, and employees are lining up for the tests.