Business headlines: Govia Thameslink Railway; Royal Dutch Shell; Ryanair; Takeda Pharmaceutical; Shire; Tribune Media; Nexstar; Boohoo; Thomas Cook


It’s vital to be aware of the latest news in the industry you’re working in or applying to. Here are some headlines you might find interesting:

Govia Thameslink Railway ordered to contribute to rail service improvements
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been ordered to pay £15m towards service improvements for rail passengers by the Department for Transport (DfT). The ruling comes after GTR passengers suffered delays and cancellations in May after a significant timetable change. The change affected 46% of train times and led to GTR and Northern cancelling up to 470 and 310 scheduled trains each weekday respectively over the course of several weeks. The DfT called the performance ‘unacceptable’ and MPs stated that Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, should have done more to prevent the disruption. The company responsible for the franchise, Go-Ahead, will make a reduced profit as a result of the sanctions.

Royal Dutch Shell to link carbon emissions targets to executive pay
Energy company Royal Dutch Shell will be setting carbon emissions targets and link them to its executive pay. The move comes after pressure from investors. Shell is still in talks with investors about the details of the carbon targets and what percentage of pay will be affected. The firm intends to set three- to five-year targets every year including specific targets on net carbon footprints.

Civil Aviation Authority takes legal action against Ryanair over compensation claims
The Civil Aviation Authority is taking legal action against Ryanair over how it has handled compensation claims of thousands of UK-based customers. The low-cost carrier refused to compensate customers whose flights were cancelled or delayed over the summer due to strikes by Ryanair pilots and cabin crew. Ryanair claims that the strike action constitutes ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and that it, therefore, doesn’t have to pay, but the CAA says customers are entitled to compensation under EU law. Ryanair accounted for the largest proportion – 30% – of compensation claims this year.

Takeda Pharmaceutical wins shareholder approval for Shire takeover
Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda Pharmaceutical has won shareholder approval to take over UK-listed biopharmaceutical firm Shire. The £46bn deal marks Japan’s largest corporate acquisition and will place Takeda in the world’s top ten drug makers. Takeda has made multiple offers for Shire, with shareholders concerned about the level of debt that the acquisition would bring with it. The deal is part of Takeda’s strategy to become a global pharmaceutical company. Shire shareholders are still due to meet to approve the deal on their part.

Tribune Media bought by Nexstar 
Chicago-headquartered US conglomerate Tribune Media has been bought by US media group Nexstar, with the latter set to become America’s largest operator of local TV stations. Texas-based Nexstar owns and operates sales and other services to 174 television stations in the US, while Tribune’s TV stations reach about 50 million households. The deal comes three months after Sinclair Group’s attempt to buy Tribune was stopped by US regulators.

Online fashion retailer Boohoo has been accused of breaking Advertising Standards Authority rules by BBC’s Watchdog Live, which recorded 14 different promotions on Boohoo’s website which had a countdown clock that got reset when the clock reached zero, continuing the offers and thus misleading customers.

Shares in travel company Thomas Cook have plummeted by nearly 60% in the eight days after the firm issued its second profit warning in two months, stating that profits would be £30m lower than expected.

Source: HN Global