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  • Today's business and finance round up 17th August 2022

Today's business and finance round up 17th August 2022

Real wages drop by fastest rate on record

17th August 2022

Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond

Good morning If you’re looking for a home and like the certainty of knowing what your mortgage payments will be for a really long time then a new product from digital startup Perenna could be of interest. Yesterday the newest player in the UK lending market was granted a licence by the financial regulator to offer mortgages with fixed rates of up to 50 years.

Today's stories

  • Real wages drop by fastest rate on record

  • British companies in takeover talks with US investors

ECONOMYReal wages drop by fastest rate on record

  • The price cap on energy bills is expected to triple between January and October to £3,500 for the average household.

  • Grocery inflation was 12% over the last 4-weeks, its highest level since the financial crisis in 2008. This has contributed to more households turning to cheaper alternatives, with own-label supermarket brands now making up c.52% of overall grocery spending, a 7.3% increase according to Kantar research.

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • UK job vacancies fall for the first time in two years

  • Cost of living: supermarket Iceland to offer interest-free loans to customers

  • Ryanair ups Stansted flights over 'hopeless' Heathrow passenger cap

  • Apple tells staff to come into the office for at least three days a week

  • Watches of Switzerland sales jump as luxury demand remains buoyant

  • Ex-Manchester United director in talks to takeover club

  • China’s economy slows unexpectedly as Covid outbreaks and property crisis bite

TAKEOVERSBritish companies in takeover talks with US investors

What happened?Cybersecurity firm Darktrace and fashion retailer Ted Baker are both at the centre of takeover bids by American buyers.Just over a year after debuting on the London stock market, Darktrace could be heading for private ownership. Yesterday the firm, founded in 2013 by former intelligence agents and maths professors, announced it was in early stage talks with US private equity firm Thoma Bravo for a takeover.Darktrace uses artificial intelligence to detect cyberattacks in large companies, its clients include the likes of Coca Cola and Rolls Royce. The rise of hacking has made cybersecurity a top priority for many businesses and Darktrace has benefited, revenues have more than doubled to $200m in the past two years.Next steps: Thoma Bravo will have until 12 September to make a formal offer or walk away.Yesterday Ted Baker confirmed it would be taken over by Authentic Brands Group – the US owner of Reebok and Juicy Couture brands - for £211m.It marks a major decline in fortunes for the British retailer known for its formal and occasion wear. Only four years ago the company was worth £1bn but since then has battled a series of challenges:

  • There was a £58m accounting error discovered in January 2020.

  • Chief Executive and founder Ray Kelvin left the business in March 2019 following misconduct allegations, that he denied.

  • The retailer was slow out the gate selling online which meant it wasn’t prepared for the boom in ecommerce during the pandemic.

Next steps: Authentic Brands said it "believes Ted Baker is a distinctive British lifestyle brand with a rich, authentic heritage and strong worldwide customer recognition" and it "will be a good custodian" of the name. It also added that it believes there’s “significant growth opportunities” for the brand in North America.

Stat of the day

Each episode of HBO's new Game of Thrones spin-off "House of the Dragon" costs around $20m to make

Interesting links from around the web

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