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Royal Bank of Scotland reduces stake in insurance company
INSURANCE SALE: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will sell £229.4m worth of shares in insurance company Direct Line. RBS is shedding 15 per cent of its total outstanding shares, which will leave it with a 49.9 per cent stake in Direct Line.
Last year, Direct Line, which employs about 15,000 staff, said it was cutting 900 jobs to save costs, including about 500 at its Stockton offices.
The move comes after Bank of England governor, Sir Mervyn King, said there was a case for splitting up RBS.
SECURITY GROWS: Security firm G4S has reported an increase in revenues for 2012, but admitted it had suffered pre-tax losses after its staffing problems at the London Olympic Games.
The firm saw total revenues hit £7.5bn, but said the cost of the Olympics, announced at £88m, meant pre-tax profit excluding the Games fell to £175m from £257m.
The company revealed a £70m loss on the Olympics contract, and was heavily criticised after failing to recruit enough security guards for the event, which was eventually covered by military personnel.
TRAVEL BOOST: Travel agent Thomas Cook, which could cut 25 North-East jobs, has revealed sales in shares have surged by 14 per cent after it announced a large restructure.
The company, which plans to axe 2,500 jobs from its 15,500 workforce, hopes to save £350m by 2015 by closing stores and focusing on internet sales.
RESTAURANT DEAL: Supermarket group Tesco has bought restaurant chain Giraffe in a £48.6m deal.
The company, which reported its strongest growth in UK Christmas sales for three years, said it will open Giraffe branches close to its supermarkets.
The deal follows previous deals, which saw Tesco buy a 49 per cent stake in Harris and Hoole coffee shops and invest in the Euphorium Bakery chain.