C&W warning

Telecoms firm Cable & Wireless warned it would walk away from a proposed deal for Energis if it is rejected by the owners of its smaller rival.

Telecoms firm Cable & Wireless warned it would walk away from a proposed deal for Energis if it is rejected by the owners of its smaller rival.

C&W said it would not "under any circumstances" return with an improved offer if the proposal does not receive the necessary backing. The move follows a report that investment banks holding a quarter of Energis' debt were determined to squeeze a higher price out of C&W.

Lewis's sales up

DEPARTMENT store chain John Lewis revealed sales had continued to recover from the impact of the London bombings.

The group said total sales across its chain of 26 outlets were 5% higher in the week to August 6 against the same period last year.

Sales at the group's Oxford Street store in London were 9·4% lower during the week, having slumped 27·7% in the week after the July 7 attacks.

Franchise deal

INTERCONTINENTAL Hotels has signalled an expansion of its Holiday Inn brand in the UK after clinching a franchise deal with one of its rivals. Some 11 hotels owned and managed by Queens Moat Houses will be rebranded as Holiday Inn under a 20-year agreement.

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