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Newspaper round-up

BSKYB is closing in on deals to acquire sister companies Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland.

The Sunday Times reports the deals will swell the resources of parent company 21st Century Fox, the media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch, in a bid for Time Warner.

The newspaper says Fox will net a 3.5 billion euro from the sale of its 57 per cent stake in Sky Deutschland, adding that Sky Italia is worth between 3 and 5 billion euro.

Two companies which own some of the country's best-known household food brands are mulling stock market flotations later this year.

The Sunday Telegraph reports the private equity backers of United Biscuits, owner of McVitie's Digestives and Jaffa Cakes, and frozen food giant Birds Eye are planning to join the raft of private companies which have gone public this year.

The newspaper also reports the Treasury will this week launch a consultation on pension reform, under which pensioners will no longer have to buy an annuity as they approach retirement.

A leading Scottish housebuilder has criticised the structure of Scotland's Help to Buy scheme as the funding for its current financial year comes close to running out, the Sunday Herald reports.

Andrew Mickel, of the award-winning Mactaggart & Mickel, told the newspaper the scheme might not have run out of funds so quickly had it been aimed solely at first-time buyers and lower-cost properties.

Two million home owners should be told by the banks they will face financial difficulty when interest rates start to increase.

The Mail on Sunday says a report out on Thursday from the Resolution Foundation will call on the Financial Conduct Authority to ensure that mortage providers make "immediate contact" with householders who are likely to be facing financial difficulty as a result of higher rates.

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