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PRESS DIGEST- British Business - April 17

April 17 - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Times

* Almost 22,000 companies are facing "significant" financial distress because of rising food and fuel prices, according to an analysis by the insolvency firm Begbies Traynor. bit.ly/2oNK9Zg

* Tesco is facing fresh questions over the impact of its proposed 3.7 billion pound ($4.64 billion) takeover of Booker Group after a rival wholesaler argued that it would give Britain's biggest supermarket group "an obvious level of influence" over thousands of convenience stores. bit.ly/2oNNpnG

The Guardian

* A year after the collapse of the department store chain BHS, more than two-thirds of its former stores still lie empty, blighting the UK's high streets and shopping centres, according to research by the Guardian. bit.ly/2oNzA8G

* John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, is calling on Philip Hammond to hold an urgent public inquiry into whether Bank of England officials colluded in the rigging of the Libor rate. bit.ly/2oNDD55

The Telegraph

* The new boss of Debenhams will unveil plans this week to overhaul the retail chain's 165 shops and cull some in-house brands in a bid to lure shoppers back to its stores. bit.ly/2oNLsaZ

* TalkTalk is being accused by John Petter, chief executive of BT's consumer business, of obstructing broadband industry attempts to introduce automatic compensation for poor service. bit.ly/2oNLLlX

Sky News

* Bridgepoint, the owner of Pret a Manger, has hired bankers at Moelis to explore a bid for house-builder Miller Homes that could value it ‎at well over 800 million pounds. bit.ly/2oNHZcf

The Independent

* The boss of private security firm G4S received a record 4.8 million pounds in pay and bonuses over the last year despite the firm being embroiled in a string of scandals. ind.pn/2oNMUdi

($1 = 0.7981 pounds) (Compiled by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Rigby)

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