This week: Marketing news from the national press

Alliance Boots could close up to 150 high-street stores if deputy chairman Stefano Pessina wins control of the pharmacy giant. Pessina is leading a takeover backed by private-equity house Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. - The Observer

Barclays has emerged as one of several major banks to have made a takeover approach to Dutch bank ABN Amro. Such a merger would create Europe's second-biggest bank by market value, after HSBC. - Financial Times

Freeview owners including the BBC and ITV may call for BSkyB to forfeit its share if it starts charging for services, such as Sky News, that it offers on the platform. - The Guardian

Burton's Foods, owner of the Wagon Wheels brand, has been bought by private-equity firm Duke Street Capital from HM Capital for about £200m. - Financial Times

Mothercare is considering a bid for Early Learning Centre (ELC) after the chain of young children's stores was put up for sale. ELC made a profit of £13m last year and could attract a price tag of £150m. - Mail on Sunday

Imperial Tobacco, maker of Lambert & Butler cigarettes, has vowed to continue 'friendly' talks with Gauloise manufacturer Altadis after an £8bn takeover approach was rejected as too low. - The Guardian

Greggs, the high-street baker, is to invest in lower-fat products after a 19.8% drop in pre-tax profits to £40.2m in the year to December. - Daily Express

Next plans to introduce edgier fashions to appeal to a wider customer base. The company's results on Thursday are expected to show annual profits of £463m-£473m, up from £449m last year. - Mail on Sunday.


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