Please see below a round up of this weekend’s newspapers: TDR considers TCG bid TDR Capital, the private equity backer of Stonegate Pub Company, is considering a bid for TCG, which was put up for sale last month. The value of the business is suggested to be up to £100m, although industry sources say the price is more likely to be nearer to £50m. TDR is also thought to be running the rule over Barracuda. Mail on Sunday Travelodge’s cash lifeline Travelodge has been forced to seek an emergency bank loan as it battles to cut debts. The £10m cash lifeline was handed to the budget hotel company ahead of crunch talks with its banks.The chain, which runs 470 hotels in Britain, Ireland and Spain, is grappling with £850m of borrowings. It spent £99m on interest payments last year. Bankers say the debt pile is unsustainable. Restructuring talks are expected to focus on the £480m of bank debt. Travelodge, which is owned by Dubai International Capital (DIC), also has £370m of borrowing held in long-term bonds, according to the most recent accounts available. The talks may conclude with the lenders, or DIC, investing more cash. Alternatively, the banks may swap their loans for shares in the business. In 2010, DIC had to inject an extra £20m after Travelodge breached the terms of loan agreements. The hotel operator has appointed advisers to help it negotiate with the banks. Deloitte, the accountant, Clifford Chance, the law firm, and Talbot Hughes McKillop, a debt specialist, have been drafted in. The banks have already waived conditions attached to Travelodge’s borrowings to try to help. Sunday Times Broker in Punch insider trading storm to accept fine The broker at the centre of the Greenlight Capital insider trading scandal will not fight his £350,000 fine despite clients and rivals agreeing that he did little wrong. This means that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) will have claimed its second high-profile scalp from an incident involving Punch Taverns in 2009, having fined the hedge fund Greenlight and its owner, David Einhorn, right, £7.2m last month. Andrew Osborne, who has resigned from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has been told by clients that he should not put his young family through what could be a costly two-year legal battle with the FSA. Independent on Sunday Inflation plunge will brighten the economic gloom Another fall in inflation is likely to prove the one bright feature in an otherwise gloomy set of economic figures this week. With the VAT rise to 20% of January 2011 now dropping out of the figures, the Consumer Prices Index, due on Tuesday, is expected to dive steeply – from 4.2% in the year to December to about 3.6% or even less for the year to January. “I am looking for something in the lower end of the 3 to 4% range,” said George Buckley, economist at Deutsche Bank. Howard Archer, of independent forecasting group IHS Global Insight, opted for a more cautious approach. “I would expect the rate to fall to 3.6%,” he said. “Indeed, with the heavy discounting in December, it could be that some of the fall in the annual rate has been brought forward.” The CPI hit a low point of 1.1% in September 2009 and peaked at 5.2% in September 2011 – well over the Government’s 2% target. Elsewhere, the picture is expected to be more downbeat. January’s retail sales figures, due on Friday, are likely to show that the effects of Christmas and the sales wore off fairly rapidly, as suggested by surveys from the British Retail Consortium and the Confederation of British Industry. Mail on Sunday Sunday Express Sunday Telegraph Sales to fall at struggling Thorntons Chocolatier Thorntons will be hoping that new ranges in the run-up to Valentine’s Day lift it out of its trading slump, however it is expected to report £130m sales this week, a fall of 2.5%. It is also expected to have seen a decline in like-for-like sales of 4%. The group recently warned it will only break even in the year to June, compare with £4.3m profit in the previous year, as it is forced to drop prices to drum up trade. The firm, which employs 3,000 staff and has a 7.7% share of the UK chocolate market, will post third-quarter figures on Wednesday after revealing like-for-like sales fell by a worse-than-expected 4.2%in the second quarter of its financial year. Sunday Express Sunday Times Offenders with drink problems face US-style tagging London test scheme to make criminals committing drink-related offences wear bracelets to monitor blood alcohol levels US-style sobriety bracelets for criminals who are persistently convicted of drink-related offences are to be tested this summer in London. The small-scale scheme will see offenders who are problem drinkers and commit high-volume alcohol-related offences – such as drunk and disorderly, criminal damage and common assault – given a conditional caution, justice ministers announced. About 300 offenders this summer are to be given the choice of accepting the sobriety conditions and having their alcohol intake monitored or facing prosecution and the prospect of a drinking ban order imposed on them. The offenders will be tagged with the bracelets which monitor blood alcohol levels and transmit them to a base station every 30 minutes. Those who fail to comply with the conditions will be prosecuted for the original offence. A second scheme outside London will target offenders involved in more serious drink-related offences. A total of £400,000 is to be made available to fund the schemes. Daily Telegraph The Guardian Mail on Sunday Express focuses on Marstons CEO In its Ask the Boss column, the Daily Express says that Ralph Findlay is one of the men who has presided over a remarkable double transformation in Britain’s pub and brewing culture. The chief executive of Marstons, famed for its Pedigree, Jennings and Hobgoblin beers, has seen the near end of the old- fashioned back street boozer and the inexorable rise of the pub restaurant. Hand-in-hand with this came the return of traditional cask ales, growing as the rest of the market endures precipitous declines. “We saw the return of cask ales coming five or six years ago,” says Findlay. “There was an increased consumer interest in regional produce and beer was part of that. “Pubs have also moved more to food. People want to drink better quality beers. They now drink a couple of pints with a meal, rather than eight pints in a session.” Pubs have suffered from the smoking ban and the unrelenting rise in beer duties and costs. Traditional customers were forced into their homes, where they could enjoy a smoke with cheap beers and lagers. The industry responded by offering value-for-money food and drinks customers can not get at home to entice a new audience. “Customers spend on average £6 a head on food,” says Findlay. “It is a good night out without feeling guilty. You have to be careful,” says Findlay. “One of our rivals changed their two meals for £10 offer to two for £11. They had to lose that extra pound quickly.” Findlay says at some point prices will have to go up: “It’s one of the challenges. When the economy does get better, we will have to move to get that spend up.” Daily Express We still love the shops Despite reports of the high street's “death spiral”, young people still want to go out shopping. A new survey of more than 1,500 people aged 16 to 29 shows 77% "love to shop" in physical stores, according to the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Almost exactly the same proportion of those surveyed said they have visited a high street in the previous week. However, the survey also shows that 47% of young adults say they have no pride in or connection to their high street, with too many generic shops and "nothing aimed at young people". Saatchi & Saatchi also found that 41% of 16 to 29-year-olds have considered opening a retail business. Of those, three-quarters would choose their local high street for a site rather than a shopping mall. Magnus Djaba, UK chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, whose clients include Asda and T-Mobile, says some retailers are struggling because they have become too "transactional". "It's become 'how fast can I complete a transaction?' But if you think about the Apple store, it's not about 'how fast can I get a transaction off a young person?', it's about the experience," he says. The Independent Investors offered 50% tax relief in start-up companies From 6 April, it will be possible to invest in Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS), which are designed to get people to invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs. Investors who put money into a start-up with SEIS status will get up to 50% tax relief. Tim Weller, a founder of Incisive Media, a financial business information company, says: "This will encourage people who've made it to re-invest, to mentor those folk who are starting out." The attractions for higher-rate tax payers are clear as the top rate of tax is now 50%. Revenue and Customs says people can invest up to £100,000 annually via a SEIS, and will be able to offset 50% of the amount invested against existing income tax liability, assuming they have sufficient liability. Whether they're a higher or lower rate taxpayer makes no difference. The shares must be held for at least three years for the relief to be retained. If they are disposed of at a gain, there is no capital gains tax to pay. Independent on Sunday Sunday roast is cheaper than 22 years ago One of life’s little luxuries, the traditional British Sunday roast, has actually become cheaper over the decades, at least in real terms. In that year the ingredients to feed a family of five – roast beef, roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots and cauliflower – would have cost £6.69, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Today the ingredients for the same meal would cost £10.78. But had the price kept pace with inflation, the cost would have been £13.40. The saving of £2.62 has been made possible by supermarket price wars and more efficient farming helping to keep the lid on food price inflation. Topside of beef has risen in price by 60.2% since 1990, against a general inflation rate of 100.3%. It is a similar story for pork, which has risen by 63 per cent, and chicken, where the price increase has been just 45%. Only lamb is bucking the trend, with home- produced shoulder up 160% and imported leg rising by 106%. The price of lamb has been buoyed recently by a reduction in global supply, according to the beef and lamb producers’ body Eblex. The prices were published by Defra after a Parliamentary question by Liberal Democrat MP Roger Williams, a farmer in his Welsh constituency. Beyond the confines of the Sunday lunch table, however, Britain’s families have had more of a raw deal from 21 years of inflation. Petrol prices have risen 235%, coal prices by 190%, whisky by 169%, a pint of beer by 145.5% and 20 cigarettes by 297%, according to National Statistics. Mail on Sunday A pint with King Carl and Squire Stefan When Stefan Persson, billionaire owner of the H&M fashion chain, goes shopping, he visits the English countryside. And then he buys it. The world’s 13th richest man has been quietly building up a sprawling estate that now stretches across 10,000 acres of the Wiltshire/Berkshire border, between the towns of Marlborough and Hungerford. Persson now owns idyllic English country homes, woods, shooting estates, farmland, a river, a village, a brewery, a pub and even the ruins of a medieval chapel. And, of course, a cricket pitch. He opened a microbrewery on the Ramsbury Estate in 2004, which produces Ramsbury Ale, rumoured to be one of David Cameron’s favourites. The brewery has been such a success that the estate has applied for planning applications to expand the business. Sunday Times Tatas in JV with PepsiCo to make nutritious beverages Tata Global Beverages and PepsiCo India have joined hands to make a foray into nutritious beverages space. The two have already floated a new company by the name and style of NourishCo. The joint venture rolled out its first product, Tata Water Plus, on Thursday here at a press conference. Claimed to be the country's first nutrient water, Tata Water Plus is priced at Rs.16 for a 750 ml Pet bottle. Both will have equal holding in the joint venture with equal board representation. The joint venture will have an equity component of Rs.50 crore. The Times Quango officials spend £38,000 on food and drink The Office of Fair Trading has run up a £38,000 food bill charged to the taxpayer, including £80 on a mean at raunchy American food chain Hooters. Bosses at the Government quango, which works to protect consumer rights, racked up the £80 taxpayer-funded bill at Hooters in Nottingham, famous for its busty waitresses who wear hotpants while serving customers. A member of the consumer watchdog entertained business contacts at the American-themed grill, according to figures obtained by the Taxpayers' Alliance. Figures released through Freedom of Information requests showed that the OFT spent £77.73 on a meal at the Nottingham branch of the chain in October 2009. Officials at the quango also amassed bills over £1,000 charged to the taxpayers at high-end London restaurants as part of business lunches and meals hosted for delegates. In the past two years the OFT spent £1,064.47 at Chez Gerrard in London, as well as a further £1,440 at Patterson's, another exclusive London restaurant. Sunday Express Mail on Sunday