Analysis

Government set to take stakes in key industries under Project Birch plans

France and Germany lined up bailouts worth €14bn to take equity stakes in big industrial companies, as Britain drew up a similar plan, known as Project Birch, to prop up strategic firms stricken by the coronavirus crisis.

As the main eurozone economies intensified support for struggling companies, carmakers and airlines are first in line. The crash in sales makes companies with high fixed costs and low margins highly vulnerable.

Germany’s Government is set to take a 20pc stake in exchange for a €9bn (£7.9bn) rescue of flagship airline Deutsche Lufthansa, while its operations in other countries are also in talks

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The story behind Jaguar Land Rover’s proposed government bailout

British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has gone to the Government for support to steer it through the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, owned by India’s Tata Motors, is Britain’s biggest car manufacturer employing more than 38,000 people making luxury Jaguar saloons and 4x4s under the Land Rover and Range Rover brands, such as the new Defender. 

While the business has been a crown jewel of British industry for decades, coronavirus has savaged car sales and left the automotive industry desperate for a reprieve. 

This weekend, it was reported that JLR had gone to the Treasury for a state support package thought

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living in the busiest part of London under lockdown

Many of these new arrivals opened shops and restaurants serving native cuisine, while the rooms above were subdivided to such an extent that by 1851 Soho was the most densely populated area of London, with 327 inhabitants per acre. In The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy described Soho as “untidy, full of Greeks, Ishmaelites, cats, Italians, tomatoes, restaurants, organs, coloured stuffs, queer names [and] people looking out of upper windows”. 

The population declined during the Second World War but kept a cosmopolitan atmosphere, spiced by drinking clubs, dance halls, theatres, music venues and, increasingly, the sex trade. The sex trade has

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Car firm bailouts could leave Government owning swathes of British industry

JLR is not eligible for help under existing schemes because they require big businesses to have an investment grade credit rating, which the car maker lacks. Much of the car industry has weak ratings due to its low margins.

Business groups and economists warned of practical difficulties and risks around the idea of equity stakes.

“Firms have their backs up against the wall right now, so it’s welcome to see the Treasury considering innovative ideas to boost the economy,” said Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors. “The debt that businesses have taken on during the pandemic will

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