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Legal battle.

Shareholders have started legal action seeking pounds 5.5bn in damages from troubled Airbus parent EADS.

The Association of Active Shareholders said it had begun a "French-style class action" against EADS over Airbus' delays to its A380 deliveries.

EADS said in mid-June it would deliver only nine aircraft in 2007, and delays would slash pounds 1.1bn from profits to 2010.

The news pushed its shares 26% lower.

Takeover agreed

CONSTRUCTION giant Balfour Beatty has landed a pounds 32m takeover of rival civil engineering firm Birse.

The two firms agreed a cash offer worth 16.625p a share ( 23% higher than Birse's 13.5p closing price on Friday.

Shares in Birse leapt 19% to 16p yesterday as investors welcomed the news, while shares in Balfour were up just over 1%.

Steel merger

THE UK's richest man hailed a "seminal event" for the steel industry yesterday after his company Mittal Steel agreed a takeover of rival Arcelor worth around pounds 18bn.

Lakshmi Mittal won the backing of the Arcelor board after a five-month battle to merge the world's two largest steel companies and create a powerhouse capable of producing 120m tonnes of steel a year ( 10% of the global market.

Casino giants

CASINO operators Stanley Leisure and London Clubs International (LCI) confirmed yesterday they were in discussions over a possible merger.

The two companies opened talks in the last two weeks over a deal which would create a gaming giant worth around pounds 700m with more than 50 casinos across the UK.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jun 27, 2006
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