BLAKEMORE SELLING CAPPER & CO STORES

FOLLOWING its acquisition of Capper & Co, fellow Spar franchise and distribution venture AF Blakemore is selling 32 stores in its enlarged portfolio.

The stores are being marketed for sale by retail business adviser Christie.

Ten of the stores are in Wales, with the remainder in the North-East of England, eastern counties, the Midlands and South-West of England.

ISM ACQUIRE RULE 1.02

A Cheshire business which manages the careers of dozens of golfers, cricketers, footballers and other sportsmen has made an acquisition in the USA as it looks to establish itself further across the Atlantic.

International Sports Management, whose clients include newly-crowned US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and cricket legend Andrew Flintoff.

MURDOCH CHASING F1

Rupert Murdoch is looking to further expand his media empire after collaborating with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim on an audacious bid to take control of Formula 1 racing.

News Corp views the motor racing event as an attractive proposition, it being one of the few sports which the media giant as yet where it lacks a foothold.

It would also set precedent as the first time a media group has taken over an entire sport.

NAT EXPRESS INVESTOR CALLS FOR MERGER

A rebel shareholder has turned up the heat on National Express by outlining proposals for the transport firm to merge or radically alter its strategy.

American hedge fund Elliott, which owns 17.5% of National, is meeting with investors to garner support for options that would see the bus and coach operator tie-up with another UK rival such as Stagecoach, refocus on the United States or sell-off part of the business.

KEANE CONSULT MERGER GETS GO AHEAD

A merger between Birmingham construction cost consultant Keane Consult and Projex Building Solutions is set to create new jobs and continued expansion across the country, Insider has been told. Glen Cooke, partner of the new business, said the opening of a new office in Henley-in-Arden was the beginning of a venture which could grow to "cover the UK" over the coming years.

The Birmingham company said the deal with Leeds-based Projex would double the size of the business.