And in the real world... Kraft, Axa Group, Vodafone and more...

LONDON - Today's round-up of the biggest business stories

And in the real world... Kraft, Axa Group, Vodafone and more...

Kraft has until 5pm today to launch a formal offer for Cadbury under UK takeover laws. If the global food giant is not forthcoming with an offer, then it will be forced to walk away for six months.
Source: Guardian

Axa Group, the insurance giant, is preparing to launch a £1.8 billion rights issue in an effort to fund potential acquisitions in the financial sector. The news comes just two weeks after Axa announced that its third-quarter revenues were down 2 per cent to £68 billion.
Source: Daily Telegraph

Vodafone is set to embark on another cost cutting exercise in an effort to combat its falling revenues. The new cost cutting initiatives come ahead of the company's interim results, which will be announced tomorrow.
Source: Financial Times

Sir Richard Branson is expected to make a third attempt to take control of the National Lottery by putting in a bid to acquire its current operator Camelot. The move comes after four of Camelot's five shareholders put their 20 per cent stakes in the company up for sale.  
Source: Independent

Lloyds Banking Group is launching a series of new initiatives that will look to support small and medium enterprises. The company plans to use the scheme to help 300,000 new SMEs start up by 2012.
Source: Independent

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