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Jamie Oliver plans Italian food range – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

22 October 2007 by
Jamie Oliver plans Italian food range – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Jamie Oliver plans Italian food range Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is believed to be in early discussions to launch an Italian food range through a planned new chain of restaurants. The first venture, Jamie's Italian, is due to open in Bath next year and sources close to the chef say he plans to open up to 40 neighbourhood restaurants serving authentic Italian food over the next few years that make their own pasta and bread and use only free-range chicken. If successful, a range of shops may be rolled out to sell the produce. Insiders say the range will be similar to that sold through Carluccio's, which makes 22% of its turnover from retail sales. - The Scotsman](http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/), 21 October

S&N plots Russia sale to thwart hostile bid The UK's biggest brewer, Scottish & Newcastle (S&N), is planning to thwart a £7.5b hostile takeover bid launched last week by Heineken and Carlsberg, who want to split the British brewer between them. S&N is investigating selling Hartwall, the Finnish holding company that holds its 50% interest in its biggest asset, the Russian beer business BBH. The sale of Hartwall would circumvent an arrangement with Carlsberg, which owns the other 50% of BBH and is keen to buy S&N's share, which is worth £2.5b. - [The Sunday Times](http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/), 21 October

VAT shock for green travellers The travel industry has hit out at the Government's newest green tax that will levy the top rate of VAT on carbon credits sold by companies like British Airways and Lastminute to allow holidaymakers to offset or cancel out the emissions from their flight by investing in green energy points. The new tax, which will be introduced by the end of the year, will raise the price by nearly one-fifth. A spokeswoman for travel association Abta said: "Charging VAT could potentially turn consumers away from offsetting if the government is creaming off some of the proceeds. Our concern is that money which is supposed to help save the planet is going into government coffers. It has already been a very hard battle for some of our members to buy into the idea of offsetting because of the doubling of air passenger duty." It is estimated that, last year, companies and up to 500,000 individuals in the UK spent £8m offsetting their carbon emissions. - [The Observer](http://observer.guardian.co.uk/), 21 October

Marco Pierre White does not own his own brand name Michelin-star chef and Hell's Kitchen presenter Marco Pierre White revealed to Lynn Barber in the Observer Food Monthly that he no longer owns his own brand name. "I gave it to a trust to … So if you want to do a deal with me, you don't deal with me. I can't go into details. But it's simplified a lot of my life," he said in the interview. - [The Observer Food Monthly](http://observer.guardian.co.uk/), 21 October

Aga to sell foodservice business Upmarket oven-maker Aga has confirmed that it is selling its commercial food service and bakery equipment business to Italian firm Ali for £260m to focus on the consumer market. The division was expected to raise around £300m before the current credit squeeze. Aga's shares closed 2¾ p down at 426¾p. - [Daily Mail](http://www.dailymail.co.uk), 20 October

LA Fitness eyes Wagamama
The owner of gym operator LA Fitness is among a group of potential buyers for noodle bar chain Wagamama. MidOcean Partners, a former investor in Laurel Pub Company, is one of a small number of firms in the running for the company, which last week shelved plans for a £200m initial public offering. Another contender is said to be Tragus, the Blackstone backed restaurant group that owns Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Strada. Wagamama was put up for sale last week by its owner Lion Capital, the buyout firm. Sunday Times, 1 October

By Angela Frewin

E-mail your comments to [Angela Frewin](mailto:daniel.thomas@rbi.co.uk?subject=Weekend papers) here.

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