(Bloomberg) -- Here’s the key business news from London-listed companies this morning.

S4 Capital Plc: Martin Sorrell’s media company will combine its social media marketing company Media.Monks with peer XX Artists, in a combination that’ll leverage the LA-based agency’s list of influencers. 

Chemring Group Plc: The UK’s serious fraud office has close its investigation into the company, its subsidiary Chemring Technology Solutions and people connected with it.

  • The investigation was opened in January for possible bribery, corruption and money laundering — Chemring referred themselves to the prosecutor and said today it is pleased the matter is now closed

Oxford Biomedica Plc: The gene and cell therapy group has signed a new three year deal with AstraZeneca Plc to investigation possible manufacturing opportunities for the pharma company’s Covid-19 vaccine.

  • Under a deal signed in 2020, Oxford Biomedica has been making AstraZeneca’s vaccine in its Oxbox facility, that’s due to end in the last quarter of 2022 — on the signing of this new agreement, the company will make vaccines on an “as needed basis” beyond 2022

Outside The City

Boris Johnson’s deputy chief whip resigned last night due to an incident involving excessive drinking, leaving another position for the prime minister to fill as he returns to the UK.

Meanwhile Number 10 has proposed a cut to VAT to help ease inflation and help people with the rising cost of living. That’s according to The Times, who said the treasury is concerned that the move is costly and could fuel inflation by overstimulating the economy.

And admissions to the ICU linked to coronavirus are on the rise again as omicron subvariants cause new outbreaks across the country.

In Case You Missed It 

More of your European football could be broadcast by Amazon in the UK, as the company nears a deal to broadcast the UEFA’s Champions League as well as other tournaments, according to people familiar with the matter. The US giant is among a number of broadcasters, as well as BT Sport, that are poised to sign a media rights deal with UEFA.

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc reaffirmed its full-year guidance and said its cars are selling well yesterday, mitigating concerns raised by reports that it’s looking to raise money.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of BT Group Plc’s unionized workers voted to strike for the first time in more than three decades yesterday. Workers across the country are using industrial action to ask for more pay, including barristers — who have just won a 15% pay boost from the government.

Looking Ahead

Supermarket J Sainsbury Plc will be in focus next week when it expected to report a trading update. Investors will be looking at the retailer's strategy to fight off cost inflation and plummeting consumer confidence in the second half of the year.

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