British Business - March 31

March 31 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Times

- Apollo Global has walked away from education group Pearson Plc PSON.L after a last-ditch 227 million pounds ($298.28 million) sweetening of its offer to 6.7 billion pounds was not enough to interest the educational publisher.

- London fitness chain Digme Fitness backed by British finance minister Rishi Sunak's wife Akshata Murty has collapsed, leaving the taxpayer with debts of 415,000 pounds. Link

The Guardian

- Eight Russian oligarchs on the UK sanctions list over their links to Vladimir Putin were granted "golden visas" to live in Britain after promising to invest at least 2 million pounds under the controversial tier 1 investor visa scheme.

- Germany and Austria moved a step closer to gas rationing after activating an emergency plan designed to help it cope with any disruption in supplies from Russia.

The Telegraph

- Home furnishings retailer Ikea plans to close a store in Tottenham, north London, putting 450 jobs at risk, as part its push to open more shops in city centres.

- More than 100,000 British companies are to sue Mastercard Inc MA.N and Visa Inc V.N over claims they charge fees on corporate credit cards at up to six times the maximum level.

Sky News

- UK transport minister Grant Shapps has unveiled plans he says will block P&O Ferries' attempt to secure a new seafarer workforce on the cheap after widespread outrage over the mass sackings of 800 crew.

- The London-based arm of Russia's second-largest lender VTB VTBR.MM is close to being placed into insolvency proceedings after international sanctions curbed its ability to continue operating.

($1 = 0.7610 pounds)

(Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)

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