Thorn, the TV rental company, has agreed to a 980m bid from Future Rentals, a specially-formed company financed by Japanese investment bank Nomura.

Arcadia has bought the Wade-Smith fashion chain for 17.3m.

Johnson Fry, the investment house, has appointed Lindsay Firth-McGuckin, who recently left Colonial Investments after just five months, as marketing director. She replaces Alastair Altham.

Pepsi has appointed Ann Kelly, account director with Triangle Communications, as promotions manager for Europe sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA). Marketing manager for colas UK Simon Lowden becomes marketing director for colas ESSA. He is replaced by Paul Birkitt.

Safeway has reported total sales for the first 13 weeks of the new year up 9.4 per cent at its annual general meeting. Chairman David Webster said the supermarket was on track to achieve profit recovery later this year.

Cellnet launches its ‘First’ initiative today (Wednesday) with a one-off advertising blitz in the national press revealing research that three out of four people are deterred from buying a mobile phone because they are worried about getting the right package.

The University of Cambridge launches a poster campaign for schools and colleges this week to encourage more state school applicants.

Virgin Cola has become the first cola brand to become the official supplier to the Ministry of Defence, producing specially-designed bottles of Virgin Cola and Virgin Lips for squaddies’ lunch boxes.

Nestlé will repaint the platforms at Fawdon Metro station in Newcastle green and red to promote products including Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, as part of a new sponsorship deal.

Levi’s is helping to finance a new campaign fromTurning Point, the charity for youth with drink, drug and mental problems. The short animated film, called Drugworld, will be shown in cinemas. It highlights the dangers of drug abuse.

MFI, the furniture group, has announced a 10m decline in profits before tax to 60.4m on sales up nearly 6 per cent to 894.8m for the year to April 25. The company is to effect a massive re-organisation. News Analysis, page 19.

Lever Brothers is launching a new toilet cleaner called Domestos Active Toilet Gel, which will be supported by a heavyweight television and press ad campaign through Ammirati Puris Lintas.

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