Leslie van de Walle is to retain the role of McVitie’s group chief executive after he takes over from Eric Nicoli as chief executive of United Biscuits. Nicoli will take up the post of chairman designate of EMI Group with effect from May 1, with a view to becoming executive chairman later this year…

…United Biscuits has confirmed it is in preliminary talks with Legal & General about the merger of its Young’s seafood business with L&G’s Bluecrest Seafood.

RJR Nabisco is to sell its international tobacco business to Japan Tobacco for $8m (4.8m) and plans to split its US tobacco and food businesses.

Whitbread is launching its Boddingtons ale brand in 250ml bottles, called ‘Little Boddies’.

The British Retail Consortium says retailers are still waiting for a boost in sales from the reported increase in consumer confidence. The BRC Retail Sales Monitor for February shows annual like-for-like growth of 1.3 per cent.

Thomson Directories has appointed Credit Suisse First Boston to advise it on options for development in the Internet and international markets.

Cellnet has acquired Martin Dawes Telecommunications for 130m. It will be run as a separate business unit.

Fred Perry, the clothing label, is launching a 750,000 print and outdoor advertising campaign (right) through Spirit Advertising.

The Office of Fair Trading is expected to clear Dixons of charges that the retailer has inflated the price of personal computers.

Tropicana UK has appointed four new sales and marketing personnel. Graham Mitchell joins as business development manager; James Sheppard joins as commercial director for Scandinavia; Mike Cook is business account manager; and Lynn Osbourne becomes business analyst.

More than 1.3bn was spent on health and beauty treatments in the UK last year, by 28 per cent of the population, according to a new Mintel report published this week.

Pace Micro Technology has appointed Jim Lomax to the new position of general sales manager for the UK and Ireland.

ICI Paints brand Dulux is painting the pink Elephant & Castle shopping centre red to flag up its involvement in Comic Relief.

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