BUSINESS LIVE: Compass forecasts strong growth; MusicMagpie up for sale; LSE appoints new finance boss

Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are Compass Group, MusicMagpie, Ashtead Group, Halma, QinetiQ and London Stock Exchange Group.

Halfords talks over £1.3bn van firm tie-up

Halfords has reportedly been approached over a possible merger with van hire firm Redde Northgate to create a combined group worth of more than £1.3billion.

The two companies held detailed talks about a ‘nil premium’ tie-up – in which neither firm receives a premium to the market value of their shares – according to the Sunday Telegraph.

CBI chief’s ‘low growth’ warning piles pressure on Chancellor over tax

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) will today urge Jeremy Hunt to save the UK from ‘low growth and lost opportunities’ as he finalises his Autumn Statement.

It will pile further pressure on the Chancellor to ease the burden on businesses by making permanent a ‘full expensing’ tax break, which rewards investment but is due to expire in 2026.