(Adds company news items, futures)
* WPP: WPP WPP.L said U.S.-based private equity firm Bain Capital would buy a 60% stake in Kantar, valuing the data analytics unit at about $4 billion in the proposed deal. INTERSERVE: Britain's troubled outsourcer Interserve Group Ltd said Chairman Glyn Barker will be replaced by his counterpart in Safestyle UK SFES.L Alan Lovell, months after the company was placed in administration following a rescue plan. HISCOX: British insurer Hiscox Ltd HSX.L said the market had continued to deteriorate from last year's catastrophes such as typhoon Jebi in Japan and hurricane Michael in Florida, and expected first-half earnings to be between $150 million and $170 million. JOHN MENZIES: John Menzies Plc MNZS.L said Chairman Dermot Smurfit will step down after the company appointed an aviation services industry expert to the role to help ride out tough times in the sector. LOOKERS: Car dealership chain Lookers Plc LOOK.L said it anticipates full-year underlying pretax profit below its expectations as it battled weaker car demand in Britain in June and margin pressures. EASYJET: Britain's Unite Union said on Thursday Stansted airport check-in staff at Easyjet Plc EZJ.L will go on strike for over a fortnight starting in July, as employees demand similar pay to other companies that operate at the airport. RECKITT BENCKISER: Reckitt Benckiser RB.L has agreed to pay up to $1.4 billion to resolve U.S. claims that its former pharmaceuticals business Indivior before it was spun out of the company carried out an illegal scheme to boost sales of an opioid addiction treatment. THOMAS COOK: China's Fosun Tourism Group 1992.HK is in advanced talks with Thomas Cook Group Plc TCG.L and its lenders regarding a combined 750 million pound ($940 million) fund-raising by the world's oldest travel company. The UK blue chip index closed 0.3% lower on Thursday, as investors sold off healthcare stocks after Washington withdrew a rebate rule aimed at lowering drug prices, and a Fed-fuelled rally fizzled out. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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