(Adds company news item, updates futures)
Jan 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures were up 0.3 percent ahead of the cash market open on Friday.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 0.04 percent at 7161.49 points on Thursday as earning updates provided a mixed picture with Diageo surging after strong sales data but Daily Mail and Unilever hit by disappointing numbers.
* TESCO: Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco TSCO.L has agreed to buy Booker BOK.L, the country’s largest cash and carry wholesale supplier, for about 3.7 billion pounds ($4.64 billion), cementing its dominant position in the UK.
* BT: BT, the telecoms group reeling from an accounting scandal and a slowdown in its government work, said it was seeing record growth in its EE mobile unit and good momentum in consumer operations in a bid to reassure investors.
BT’s head of continental Europe, Corrado Sciolla, is stepping down after the company revealed an accounting scandal at its Italian operation.
* ALLIANCE TRUST: Alliance Trust will buy back the 19.75 percent of its shares owned by U.S. activist investor Elliott Management, the Scottish asset manager said on Friday, following pressure from Elliott to improve the fund’s performance.
* COUNTRYSIDE: An entity controlled by investor Oaktree Capital Management LP has sold an about 10 percent stake in British property developer Countryside Properties Plc via a placing, one of the bookrunners said on Friday.
* PARAGON : Lender Paragon Group of Companies said its first-quarter underlying operating profit was in line with its expectations, driven in part by high-margin business wins and cost control, despite regulatory changes and uncertainty due to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
* BATS: British American Tobacco (BAT) has reached a principle agreement to acquire the tobacco assets of Bosnian holding firm Fabrika Duhana Sarajevo (FDS) from an Austrian fund, the two companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.
* SHELL: A Nigerian court has ordered the temporary forfeiture of assets and the transfer of operations of a long-disputed oilfield owned by Shell and Eni, among others, to the federal government, court papers released on Thursday showed.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)