CBI and manufacturing group Make UK are in discussions about a possible merger, a sign that Britain’s largest business lobby group is facing financial problems.
Both organisations are in talks about forming a stronger alliance, such as on policy and industrial strategy. They haven’t ruled out a merger into one group.
Make UK stated that ” Make UKand the CBIare currently in an early-stage discussion to explore ways the two parties could work together closer,” These discussions are constructive and positive, but they remain in an early stage.
The CBI issued a statement that was almost identical, confirming the positive start of talks between the parties.
The CBI and Make UK have begun discussions to see how they can work together more closely. The CBI stated that these discussions were positive and constructive, but still at an early stage.
Sky News broke the news of the talks. It highlights the financial struggles the CBI has faced since being caught up in the sexual harassment scandal earlier this year. It is not yet clear whether the CBI name would disappear if it merged with its manufacturing-focused rival.
A person who was familiar with the discussions said that they had been ongoing for several months and were at a “fairly advanced” stage.
They said, “There has been a lot of talk for a long time.” They added that the CBI’s financial woes mean “the clock is running”
The largest business lobbying group in Britain has seen a wave of resignations from its members after allegations made by former female employees. Aviva, BP Drax KPMG Tesco NatWest and BP were among the groups.
After the allegations were made, the CBI named Rain Newton-Smith as its new chief executive. It also began a review of the CBI’s culture.
CBI members approved a plan at an extraordinary general assembly in June. The plan was to revamp the group’s culture and governance, while allowing for a gradual return of public activities.
CBI has been forced to inform staff of the need to restructureand reduce its wage bill by one third. This will lead to redundancies.
As part of a cost-cutting effort, the CBI is closing its offices located in Beijing and Delhi.
It was revealed in June that Make UK had been in discussions about taking over CBI’s Macroeconomics Unit and its suites of surveys. However, the idea seemed to have stalled.