British American Tobacco has appointed a leading City law firm to conduct an investigation into allegations that the cigarette maker bribed African officials to gain commercial advantage. The maker of Rothmans and Lucky Strike said that following the claims made by the BBC’s Panorama, it had appointed Linklaters to “conduct a full investigation” and was keeping the Serious Fraud Office informed (The Times £). The claims were made by former employee Paul Hopkins, who worked for BAT in Kenya for 13 years. He handed over documents, allegedly implicating the company and local politicians in corruption, to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office in December. At the time, BAT said it had hired a “specialist media lawyer” to deal with the claims, which it said were made by “rogue former employees”. (The Financial Times £)

The Indian booze baron, once known as the King of Good Times, has been handed £53m by Diageo to walk away from his vodka business, writes The Daily Mail. The flamboyant tycoon was $75 million better off yesterday after he settled a bitter legal battle with Diageo over his chairmanship of its United Spirits business (The Times £). Diageo’s had previously demanded his resignation as chairman due to its discovery that funds had been “improperly advanced” from United Spirits to other parts of Mallya’s business empire between 2010 and 2012, as he sought to save his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines from collapsing under debt. (The Financial Times £)

Coca-Cola claims that its rippled, undulating glass bottle is an “American icon” with a shape so distinctive it can be “recognized in the dark or lying broken on the ground”. However, Europe’s second-highest court has ruled that without the flutes, the Coca-Cola bottle is, in fact, just a bog standard bottle and one that is not worthy of trade mark protection. (The Times £)

AB InBev has warned that a slowdown in markets such as Brazil and China will weigh on the group during 2016 after the brewer behind Stella Artois reported full-year results that missed analyst expectations. (The Financial Times £)

Discount supermarket chains are less likely to sell contaminated chicken than some of their more upmarket rivals, according to a Food Standards Agency survey. Fresh chicken bought at Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer was twice as likely to be highly contaminated with campylobacter as birds from Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons. (The Times £)

The supermarket chain Asda has announced a policy U-turn that will see the return of permanent collection points for food banks and other charities in all its UK stores. (The Guardian)

Australian grocer Woolworths has announced a $1bn loss in the first half and appointed a new chief executive to revive the business. The company’s decision in January to pull the plug on its Masters hardware chain will cost $3.25bn before tax in a one-off impairment. (The Guardian)