The Business Matrix: Friday 02 December 2011


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Vodafone hooks  up with Bluefish

The mobile phone giant Vodafone has bought the Reading-based IT and communications consultancy Bluefish Communications. Bluefish will form the nucleus of a new business focusing on advising big companies on how to get the most from their mobile, fixed line and IT services.

Zynga may value low for float

Zynga, the online games developer, could pitch its shares at a float price valuing the company as low as $10bn, half of some estimates from earlier this year, it has emerged. The company plans to sell about 10 per cent of its shares in an initial public offering in New York on 15 December, raising approximately $900m.

Premier strikes it rich at Erne well

Premier Oil has struck oil at its Erne exploration well in the North Sea. Further exploration work will continue, as a sidetrack well is drilled from the pilot hole to delineate further the reservoir. Premier has a 50 per cent stake in Erne alongside Antrim Energy. Erne is situated between the Fyne and the west and north-west Guillemot fields.

Capita wins new BBC licence deal

Capita is to handle the BBC's TV licensing collection and administration for another eight years. The deal, which starts in July, is worth £560m for the outsourcing firm but will also save the BBC more than £220m. Capita took over management of TV licensing from the Post Office in 2002, and employs 1,200 people on the contract.

MF Global's Pettit heads for Icap

Icap has recruited MF Global's top futures broker, Gary Pettit, as global head of financial futures and options. The London-based interdealer broker has also hired another 25 former staff from the defunct futures broker. The US futures brokerage failed after a $6.3bn bet on European debt.

Strike gives high street a boost

The public sector strike on Wednesday delivered a much-needed fillip to the high street with "footfall" – the numbers visiting shops – surging by nearly 40 per cent. Experian Footfall reported that visits to shops leapt by 38.31 per cent compared with the Wednesday of the same week last year.

OMG suffers 80% profits plunge

OMG, the UK company whose technology is used in top-selling films and games including Call of Duty, saw profits fall 80 per cent after a project drawn up by Marvel's Stan Lee hit the rocks. The group, which provides 3D mapping technology used in film and game special effects, reported full-year profits fell to £700,000 from £3.7m a year ago.