The Business Matrix: Friday 13 July 2012


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The Independent Online

Mayhoola buys Valentino

Valentino, one of Italy's most famous designers, has secured a spot in the vast wardrobe of Qatar's Royal family. The private-equity house Permira has sold Valentino to Qatar's investment vehicle Mayhoola in a €700m (£553m) deal Valentino will join Qatar's other luxury investments, including Harrods.

Peugeot Citroën slashes costs

French car maker Peugeot Citroën yesterday launched a drastic cost-cutting plan to slash 8,000 jobs in France and close a factory north of Paris, as it faces diving sales in crisis-hit southern Europe. The company's management announced the job losses and closure plan during a meeting with union representatives.

French take early holiday

The French have embraced the Olympics by starting their traditional summer closedown early and heading off on holiday, according to Eurostar. Paris is famous for shutting down for the whole of August, but Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said French businesses were closing earlier than usual due to the Games.

Irish economy plummets in Q1

The Irish economy contracted by 1.1 per cent in the first three months of 2011, official figures showed. Consumer spending fell by 2.1 per cent. The sharp drop in output casts doubt on European Commission forecasts that Ireland, alone of Europe's bailed out states, will register growth over 2012 as a whole.

Cuadrilla to monitor drill site

Cuadrilla Resources, the fracking company chaired by former BP chief executive Lord Browne, has promised to improve monitoring of earth tremors at its drilling sites, a year after the Government ordered it to stop activities in the Blackpool area after earthquakes were reported.

Tillman may buy Croydon's Allders

The retail enterpreneur Harold Tillman is mulling a bid for Allders in Croydon, south London. The 150-year-old department store fell into administration last month and is trading as a going concern. Other potential bidders include Hilco, which like Mr Tillman has previously had a stake in Allders.

Spaniards flock to web gaming site

The Spanish are tackling austerity by flocking online to play poker, according to the e-gaming company 888. The e-gaming group, now number two in the Spanish market, yesterday said profits would be "materially ahead" of City expectations. It got a Spanish licence in May.

Centrica buys two firms in New York

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has spent £71m buying two New York energy firms to boost its presence in the United States. The power group's North American subsidiary, Direct Energy, bought Energetix and NYSEG Solutions from the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola.

Shell to sell six petrol stations

Shell has agreed with the Office for Fair Trading that it will sell six petrol stations and six liquefied gas sites to alleviate competition concerns. The issues were raised following Shell's acquisition of 253 Total-branded petrol stations.

Telford Homes builds up profits

Telford Homes expects a substantial increase in profits in the year to the end of March thanks to the strong London property market. In its first quarter it has made more profit than the £3m it chalked up over the whole of the previous year.