The Business Matrix: Friday 16 November 2012


Megafon unveils London float

Megafon, the Russian telecoms giant controlled by Arsenal football club's second-biggest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, has confirmed plans for a London stock market float that could value the business at $14bn.

Lacoste acquired by Maus Freres

Lacoste has been acquired by Swiss family-held group Maus Freres in a deal which valued the French sportswear and fashion maker at £805.1m. It follows a Lacoste family feud over the firm's management. The Swiss company said: "All Lacoste family shareholders have decided to sell the totality of their shares to Maus Freres."

Atkins bumps up UK staff count

The engineering giant charged with keeping London's Olympic flame burning this summer yesterday revealed a UK hiring spree. Atkins, which saw profits fall 5 per cent to £43.9m over the half-year, now has 300 more staff in the UK than a year ago.Asda boss: scrap fuel duty rise

Andy Clarke, the chief executive of Walmart-owned Asda, has said he expects trading conditions in the grocery sector in 2013 to be as "tough" as this year. He also called for the Government to "freeze" the rise in fuel duty planned for January.

Retail sales tumble in October

The worst month for the high street in October since April intensified fears over more pain for the UK economy, raising speculation of a return to the printing presses by the Bank of England. The 0.8 per cent slide in sales volumes for retailers was far worse than feared in the City.

Esure strengthens board members

Esure, the insurer whose adverts featured Michael Winner, has shuffled its board ahead of an expected stock market flotation next year. It has appointed Anne Richards from Aberdeen Asset Management, as a non-executive director, and has promoted Andrew Whitehouse to chief risk officer.

Leap in sales for Ted Baker brand

Fashion chain Ted Baker yesterday proved it is still in fashion, with sales up more than a fifth in the past three months and plans to extend its reach into Canada. Boosted by new stores, Ted Baker's total sales rose 22.1 per cent in the 13 weeks between August and 10 November. Banks face £200m mis-selling bill

Britain's banks face a new, £200mn bill for mis-selling after the Financial Services Authority today fined the country's biggest provider of card and identity theft insurance a record £10.5m. CPP mis-sold its two main UK products to 4.4 m people for six years up to March 2011. It has agreed to pay some 300,000 people to whom it sold directly. 

Profits up for late 'King of Soho'

The property empire founded by the late "King of Soho" Paul Raymond earned to £16.9m profit on revenues of £19.9m in the year to March. Raymond died in March 2008 aged 82, leaving an estate now worth £329m. Net assets at Soho Estates are shown as £172m, up from £160m, according to Companies House.

EADS investigates anti-corruption

EADS has launched an external, group-wide investigation into its anti-corruption practices as the European aerospace company admitted for the first time that it had failed to react quickly enough to a whistleblower's claim that its UK unit paid bribes to secure contracts in Saudi Arabia. This comes a month EADS quit merger plans with BAE Systems.