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The Business Matrix: Monday 16 December 2013


Moncler skis off with £2bn float

Shares in the luxury Italian fashion and ski brand Moncler will begin trading later today in Milan, giving the group a €2.55bn (£2.15bn) valuation. The IPO, by private-equity owners Carlyle and Eurazeo, is the largest in Italy since 2010 and was 31 times oversubscribed amid signs of recovery in the eurozone. Italian luxury stocks have soared in the past two years.

Japanese consider move for Canopius

The British insurer Canopius  Group could be up for sale  after Sompo Japan Insurance said yesterday that it is looking at a possible takeover that  could reportedly value the  British firm at around  Y100bn (£595m). Canopius,  a privately owned Lloyd’s  business, is majority-owned  by the private-equity firm Bregal Capital.

What the Sunday papers said

Irate Ashley plans Adidas share raid

Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder of Sports Direct, is threatening to build a hostile stake in Adidas as a row escalates over the supply of Premier League kits. Mr Ashley has indicated he could start buying shares to exert pressure on the German giant after it refused his shops access to Chelsea’s replica kit.

The Sunday Times

Troubled RSA to offload assets

RSA Group hopes to sell  non-core operations in Eastern Europe, Latin America and  Asia to try to raise £500m that investors think it needs in fresh capital. Chairman Martin Scicluna, who took control of the FTSE 100 insurance group  after chief executive Simon  Lee quit, wants to offload peripheral assets.

The Sunday Telegraph

Crowdfunding  ‘under threat’

Leading MPs and the UK’s crowdfunding industry are calling on the Financial Conduct Authority to halt a consultation over regulation that is due to complete later this week. Critics warn the process is deeply flawed and may strangle the industry at birth by making regulation too onerous for investors.

The Independent on Sunday

Energy bills to rise ‘£6bn in shake-up’

A massive energy-market shake-up to be announced this week will lead to a fresh hike in bills, experts warn. Regulator Ofgem has overhauled charges paid by companies for using the national grid, but critics say consumers face an extra £20 a year on the average bill, or £6bn by 2030.

The Mail on Sunday

Week ahead

Aggreko looks for energy boost

The temporary-energy supplier Aggreko will be hoping it can power up its share price despite concerns about its fleet of machines and some signs of waning demand from customers. It is due to release a trading update today and analysts at HSBC think concerns in the market have been overstated.

Nat Ex buses face bumps in road

The transport group National Express releases figures tomorrow. Liberum Capital’s experts are concerned the coach operator faces “higher contract churn and lower margins” in certain overseas markets. The sector faces risks from regulation which will weigh on Nat Ex despite its steady US bus division.

Mixed fortunes for electrical firms

The former owner of Comet, the French electrical retailer Darty, will release its interim results on Wednesday. It has been having a tougher time of it as the consumer outlook in France remains difficult. But rival Dixons is likely to impress on Thursday following the demise of rivals such as Best Buy and Comet.

Spotlight on Serco after scandals

The outsourcer Serco reports on Thursday after a series of scandals that saw boss Chris Hyman depart. It is dealing with contract losses and the negative publicity relating to the fraud probe into its electronic-monitoring contracts. But Numis Securities warns: “We continue to see weakness in the short term.”