Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

The Business Matrix: Monday 23 January 2012

 

African Land has begun negotiations with potential advisers over an Alternative Investment Market flotation it expects to launch within the next couple of months. The company has around 33,000 acres of farm land in Sierra Leone and leases an additional 30,000 acres of neighbouring Liberia. Robert McKendrick, African Land's chairman, says Western farming technology has already enabled the company to make substantial improvements to production.

Peacocks attracts private equity

A string of private equity groups are circling Peacocks after the budget fashion chain collapsed into administration last week. KKR, Permira, Sun European Partners and Cinven are all picking over the company, which faces becoming the biggest high street casualty since Woolworths went under in 2008. Peacocks' administrator, KPMG, will this week open a data room for prospective buyers of the business, with bids invited by next Monday.

99p Stores mulls £60m sale

Independent on Sunday: The family behind budget retail chain 99p Stores is considering a sale that would value it at up to £60m. Electra Partners is thought to be the front-runner to acquire the chain, which has almost 150 shops and sells every item at 99p. Owners the Lalani family founded the business in 2001.

BAE may close Portsmouth yard

The Sunday Times: BAE Systems is considering closing its Portsmouth dockyard in a move that would threaten up to 3,000 jobs and end more than 500 years of naval shipbuilding in the city. The Independent on Sunday reported last week that BAE has appointed LEK Consulting to examine the operations.

Recruiter Reed loses tax battle

Mail on Sunday: The recruitment giant Reed has lost a £158m battle with HM Revenue & Customs over paying for its temps' lunches and daily commute. Staff could receive up to £17.45 a day for food and travel. A tax tribunal dismissed Reed's claim that the payments were part of a salary sacrifice scheme.

Founder will vote against easyJet

Sunday Telegraph: Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder and largest shareholder of easyJet, is to vote against the airline's remuneration report, putting him on a collision course with the board. Sir Stelios, who controls 37 per cent of the low-cost carrier, is concerned at executive pay levels at the company.

Nigeria strike hits PZ Cussons

Healthcare company PZ Cussons issues its interim results tomorrow and investors are already braced for bad news. Since the profits warning in December, there has been further bad news thanks to a national strike in Nigeria, which makes up a third of the group's earnings.

IT sector woes will not dent Sage

Analysts are optimistic about IT firm Sage's defensive qualities and they will be hoping its first-quarter statement tomorrow proves this. The company has said it expects to see its revenues grow organically by 5 per cent over the full year. Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes this target is achievable.

Christmas sales drop at WH Smith

The last of the major retailers to update the market post-Christmas, WH Smith does not traditionally get as much of a festive boost as many of its peers. UBS is expecting it to announce a drop in like-for-like sales at its high-street stores of 7 per cent, thanks partly to fewer people shopping in town centres.

Misys likely to meet forecasts

Misys issues its first-half figures on Thursday, though the City will be aware that the final six months of the year are normally stronger for the banking software firm. Its focus on the financial sector – which isn't booming at the moment – has created some concern, but analysts think it will still meet forecasts.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride