The Business Matrix: Monday 28 July 2014


Tchenguiz to sue Grant Thornton

Vincent Tchenguiz is set to sue the accounting firm Grant Thornton over a bungled Serious Fraud Office investigation. He is expected to accuse Thornton of damaging his business empire through its involvement in advising the SFO in the flawed investigation into the collapse of KaupthingBank. On Friday the SFO apologised and settled Mr Tchenguiz’s legal bill.

Bidding opens for fracking licences

Companies can start applying for onshore oil and gas drilling licences in a move that could boost the amount of fracking taking place across the UK. Ministers will launch the bidding process for shale gas today and hope for a bidding war between major companies to boost government funds. However, some areas including national parks will face stricter fracking rules.

What the Sunday papers said

Homebase may  be put up for sale

Home Retail Group is considering spinning off its £1.5bn DIY chain Homebase so it can concentrate on developing its more prosperous Argos chain. Sources said bosses have considered selling Homebase before but the option has come “into sharper focus” following the start of a strategic review by new chief executive John Walden.

Mail on Sunday

Criticism over CardOne’s fees

Consumers are being left confused by companies using the word “bank” in their title, when they have no banking licence. CardOne Banking offers current accounts with no fees for unauthorised overdrafts. However, critics suggest the £12.50 a month fees are hefty for a service aimed at those with financial problems in the past.

The Independent on Sunday

CEO Mark Sebba stands down 

The chief executive of the online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter is standing down after 11 years at the helm. Mark Sebba joined in 2003, three years after the site was founded, and will remain a non-executive. It comes as Mr Sebba was made a trustee at the V&A. Headhunters have been appointed.

The Sunday Times

Equity owners offload Volvox

The British car parts manufacturer Volvox Group has been put up for sale by its private equity owners with a £40m price tag. Elysian Capital has appointed advisers at PwC to explore options for the business, which was bought from Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm in 2011.

The Sunday Telegraph

Week ahead...

Crowded week for corporate updates

It’s a packed week for corporate news, with banks, power giants, consumer goods groups and more jostling for attention.  Today there are full-year numbers from microwave technology group Filtronic, and updates from the insurer Hiscox, JKX Oil & Gas, the publisher Trinity Mirror and XP Power.

Shower gel maker to come clean

Tomorrow PZ Cussons, the group behind Original Source shower gel, releases full-year figures. There will also be news from Circassia Pharmaceuticals, Domino’s Pizza, Drax, GKN, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Pace, St James’s Place, Tullett Prebon and Tyman. BP also discusses its recent performance.

Builders, bakers and broadcasters

Wednesday brings updates from  3i, Atkins, BAT, Compass, Diploma, Foxtons, Greggs, International Personal Finance, ITV, Jupiter Fund Management, Mecom,, National Express, Rightmove, Segro, Shire, Tarsus, Taylor Wimpey, Travis Perkins, Tullow Oil and Victrex.

Drinks giant Diageo stirs

In Thursday there are finals from drinks giant Diageo and updates from AstraZeneca, BAE, BG Group, Centrica, Countrywide, Investec, Inchcape, Intu Properties, Merlin Entertainments, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Rolls-Royce, Schroders, Thomas Cook, Weir and Xchanging.