The Business Matrix: Monday 6 October 2014


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The Independent Online

Kaye family looks at biting back

Britain’s restaurant chains look set for another major upheaval as the millionaire Kaye family mull a plot to buy back Prezzo, Ask and Zizzi. The three huge chains were originally started by the Kayes but were sold off over the years to various investors. Ask is even named after the patriarch Philip Kaye’s sons Adam and Sam Kaye.

Redcar plant faces renewed threat

The Redcar steel plant in Teesside looked back under threat last night as it emerged auditors KPMG had warned of “significant doubt” over its financial viability. Redcar was saved by a Thai company in 2011 but its accounts show pre-tax losses of £194m in 2013. The plant was sold three years ago for £290m to Shaviriya Steel.

French firms eye up Eurostar sale

Two French investment companies are among the bidders for the taxpayers’ 40 per cent stake in Eurostar, which the Government put up for sale last December. Antin Infrastructure Partners and Ardian – formerly part of Axa insurance – are both considering bids likely to be around £300m

Brick expected to build up CRH

Shares in building materials supplier CRH were expected to jump today after reports that it was putting its clay brickmaking division up for sale at £600m. But analysts said the rise could be tempered by CRH wanting to buy assets from Holcim and Lafarge, which could total £4bn.

EU climate chief linked to oil firms

The recently nominated EU commissioner for climate and energy is facing calls to stand down over his links to the oil industry. Miguel Arias Cañete has alleged family links to two petrol companies and has only recently sold big stakes in Spanish oil firms Petrolifera Ducar and Petrologis Canarias. Independent on Sunday

North Sea oil fields up for sale

Apache, the US oil giant that has helped to revitalise the North Sea industry, has put all its fields there up for sale. Apache bought old fields from majors such as Exxon and used new technology to extract more oil. However, a powerful shareholder wants it to focus on US shale gas. Sunday Times

Netflix to shoot UK royal drama

Netflix, the video streaming service, is following up its success with US series House of Cards by commissioning its first UK dramas. It is soon to begin filming The Crown, an epic about the Queen, and is in talks with Channel 4 about collaborating on further drama shows. Sunday Telegraph

Superstores rely on hidden charges

Hidden charges that supermarkets levy on suppliers make up as much of a third of their profits. Penalties for late deliveries, success fees for the retailer selling more goods and refunds for in-store discounts are not disclosed in accounts, but are hugely important to their annual figures. Mail on Sunday

Bank meeting will keep rates on hold

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee holds its monthly meeting on interest rates this week and is expected, once again, to leave them on hold at 0.5 per cent amid increased evidence the economy is slowing. But the markets are still predicting rates will rise early next year.

Crunch vote over Electra equity

Shareholders in the private equity house Electra today hold a crunch vote on whether to overhaul management of the business. Investors are voting on whether to accept activist investor Edward Bramson’s plan to appoint himself to the board and remove current director Geoffrey Cullinan.