The Business Matrix: Saturday 10 August 2013


French in charge at Olympic Park

The French will now be in charge of running facilities at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London and hundreds of UK schools and hospitals after Balfour Beatty sold its UK facilities management unit WorkPlace to GDF Suez for £190m. GDF looks to have secured a bargain; the business was expected to fetch £250m.

Call to help Co-op bondholders

Campaigners have made a fresh call on the Financial Policy Committee to help Co-op Bank bondholders. Mark Taber, who is leading the Co-operative Retail Bond Investors Campaign, has warned the beleaguered business’s recapitilisation plans mean pensioners are collectively losing as much as £3m a week through panic selling.

First-half profits slump at Catlin

Catlin saw first-half profits slump on higher interest rates, but reported a 10 per cent surge in gross premiums written. The insurer said first-half net pre-tax profits fell to £93m from £149m a year earlier, but added that  investments will ultimately  benefit from higher interest rates.

WPP buys a Brazilian brand

Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP has bought a Brazilian brand  consultancy to boost its  presence in Latin America. The advertising giant said its subsidiary Millward Brown bought a majority stake in BrandAnalytics Consultoria to increase its exposure to fast-growing markets.