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The Business Matrix: Saturday 16 February 2013


BMG buys heavy metal for £40m

The music rights firm BMG has bought the back catalogue of Sanctuary Records, the label behind heavy metal giants Black Sabbath, Motörhead and Iron Maiden, for an estimated £40m. EMI previously owned Sanctuary's catalogue of 170,000 songs. It has been sold after Universal Music's takeover on the orders of European regulators.

Anglo American sinks to £1.5bn loss

Cynthia Carroll, the chief executive of Anglo American, bowed out from the miner with a disappointing set of results yesterday, but struck a defiant note and said she had no regrets. Ms Carroll reported that the FTSE 100 company made a net loss of $1.49bn (£962m) for 2012, compared with a $6.17bn profit year before.

Carphone chief's family firm folds

Cosalt, the family business of the Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, has gone under. The company, founded in 1873 by Mr Ross's grandfather, said it would ask its banks to call in administrators, and had already agreed the sale of its two businesses, which supply North Sea oil installations. No jobs are expected to be lost.

Knight Vinke joins board of Darty

Knight Vinke has forced its way on to the board of the London-listed electricals retailer Darty. The activist investor exercised its right as a major shareholder to take a board seat at Darty as the French electrical goods giant, which sold the UK chain Comet a year ago, warned that its annual profits were "unlikely" to hit £25m.

Ailing Commerz cuts bonuses pool

Germany's second-largest bank, Commerzbank, is slashing staff bonuses for 2012 by 17.2 per cent after reporting an "unsatisfactory" net profit for the year. Its chief executive, Martin Blessing, will also forgo his bonus after revealing fourth-quarter losses of €716m (£616m). For 2012, net profits plunged to €6m.

Downturn takes shine off De Beers

The diamond producer De Beers yesterday reported a 16 per cent fall in sales to $6.1bn (£3.9bn) in 2012, saying that the economic downturn had hit demand for gemstones. The group said demand in its key markets – the US, China and Japan – was still growing, albeit at a slower rate.

Barbosa resigns as BG finance chief

Fabio Barbosa is to step down from his role as chief financial officer of oil and gas producer BG Group. He has been on leave since September and returned to his native Brazil for treatment of an undisclosed medical condition. He will now become chairman of BG South America.

Moscow Exchange in cut-price start

The Russian President Vladimir Putin's hopes to create a major financial centre in his country suffered a blow yesterday when the Moscow Exchange floated at 55 roubles, the bottom of the suggested range of 55 to 63 roubles, valuing the exchange at 127bn roubles (£2.8bn).

Browett to take helm at Monsoon

John Browett, a former Apple, Dixons and Tesco executive, has made a surprise return to UK retailing as chief executive of fashion group Monsoon Accessorize. He will take the reins at the owner of the Monsoon and Accessorize next month.

Better Capital will give back £14m

Better Capital, the private equity firm founded by Jon Moulton, is to return £14.1 m to investors. The London-listed vehicle said money would be given to shareholders in the £210m fund it raised for 2009, which includes Reader's Digest in its portfolio.