The Business Matrix: Saturday 31 March 2012


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The Independent Online

Prudence in short supply at the Pru

Prudential paid the head of its fund-management business, M&G, £7.6m last year, 60 per cent more than chief executive Tidjane Thiam received. Michael McLintock will get £6m in long-term-incentive pay on top of the £1.6m he earned in salary and bonuses, the Prudential annual report revealed.

Star's rising in the East for Asahi

The British private-equity giant CVC Capital Partners is set to sell the Staropramen Czech lager business to Japan's Asahi for $3bn (£1.87bn). CVC bought StarBev in 2009, but put it up for sale after bid interest from Britain's SABMiller, Carlsberg, Heineken and Asahi. All but Asahi faced monopoly concerns.

Antiques market 'back on the up'

Mallett, the only antiques dealer on the stock market, predicted an upturn after selling a pair of extremely rare Chandos chairs for a discreetly undisclosed, but certainly very high, price. Losses last year of £1.4m were transformed into profit of £508,000 thanks to sales in Hong Kong and a cheaper Mayfair base.

Americans start to open their wallets

Consumer spending in the US gained pace at its fastest rate in seven months in February, boosting hopes of a recovery in the world's biggest economy. "So long as the consumer is spending, that's the biggie everyone is watching, as they drive the economy," said Wayne Kaufman of John Thomas Financial.

Ford boss Mulally is paid $30m

Ford Motor boss Alan Mulally became one of the world's best-paid chief executives last year with a near-$30m package, despite missing key targets. Ford missed goals on costs, quality and market share but Mr Mulally still qualified for an 11 per cent rise after a decade-high profit.

Eros falls out of love with London

The Bollywood film distributor Eros International is abandoning the Alternative Investment Market in London to pursue a $250m listing in New York. The company said it decided to make the switch because the US would provide a more relevant peer group, access to additional capital and broader analyst coverage.

It's Vodafone vs India: Part II

Vodafone, fresh from winning its last battle with the Indian taxman, described as "grossly unjust" a new plan by the authorities there to tax retrospectively overseas transactions involving local assets from as long ago as 1962. Vodafone said: "We are urgently considering a number of courses of action."

Laxey attacks 3i after chief quits

Laxey Partners, the activist investor, last night turned its fire on private-equity group 3i just a day after the chief executive, Michael Queen, announced his departure. Laxey urged 3i to return all cash from investment sales to shareholders and freeze all new takeovers until its share-price performance improves.

EU clears BMI for takeover

British Airway's owner IAG has won approval from Brussels for the takeover of BMI from its current owner, Lufthansa. The European Commission said its clearance was conditional on IAG, which owns BA and Spain's Iberia, giving up 14 take-off and landing slots at London's Heathrow airport.

Hedge fund pulled into Libor affair

Hedge fund Brevan Howard asked RBS to change the rate at which banks lend to each other, known as Libor. That was the allegation of a former RBS trader in a wrongful-dismissal case. Tan Chi Min was sacked for trying to influence Libor but says it was common practice.