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The Business Matrix: Thursday 12 September 2013

Passenger surge at Heathrow

The lack of Olympic escapades in London this summer keeping Britons home-bound saw Heathrow enjoy a 7.7 per cent surge in passengers in August, to almost 7 million. Airlines switching to bigger planes such as the Airbus A380 saw the average number of seats and passengers on each flight rising, the latter up 6.9 per cent to 168.9.

Vodafone vote on Kabel in doubt

Mobile giant Vodafone's £6.6 bn takeover of Kabel Deutschland is hanging in the balance as only 20 per cent of shareholders in the German broadband and television company have accepted the deal by last night's deadline. A massive wave of late votes was expected, but it was far from clear if Vodafone will get 75 per cent acceptance.

Whitworths valued at £90m

Whitworths, the UK's largest supplier of dried fruit, nut and seed products, has been valued at £90m under a deal that will see private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe take a majority stake. Northamptonshire-based Whitworths was founded in 1886 and has around a 30 per cent market share.

Extra £5.5m in funds for Time Out

The private-equity owner of Time Out has had to invest an extra £5.5m in the listings magazine in the past six months after the title went free a year ago. Time Out has been suffering from "subdued print advertising demand", but circulation has hit a record of 305,000 and website visitors are up 35 per cent. Time Out lost £3.1m last year.

Assura takes on 32 more centres

Warrington-based healthcare property provider Assura Group has bought Trinity Medical Properties and Trinity Medical Developments in a £62.5m deal that will see it take on another 32 medical centres. Trinity's medical centres are let to GPs, NHS bodies and pharmacy operators.

Alliance Pharma posts 29% rise

Alliance Pharma posted a 29 per cent rise in profits for the six months on turnover up 4 per cent. But the pharmaceutical company, which is based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, cautioned the second half would not be as strong due to a first-half seasonal sales boost from its toxicology product.

Lockheed wins £100m IT contract

Lockheed Martin UK has been awarded a major new IT services contract at Nato's new headquarters in Brussels. The agreement, which is worth more than $100m (£63m), includes options under which it may also be contracted to maintain the Nato network for five years.

Silverstone sheds industrial estate

Silverstone racing circuit has sold an industrial estate and package of development land outside the track to the BT pension fund-owned Mepc for £32m. The British Racing Drivers' Club, which owns the circuit said this would allow it to pay off its loans.

80% of firms say stay in the EU

Almost 80 per cent of firms believe Britain should stay in the European Union, according to a new survey by the CBI. Only 10 per cent thought it was in the UK's interests to leave. About 75 per cent said leaving the EU would have a negative impact.

Verizon launches $49bn bond sale

US mobile phones giant Verizon Communications has launched a record $49bn bond sale to help fund its $130bn buyout of Vodafone from their joint venture, Verizon Wireless. The deal tops the previous record, held by Apple's $17bn sale earlier this year.

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