The Business Matrix: Thursday 16 October 2014


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The Independent Online

Chiquita under offer of $1.3bn

The latest twist in the battle for banana group Chiquita came as Brazil’s Cutrale and Safra families increased their offer to more than $1.3bn, including debt. The long-running battle for control of the 144-year-old US banana company started when Ireland’s Fyffes and Chiquita announced plans for  a $1bn merger in March.

Rio Tinto mines 5% more iron ore

Rio Tinto, which rejected a takeover approach from commodity trading giant Glencore this year, said iron ore production was up 5 per cent in the third quarter at 76.8 million tonnes. It confirmed its target is to mine 295 million tonnes of iron ore this year and has produced 216.2 million tonnes in the first nine months.

Aldermore pulls float due to slump

Challenger bank Aldermore pulled its £800m stock market flotation yesterday blaming falling share markets. The bank, which as recently as Monday indicated it was still pushing ahead with the share sale, said its board and shareholders – mainly US private equity  firm AnaCap – had decided  not to proceed.

Qualcomm picks up chip maker

CSR has been snapped up for £1.56bn after the US tech giant Qualcomm agreed a knockout takeover bid. The 900p-a-share cash offer trumped an earlier bid by its American rival Microchip Technology, whose approach in August was rejected by CSR. The board of Cambridge-based CSR has unanimously backed the bid.

Prodigal son back to head Balfour

Struggling Balfour Beatty has lured a former employee, Leo Quinn, from the defence technology firm Qinetiq, to become its new chief executive. Mr Quinn began his career as a civil engineer with Balfour and joins with a decade of experience in corporate turnarounds.

Farmers sue BP over pipeline

More than 100 Colombian farmers are seeking £18m compensation from BP in the High Court, claiming a pipeline laid in the 1990s destroyed their land. The action, believed to be one of the largest of its kind, involves 109 mostly subsistence farmers. BP will defend the case “vigorously”.

Flotations buoy Imperial fund

Flotations of four companies it has backed– including cat allergy treatment developer Circassia – saw universities’ research investor Imperial Innovations’ portfolio rise 38 per cent in value last year. Imperial’s profits jumped from £3.8m to £27.4m.

Toyota recalls  two million cars

Toyota has been forced to recall almost two million cars worldwide after finding a brake defect in a number of its bestselling models. The carmaker said that though faults have not yet led to injuries or deaths, more than 1.6 million vehicles must be checked.

Weather not an issue for H&M

H&M defied unseasonably warm weather to post an 8 per cent rise in sales in September, despite customers delaying purchases of winter clothes. The news is a boost for Swedish fashion retailer, which last month reported a profit decline.

Hailo withdraws from America

Taxi app Hailo has pulled out of the US and Canada after admitting it can no longer afford the “astronomical marketing spend” needed to keep up with rivals like Uber. It will focus on expanding its operations in Europe and Asia.