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The Business Matrix: Thursday 20 February 2014


ITV buys stake in ‘Teen Wolf’ firm

ITV has bought a stake in DiGa Vision, the US independent producer behind television shows such as MTV’s longest running series, Teen Wolf. The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions by ITV of production companies on both sides of the Atlantic, including High Noon Entertainment, Big Talk and The Garden.

Arms gives Bakrie family more time

Arms, the London-listed miner previously known as Bumi, has revealed the Bakrie family is asking for more time and a change to the terms of their deal to extract their Indonesian coal mining business from the company. The family, which co-founded Bumi plc with the financier Nat Rothschild, has raised $163m of the $228m agreed on.

Monitise reports leap in revenues

Half-yearly revenues at the mobile payments firm Monitise leapt by two-thirds but losses dropped only slightly to £23.3m. The company said the 67 per cent rise in sales to £46.5m was evidence of strong growth, adding that there are signs of a tipping point among people aged 18 to 25 using smart phones for mobile banking.

Another currency trader suspended

Royal Bank of Scotland has suspended a third trader in its inquiry into alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange market. Ian Drysdale was suspended this week, sources confirmed. Regulators including the FCA are investigating potential wrongdoing in the $5.3trn (£3.2trn) a day market. RBS declined to comment.

LDC sells stake in Benson Group

LDC, part of Lloyds Banking Group, has sold its stake in Benson Group, which makes food packaging, in a £100m deal with Graphic Packaging International. LDC took its stake in December 2011. Benson employs more than 900 staff and manufactures in Newcastle, Gateshead and Crewe.

Investors cash in on Vodafone deal

Vodafone’s investors will get six new shares for every 11 existing shares, after its $130bn (£78bn) Verizon Wireless sell-off. The deal allows Vodafone to keep its share price steady despite its stock market value almost halving. Shareholders will also get cash and 0.026 Verizon shares for each Vodafone share.

Carlsberg tops up earnings by 8%

Underlying earnings at Carlsberg rose 8 per cent to 2.32bn Danish kroner (£255m) in the fourth quarter of 2013, as the world’s fourth largest brewer increased its share of the market in the Nordic states, Portugal, Italy and Greece. However, it lost share in the UK.

RBS offloads business to BNP

Royal Bank of Scotland is selling parts of its structured retail investor products and equity derivatives businesses to France’s BNP Paribas for an undisclosed sum. RBS said the sale price was not material, but added the deal allows it to offload up to £15bn of liabilities.

A&J Mucklow profits down 9%

The commercial property group A&J Mucklow has posted a drop in underlying half-yearly profits to £6.3m, down from £6.9m a year earlier. But its net asset value – a key measure for property firms – rose to £190.3m from £182.5m.

Signet shines after $690m Zale deal

Signet is buying its smaller rival Zale for about $690m (£413m). The deal combines the two largest US mid-tier jewellery store chains, Zales and Signet’s Kay Jewelers. Signet’s London listed shares jumped 16 per cent on the news.