The Business Matrix: Thursday 20 October 2011

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The Independent Online

Edinburgh airport put up for sale

BAA is putting Edinburgh Airport up for sale with an estimated price tag of about £500m after the Competition Commission forced it to choose between its operations in Glasgow and the Scottish capital. The operator of six UK airports, including Heathrow and Stansted, decided to sell Edinburgh because it would fetch a higher price.

Tycoon loses test case with HMRC

In a tax ruling set to disappoint many of the estimated 5.6 million expat Britons, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday in favour of HMRC in its dispute with the entrepreneur Robin Gaines-Cooper. He left the UK in 1976 but was judged by the Revenue to be resident between 1993 and 2003 because of the number of days he spent in the UK.

Mouchel sells its rail arm for £3.4m

The beleaguered infrastructure group Mouchel has sold its rail arm to Sinclair Knight Merz for £3.4m, the first of a number of expected divestments. The group, which has seen two chairmen and a chief executive depart following a profits warning two weeks ago, said the money raised would “make a small dent” in the group’s £87m debt.

Japan’s recovery drives GKN sales

The aerospace and car parts maker GKN’s third-quarter sales rose by 11 per cent to £1.48bn in the three months to 30 September as Japanese car production recovered after the earthquake. But the company warned that demand for small cars in Europe had weakened. Underlying profits rose by 13 per cent over the quarter to £113m.

DTZ for sale after takeover bid fails

The property consultancy DTZ has formally put itself up for sale after its 55 per cent shareholder Saint George Participations ended takeover talks on Monday. DTZ said yesterday that it had received preliminary indications of interest from a number of parties and would also consider other strategic options.

Cobham missiles unit sold for $350m

The aerospace engineer Cobham has agreed to sell its US missile unit to the privately-owned Parsons Corporation for $350m (£225m), five months after saying that it hoped to shed two of its non-core businesses. Cobham will reinvest the proceeds in its remaining core aerospace and defence markets.

Iceland attracts at least five bidders

At least five private-equity investors were set to submit first-round offers for a 77 per cent stake in Iceland Foods by last night’s deadline. Sir Malcolm Walker, who founded the frozen food retailer and has a 23 per cent stake and the right to match the best bid, is expected to bid later in the process.

Sports Direct’s profit rises by 13%

Mike Ashley’s sportswear giant Sports Direct has continued to show its troubled rival JJB Sports a clean pair of heels by boosting profits and sales in recent months, which it said “further validated our resilient business model”. Sports Direct increased retail gross profit by 13 per cent on sales of £296m.

Diageo sees sales rise by 9%

Diageo, the Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness owner, lifted sales by 9 per cent in the three months to 30 September, slightly ahead of expectations, though volumes rose by 5 per cent. Asia and Latin America saw the fastest growth while European revenues rose 6 per cent and North America 5 per cent

SABMiller buys stake in Efes

SABMiller, the brewer of Peroni and Grolsch lager, has acquired a 24 per cent stake in Turkish rival Anadolu Efes in exchange for its Russian and Ukrainian beer businesses. SABMiller also has first refusal rights if the family behind Anadolu Group sells any of its 43 per cent stake in Efes.