The Business Matrix: Thursday 28 June 2012


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No fresh bid for Birds Eye's Iglo

The private-equity firms Blackstone and BC Partners are not expected to table a fresh bid to buy the Birds Eye owner, Iglo, from the rival buyout firm Permira after it rejected their €2.5bn (£2bn) bid earlier this week. Permira is understood to have been seeking €2.8bn, the largest private-equity buyout this year.

Prudential CEO moves to ABI

Prudential's chief executive Tidjane Thiam is to become the next chairman of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) from next Tuesday. Mr Thiam, who earlier this year said the firm might quit London to avoid new regulations, will take over from Legal & General's Tim Breedon, who has completed his two-year term of office.

Land Rover wins award for Evoque

The engineering team behind Land Rover's Range Rover Evoque has been awarded the UK's premier prize for innovation, the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award. Manufacturing at the Halewood plant is now on a triple shift to meet demand after 70,000 vehicles were sold in the first nine months.

Fortnum & Mason hires new director

Fortnum & Mason, the Queen's grocer, has hired a new retail director. Tim Fisher, who previously worked at Marks & Spencer, joined the 305-year-old emporium on London's Piccadilly last month. The store, which made a profit of £1.1m last year, is also close to hiring a new chief executive, after Beverley Aspinall left in May.

Northern Rock lost £110m in 2011

Northern Rock lost £110m in its final year under ownership by the taxpayer while its buyer Virgin Money made £44m in 2011. Virgin paid £747m for the "good" part of Northern Rock which had to be bailed out by the government in 2008. Since the merger, Virgin has attracted 400,000 new customers.

Retailers to set up price websites

Major electrical retailers such as Dixons, Comet and Argos will set up a price-comparison website for extended warranties under measures to placate competition authorities. The OFT's study of the £1bn per year market highlighted concerns customers are not getting the best value for money.

Yule Catto expects business to suffer

Yule Catto said it expects its business to be hurt by a volatile euro and weak nitrile demand in Asia. The warning sent its shares down 22 per cent. The chemicals company said in March that it expected sales from emerging markets to offset low growth in developed ones.

Falcone faces charges in US

US regulators have charged billionaire hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone and his firm Harbinger Capital Partners with a litany of illegal actions, including market manipulation and improperly misappropriating client assets to pay his taxes. He is contesting the charges.

DM&GT sells Canada Water site

Daily Mail & General Trust has sold its 14-acre Harmsworth Quays newspaper-printing works site at Canada Water in east London's Docklands to British Land. The property firm already part owns the nearby Surrey Quays shopping centre.

Crest Nicholson sales up 33%

Crest Nicholson posted half-year profits of £16m and a 33 per cent jump in sales. The housebuilder, which operates in the South East, South West and the Midlands, said its focus on prime locations and first-time buyers helped revenues.