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The Business Matrix: Thursday 28 November 2013

Moncler puts its jacket on market

The goosedown jacket-maker Moncler is seeking to raise up to €785m (£655m) in the biggest float in the European luxury sector since Ferragamo two years ago. The Italian company, founded in 1952, has given a price range of €8.75-€10.20, which could value it at more than €2.5bn. The firm’s jackets sell for €800-€1,000.

Standard banks on Iraq branches

Standard Chartered will be the first British bank to open a branch in Iraq. The emerging-markets lender is set to open the outlet in Baghdad at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. It is the first of three Standard Chartered branches in Iraq, with oneto open in Erbil by the end of this year, followed by one in Basra.

HP faces action over fraud claims

Hewlett Packard and its chief executive Meg Whitman must face a class-action suit over its British subsidiary Autonomy, a US court has ruled. Ms Whitman said in November 2012 she was investigating claims of fraud after the 2010 acquisition of Autonomy but HP investors allege that she knew about the claims earlier that year.

Compass points to future growth

Compass said pre-tax profits were 9 per cent higher at £1.2bn in the year to 30 September, driven by sales growth of 8 per cent in North America. It improved European margins in the face of tough trading conditions, while the company added there was potential for more progress across all markets in the year ahead.

Ocado seeks staff ahead of new deal

The online grocer Ocado has launched a recruitment drive for software engineers, designers and technicians, as it prepares for the launch of Morrisons’ first venture into web sales. Morrisons will begin making its first deliveries to internet customers next month, in a partnership with Ocado.

Iceland returns to selling fridges

Iceland is going back to selling fridges and freezers as it launches an online appliances website. The venture, a partnership with DRL Limited, will offer 2,800 products from 29 major brands, including cookers, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers, and has a call centre in Bolton.

Electra-fying sale in buyout market

Electra Private Equity did deals and sold assets at a record rate last year as the buyout market sprung into life. The company said it invested £337m and offloaded £459m, including the stock market flotation of esure in March and the sale off animal tagging specialist Allflex.

Sale of pubs packs a £100m Punch

Punch Taverns is on track to raise £100m from the sale of  unwanted pubs from its  4,000-strong estate this year. After-tax profits from its core pubs were up 1.4 per cent in its latest quarter, helped by much better weather than in autumn last year.

Fewer firms going out of business

Insolvencies among the UK’s largest companies halved in October, according to the business information firm Experian. The proportion of companies with more than 500 staff going under declined to 0.08 per cent from 0.20 per cent 12 months earlier.

Oxford pictures Andor takeover

Oxford Instruments has made a firm offer yesterday to buy scientific camera maker Andor Technology for £159m. Andor said it was looking at the possible offer and would update shareholders by its full-year results on 2 December.

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