The Business Matrix: Tuesday 10 July 2012


Oil soars on back of Norway shutdown

Brent crude passed $100 a barrel yesterday as oil markets braced for a total shutdown in Norwegian oil production. Although analysts expected a last-minute government intervention to prevent a lock-out of striking offshore workers, the state-controlled producer Statoil said it was preparing to shut down from midnight last night.

JJB finds new chief as sales dampen

JJB Sports has hired Bob Corliss, an American with extensive experience of sports goods retailing, to take over as chairman from Mike McTighe in September. The troubled retailer revealed the new appointment as it warned profits would be hit by disappointing sales of England football shirts and the recent wet weather. MORE

Bonds to cover cost of bmi acquisition

The owner of British Airways has set out plans to raise money from the bond market, using up to 31 of its lucrative Heathrow slots as security. International Consolidated Airlines Group said BA was issuing bonds to raise money for costs relating to its bmi acquisition. The airline completed its takeover of bmi from Lufthansa this spring.

Jordan, Eales take reins at Debrett's

The former Formula 1 racing team owner Eddie Jordan and LDC private-equity's Darryl Eales are the new owners of Debrett's, the venerable guide to etiquette and genealogy. Although Mr Jordan and Mr Eales bought Debrett's at the start of the year, it only became apparent with yesterday's appointment of Joanne Milner as CEO.

Remy Cointreau in whisky talks

The French spirits group Remy Cointreau is in talks to buy the Scottish whisky maker Bruichladdich Distillery as it looks to tap booming demand for premium whisky from emerging markets in Asia. The Islay-based single malt distiller was founded in 1881 and restarted by current management in 2001.

Bovis counts cost of Queen's Jubilee

The Diamond Jubilee was no good for housebuilders as would-be buyers fled the country or put moving on hold to join in the celebrations, Bovis Homes said yesterday. Visitor numbers slumped around the four-day break, but the builder still saw an 18 per cent rise in sales in the first half.

Bank scandals take their toll

Michael Page International blamed the ongoing eurozone crisis for a 6 per cent fall in its quarterly profits to £138m. The recruiter, which specialises in financial and legal posts, added that the headlines over banking in recent weeks "do not help" recruitment to the sector.

Thomson Reuters buys FX Alliance

The financial news giant Thomson Reuters has splashed out $625m (£403m) in cash on US-listed foreign-exchange platform FX Alliance. The acquisition is one of the most significant moves made by new Thomson Reuters chief executive James Smith.

Wellpoint in deal for Amerigroup

The US health insurer WellPoint is buying its rival Amerigroup for about £3bn. The move is a bet on the expansion of the US government's Medicaid health plans for the country's poor after the Supreme Court's recently backed reforms.

LME shareholders to vote on takeover

Shareholders in the London Metal Exchange will vote on 25 July on a £1.4bn takeover by the Hong Kong stock exchange, which could deliver a £7m payout to its chief executive. Some shareholders are believed to be unhappy with the deal.