The Business Matrix: Tuesday 16 October 2012


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Tullow's new Arctic venture

Tullow Oil risked the wrath of environmentalists by opening up a new exploration front in the Arctic. The company – previously focused on Africa – is to look for oil in Greenland through a partnership with Denmark's Maersk Oil after buying a 40 per cent stake in Maersk's Tooq licence, off the coast of north-west Greenland.

Softbank takes control of Sprint

The Japanese mobile phone operator Softbank agreed what is the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese firm yesterday with a $20bn (£12bn) deal to buy a majority stake in Sprint Nextel. The move, which sees Softbank pick up 70 per cent of Sprint, gives it new avenues for expansion beyond a saturated home market.

Manganese in talks with Geely

The troubled London black- cab-maker Manganese Bronze started talks with its Chinese partner and largest supplier, Geely, yesterday after its executives flew into Britain. Geely said that there had been no request from Manganese for a bailout. Manganese Bronze suspended its shares on Friday after recalling 400 cabs.

Grant Thornton moves up

Number-cruncher Grant Thornton has moved a step closer to joining its larger rivals in the industry's "Big Four" after its revenues rose 11 per cent to £417m in the year to July. Thornton said it was a "significant milestone towards achieving its 2015 target of £500m". The firm's clients are mainly small businesses.

China's chance to cut interest rates

Easing inflation gave China potential breathing space for interest rate cuts to spur on the world's second-biggest economy, as the cost of living fell to 1.9 per cent last month. Higher housing costs were more than offset by slower growth in food prices, but a surprise rise in exports may stay Beijing's hand.

YouGov sees revenue rise

Growing demand from companies to know what people are talking about on social media is driving sales at online polling firm YouGov, which yesterday reported a 15 per cent jump in UK revenues. Annual turnover rose 4 per cent to £58m, with adjusted profits up 6 per cent at £5.6m.

Brookfield's City spree continues

Brookfield – the Canadian developer on a £600m office- buying spree in the City this year – flexed its muscles again and bought a £47m stake in the skyscraper at 100 Bishopsgate. The company bought most of Hammerson's City office portfolio earlier this year.

Profit warning from McBride

Own-label household products supplier McBride said first-half profits will be £2m lower than expected as it winds down some contract manufacturing. Despite this, Manchester-based McBride said it was encouraged by overall progress, including in its private label arm.

Breedon joins Barclays board

Barclays has appointed the former Legal & General boss Tim Breedon to its board with effect from 1 November. Chairman-designate Sir David Walker, said the new non-executive director brought "extensive knowledge and experience".

Retail sales increase in US

Retail sales rose sharply in the United States in September as consumers bought more cars, petrol and electronic items such as Apple's iPhone. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 1.1 per cent after a 1.2 per cent gain in August.