The Business Matrix: Tuesday 19 July 2011

Ex-Priory boss to work with NHP

A former boss of Priory clinics has stepped in to help rescue 249 care homes facing an uncertain future following the demise of Southern Cross. NHP, which owns a third of the homes run by Southern, will form a new care home operator with Court Cavendish, a healthcare turnaround specialist headed by industry veteran Chai Patel.

Glencore in Peru copper deal

Glencore, the commodities trader, is paying $475m (£296m) for a controlling stake in the owner of Peru’s Mina Justa copper project. The deal comes amid signs of consolidation in the sector, with the Chinese miner Jinchuan recently trumping Brazil’s Vale to buy the South African copper and cobalt producer Metorex for $1.3bn.

BAA set to lose two more airports

The Competition Commission is expected to confirm today that BAA will have to sell two of its airports. The ruling comes two years after its original decision in 2009 that the airport operator had to sell Gatwick and Stansted, and Glasgow or Edinburgh. BAA sold Gatwick at the end of 2009 but appealed against the other sales.

SThree mines Australian boom

Interim gross profits at the recruiter SThree rose 21 per cent to £90m. The group blamed a “lacklustre” banking market for holding back its results in the UK, where profits were up 9 per cent, but gross profits outside Europe were up 43 per cent, boosted by its new operation in Australia serving the booming oil and mining sectors.

Securaplane lands Gulfstream deal

Meggitt’s subsidiary Securaplane has gained a multimillion pound contract to put its lithium battery system in Gulfstream’s new flagship G650 aircraft. Securaplane claims the weight loss through using its battery system is equal to one passenger compared to conventional batteries.

Philips posts €1.3bn loss

The lightbulbs-to-television firm Philips posted a €1.3bn (£1.1bn) loss after it wrote down the value of some of its businesses amid the squeeze in consumer spending. Its sales declined 2.6 per cent to €5.2bn, while underlying profits, which do not include the impairment charge, fell by 27 per cent to €370m.

New BP spill in its Alaska oilfields

BP has reported another pipeline leak at its Alaskan oilfields, frustrating the oil giant’s attempts to rebuild its reputation after the Gulf of Mexico disaster. BP said a pipeline at its Lisburne field ruptured during testing and spilled a mixture of methanol and oily water onto the tundra.

TNK-BP expands into the Amazon

The Russian oil producer TNK-BP has agreed to buy a 45 per cent stake in Amazon oil exploration blocks from Brazil’s Petra Energia, continuing its expansion into foreign markets. The company, which BP has a 50 per cent stake in, said the blocks would bring 783 million barrels of oil equivalent to its resources.

GKN forks out £146m for Stromag

The car and aircraft parts maker GKN is to buy the German engineer Stromag Holding for £146m to strengthen its position in the renewable energy market. The German group makes hydraulic clutches, electro-magnetic brakes and is forecast to generate sales of £125m this year.

Conveyor firm sees profits roll in

The industrial conveyor belt maker Fenner has reported a sharp increase in third-quarter revenues over the comparable period of the previous year. The Hessle and Yorkshire-based firm said that business was robust from coal miners and “extremely strong” for some engineered products.