The Business Matrix: Tuesday 2 December 2014


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Dalian hungers for a studio deal

China’s Dalian Wanda Group, which controls the second-largest US cinema chain, is in talks to acquire a stake in Lionsgate Entertainment, the company behind the Hunger Games film franchise. Dalian’s billionaire chairman Wang Jianlin said his company is interested in buying a controlling stake in the $4.7bn studio.

Market slumps after clashes

Renewed tension and protests in Hong Kong prompted the Chinese territory’s Hang Seng index to suffer its biggest drop since February. Police used batons, pepper spray and water hoses in an attempt to disperse pro-democracy protesters. The market fell 2.6 per cent yesterday – the biggest daily fall since the protests began.

Black Friday sales fall in US

Amazon workers were busy on Cyber Monday yesterday, the busiest sales day of the online retail giant’s year. But while UK shoppers were out in force over the weekend, US sales during the Thanksgiving holiday were down 11 per cent on a year ago and average spend was down 6.4 per cent as Black Friday deals failed to entice shoppers.

Balfour lurches towards break-up

Balfour Beatty has lurched closer towards a break-up as John Laing Infrastructure Fund broke cover with a £1bn bid for its Private Finance Initiative assets, the most valuable part of its business. Balfour shares rose 4.26 per cent or 7.8p to 191.1p as the City fund has made a “non-binding proposal” for the Balfour Beatty portfolio.

Kier looks to boost roads business

The construction and engineering group Kier has held early talks over a potential £400m deal to buy consultant Mouchel. The company fell into administration in August 2012 but is up for sale after a rebuilding period. Kier is looking to boost its road maintenance business with the move.

Intelligent Energy loses £48m

Hydrogen fuel cell maker Intelligent Energy revealed losses more than doubled to £48.2m. But the clean energy expert that made hydrogen-powered black cabs for the Olympics said “strong revenue growth” in the second half was boosted by the launch of its portable phone charger Upp.

Warm weather hits Bonmarché

Bonmarché has became the latest retailer to suffer from the warm autumn as shoppers shunned coats and jumpers. The plus-sized retailer said sales rose 11.8 per cent to £91.1m in the six months to the end of September, but warned they had suffered since autumn.

Eon to focus  on renewables

Germany’s largest utility group, Eon, will spin off its gas and coal-fired power plants into a separate company to focus on renewable energy such as wind. Germany has been hit by a prolonged period of weak energy demand, low prices and a surge in renewable energy sources.

Flybe agrees  Hong Kong deal

Budget airline Flybe has secured an agreement with Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific to allow its customers to fly to Hong Kong from regional UK airports via Manchester Airport four times a week on Cathay’s Manchester flight to Hong Kong.

Carillion takes stake in Rokstad

The construction firm, and Balfour Beatty fancier, Carillion, has taken a 60 per cent stake in Rokstad Power, a Canadian power infrastructure business, for up to £33m. Bosses said that the deal would “significantly enhance Carillion’s skills”.