The Business Matrix: Tuesday 21 May 2013


Abenomics strategy pays off

Japan’s “Abenomics” strategy of pumping trillions into its stagnant economy and ramping up public spending is paying off as the growth picture improves.The government said its latest monthly snapshot showed the economy was “gradually recovering” as exports and factory outputs rise, driven by the steep fall in the yen.

HSBC board chief is set to step down

John Thornton, the former Goldman Sachs president who specialises in Chinese affairs, is stepping down from the board of HSBC to spend more time on his other business interests. Mr Thornton, who heads HSBC’s remuneration committee, will not seek re-election to the bank’s board at its annual shareholder meeting on Friday.

Actavis to buy Warner Chilcott

Actavis, the US drugs giant, has announced a $5bn (£3.3bn) deal to expand its portfolio of branded drugs by buying the Dublin pharmaceuticals company Warner Chilcott. The deal will dampen speculation Actavis itself might be the subject of a takeover, following reports that it had been approached by Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

New rules bring home the bacon

Food scares and stricter pig production rules across Europe will be good for bacon, sausage and cooked meats group Cranswick, its chairman said yesterday. Cranswick’s headline profits rose 8 per cent to £49.3m in the year to March on sales 7 per cent ahead at £875m. Fastest growth came from premium hand cured, air-dried bacon.

Mixture of names at Whiteley centre

The property giant British Land has revealed that a number  of independent retailers will trade alongside the high  street’s biggest names at its shopping centre in Fareham, Hampshire, which opens on Thursday. The Whiteley scheme has a market square surrounded by seven shops.

Great Portland leases to law firm

Property firm Great Portland Estates scored a major City tenant yesterday as the international law firm Bird & Bird agreed to lease the whole of its 12-14 New Fetter Lane scheme, due to be completed in 2015. Bird & Bird will pay an average of £58.80 a square foot, ahead of the average for the Square Mile.

Elan lands new drug deal

The drug-maker Elan has announced another major drug deal and launched a share buyback scheme as it protects itself from a $5.7bn (£3.7bn) bid from Royalty Pharma of the US. The Irish medicine-maker will tie-up with rare drug specialist AOP Orphan.

Winkworth sets up agency in India

Estate agents Winkworth is dipping its toe into the Indian property market with a new office in Bangalore. The firm has signed a deal with former Royal Bank of Scotland investment banker Narayanan Soundararajan as it aims to establish Winkworth-franchised offices across India.

Legal & General in £70m pubs sale

Legal & General’s property arm has completed a sale and leaseback purchase of a portfolio of 27 Marston’s pubs for just under £70 million. The properties are all let to the pub group on long, inflation-linked, leases and have been purpose built for the chain.

Tate & Lyle in Biovelop deal

Tate & Lyle has acquired Biovelop, a Swedish maker of oat beta-glucan. Under the brand name PromOat, its products are used in the food, beverage and supplement markets, and under the brand name Avenacare for use in the cosmetics industry.