The Business Matrix: Tuesday 22 May 2012


Graff sales sparkle ahead of $1bn IPO

Graff Diamonds, headed by Francois Graff, has launched its roadshow to attract investors to its $1bn IPO in Hong Kong. The London-based jeweller also revealed its profits rose 15 per cent to $120m last year as sales climbed to $624m from $454m, with Britain accounting for more than half of them. Sales in Asia more than doubled to $120m.

Chinese takeover of US cinema chain

A Chinese conglomerate has bought the American cinema chain AMC in a deal worth $2.6bn (£1.6bn), making it the biggest Chinese takeover ever of a US company. Wanda Group, controlled by the Chinese property billionaire Wang Jianlin, already owns cinemas throughout Asia, and will become the world's biggest cinema operator.

FSA upholds UBS fines and bans

The Financial Services Authority's decision to fine and ban two former UBS advisers has been upheld by a higher tribunal. The City regulator is fining Sachin Karpe £1.25m and Laila Karan £75,000, after finding that Mr Karpe carried out substantial unauthorised trading, mostly in foreign exchange instruments.

Mitie order book grows by 26%

The outsourcing firm Mitie posted a 9 per cent rise in annual profits to £94.5m as its order book grew 26 per cent to £8.6bn. Contracts include facilities management work for Lloyds worth £775m over five years and deals with the Ministry of Justice and Essex County Council.

BTG's books are healthy again

The specialist healthcare company BTG posted annual profits of £23m, compared with losses of £10.8m a year ago, after expanding its commercial operations in the United States and seeing strong sales of CroFab, a snakebite antidote.

C&WW urges investors to sell

Cable & Wireless Worldwide urged its shareholders to seek shelter from "challenging" conditions in rival Vodafone's £1bn offer yesterday after it posted a disappointing 14 per cent slide in annual profits to £378m. The telecoms group, which has issued a string of profit warnings, recommended Vodafone's 38p-a-share offer in April.

Fund star in the money after sale

The leading London hedge-fund player Blaine Tomlinson was considerably better off yesterday after the firm he founded 21 years ago was bought by Man Group for up to £52m. FRM (Financial Risk Management) is a fund of hedge funds business which runs assets worth $8bn. It was started by the South African Mr Tomlinson in 1991.

Irn-Bru maker sees rise in sales

The Irn-Bru maker AG Barr shrugged off this year's rain-sodden April to post a 4.3 per cent rise in sales in the 14 weeks to 5 May against the same period last year. The company said that it had invested in marketing across its core brands, including a television campaign for the Rubicon brand it bought in 2008.

Rolls-Royce wins Turkish order

The engines giant Rolls-Royce has won an order to supply propulsion equipment for three new ships commissioned by the Turkish Navy. It is the first order for thrusters that Rolls-Royce has received from the Turkish Navy, which is planning a significant ship building programme.

BigHand in £49m MBO

BigHand, the largest provider of voice productivity software to the legal, healthcare and professional services market in the UK, has been acquired by Bridgepoint Development Capital in conjunction with management for £49m.