The Business Matrix: Tuesday 22 November 2011



Genel Energy sinks on debut

Shares in Genel Energy sank8 per cent on its debut in London yesterday as the bid vehicle of the former BP boss Tony Hayward and financier Nathaniel Rothschild, both pictured left, completed its controversial acquisition of the Kurdistan-focused oil explorer, with corporate governance weighing on the stock.

Madoff fraud 'dates to 1970s'

Bernard Madoff lied about the extent of his fraud even on the day he was sentenced to 150 years in prison, it emerged in a US court yesterday. A trader in the former Wall Street grandee's firm, David Kugel, pleaded guilty to fabricating accounts and making up share trades as far back as the 1970s, over a decade longer than Madoff claimed.

Falkland Oil & Gas seeks partners

Falkland Oil & Gas is in talks with potential partners to look for oil and gas in the Falkland Islands. A rig due in the region in January will drill two wells, but the company said it might need to secure extra funds for the second well. BHP Billiton withdrew from a partnership with FOGL earlier this year.

New Fiat head for North America

Chrysler, the smallest of the big three US car makers, has replaced the head of Fiat in North America after the Italian brand fell far short of its 50,000 sales target in the first year of its return to the US market. Chrysler, majority owned by Fiat, named Timothy Kuniskis to replace Laura Soave. It will also launch its Fiat 500 Abarth in 2012.

Amber Taverns to create 300 jobs

Amber Taverns has secured £5m in new funding which it said would allow it to make good on plans to create 300 jobs over the next three years by opening 30 pubs in the North of England. The Blackpool-based chain runs 65 pubs across the North-west, the North-east, the Midlands and Wales.

Stryker sold to Digital Barriers

Digital Barriers, which supplies counter-terrorism and cyber security products to the defence sector, has bought its Surbiton-based rival Stryker Communications. It will pay £750,000 in cash with a further payment of the same amount if Stryker, which specialises in video surveillance, hits targets.

Contract wins cheer Mitie

The outsourcer Mitie hailed a "transformational" half year after it won a series of contracts, including a deal to maintain court buildings and two prisons. The group, whose services include office cleaning and maintenance, airport baggage screening and shop design, said its half-year profits were up 7 per cent at £52m.

Pfizer hit with $60m bribery bill

Pfizer, the US pharmaceuticals giant, is set to pay more than $60m (£38m) to settle charges that gifts and payments it paid to doctors in Europe amount to bribes under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The settlement signals the US authorities' intention to widen the scope of its anti-bribery law.

Ofgem looks to protect firms

Ofgem vowed to crack down on energy suppliers who frustrate businesses from switching to another provider. The regulator is also concerned some firms are being rolled over on to new contracts, often without their knowledge. The watchdog last month unveiled proposals for a more competitive energy market for households.

Gilead to buy Pharmasset

Gilead Sciences, the US drugs giant which is the world's largest maker of HIV drugs, is buying the biotech company Pharmasset for $11bn (£7bn) in a huge bet on its hepatitis C treatments. Pharmasset shares had already more than tripled in New York in the past year on hopes for its experimental medicines.