The Business Matrix: Tuesday 26 June 2012


LoveFilm agrees Fox deal in Britain

LoveFilm, the online and DVD rental service, has splashed out on more pay-TV rights as it signed a deal to show movies from Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox studios. Amazon-owned LoveFilm is competing aggressively against NetFlix for such rights and the deal means it now has signed up four of the six major US studios in Britain.

Dods pulls plug on DeHavilland bid

Dods, the parliamentary publisher, has pulled the plug on its planned £12.8m purchase of DeHavilland Political Intelligence from the private equity-owned publisher Emap. Dods, 17 per cent owned by the Tory grandee Lord Ashcroft, agreed to buy DeHavilland in January. The deal was referred to the Competition Commission last week.

BP to offload Wyoming assets

BP has agreed to sell its interest in the Jonah and Pinedale gas fields in Wyoming for $1bn (£643m) to the US hydrocarbon producer Linn Energy. Bob Dudley, BP's chief executive, said the sale would allow it to offload some of its "mature" assets and reinvest the cash "in higher growth opportunities" in its North America gas business.

Abu Dhabi returns slip to 6.9 per cent

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, saw its investment returns slip last year but believes that the global economy still offers good opportunities. The fund, believed to have investments worth £385bn, said its annualised returns slipped to 6.9 per cent in 2011 from 7.6 per cent a year ago.

Essar Energy reports £19m loss

The UK's second biggest oil refinery reported a £19m loss for its first eight months under new ownership but said an efficiency drive will help it profit even when oil prices fall. India's Essar Energy bought the Stanlow refinery near Ellesmere Port, which accounts for 15 per cent of production from UK refineries , in July.

Growth restricted by state of cities

A £500m, fund should be set up to help make "out of date" city centres more attractive to businesses, according to a report from Centre for Cities. The report, backed by Sunderland City Council, said that economic growth in some UK mid-sized cities was being restricted by the state of their city centres.

AFC Energy builds fuel cell facility

The fuel cell power company AFC Energy and chemicals manufacturer ICL are to install the UK's largest fuel cell facility to generate clean energy. It will have sufficient output to power the equivalent of 500 homes and will be installed in stages at ICL's chlor-alkali plant in Essex.

Billabong shares crash to new low

Shares in Billabong International slid 36 per cent to a record low on Monday after the Australian surfwear firm tapped investors for $225m. The retailer's market value is now less than a third of the $841m that the private equity firm TPG Capital offered for the company in February.

Blackstone work on Iglo Group bid

The private equity groups Blackstone and BC Partners are understood to be working on a higher offer for frozen foods maker Iglo Group, the frozen foods maker behind the Birds Eye brand after rival Permira rejected their €2.5bn bid.

Regus to open motorway centres

Regus, the serviced office giant, is linking with Extra MSA to open business centres on its motorway services areas. The first three will be at Beaconsfield on the M40, Cobham on the M25 and Cambridge at the junction of the A14 and M11.