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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 4 February 2014

Profits disappoint as Future falters

Future, the publisher of technology and entertainment magazines including T3 and Total Film, saw its share price tumble almost 8 per cent after it warned profits would come in at the “lower end” of forecasts. Group turnover rose 1 per cent, helped by a 9 per cent rise in digital. But advertising took a hit before Christmas as brands delayed campaigns.

Rexam drops pill and bottle arms

Packaging and can maker Rexam is offloading two healthcare businesses, making items like pill and medicine bottles, to a private equity firm for $805m (£489m), with plans to return the cash to shareholders. Investors will get £450m from the sale of Pharmaceutical Devices and Prescription Retail Packaging to Montague Private Equity.

Firms more likely to go bust in 2013

Retailers falling into administration in the last 12 months were less likely to survive than a year earlier, according to restructurer FRP Advisory. Around 20 retailers went bust in 2013, including HMV, with just 35 per cent of the stores saved, compared with 50 per cent in 2012. Staff survival rates were just 3 per cent in the final quarter of 2013.

Russian giant set to float in London

Russia’s second-biggest hypermarket group, Lenta, is poised to float on the London Stock Exchange in a listing that could value the business at more than £3bn and net the owners at least £600m. The flotation is expected to take place next month. The business is the latest in a long line of retailers heading for the stock market, including Poundland.

Alitalia to secure funding package

Alitalia is about to finalise loan agreements with banks for up to €200m pledged last year to help keep the Italian airline flying while it finds a new partner, its chief executive said. The loans are part of a €500m package to support the trouble airline while it finalises talks with Etihad Airways on a possible investment.

Citigroup sends in the cavalry to UK

Citigroup has appointed one of its top corporate bankers to head its British operations, where he will be manage the relationships with UK regulators and government. James Bardrick joined Citi in 1987 and took charge of corporate and investment banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa four years ago.

Spirits chief bets on African growth

Former Whyte & Mackay whisky boss Vivian Imerman, has bought a controlling stake in South African spirits firm TNB for 200m rand, aiming to tap the African middle class’s taste for alcohol. He was once dubbed “The Man from Del Monte” after turning the fruit company around.

Consolidation to reshape industry

The legal world is about to be reshaped by an M&A rush, a top industry dealmaker has warned. Sir Nigel Knowles – who turned DLA Piper into the world’s largest law firm – said consolidation “is an imminent certainty” and will happen “on a scale not previously witnessed”.

ArthroCare is  sold for $1.7bn

Artificial hip and knee maker Smith & Nephew has paid $1.7bn for the medical device maker ArthroCare, just weeks after the US firm settled a long-running Department of Justice investigation into securities fraud at the company.

Manufacturing to slow, experts say

China’s manufacturing sector slowed down in January as experts braced themselves for a weaker performance this year. The country’s purchasing managers index eased to 50.5 in January from December’s 51 reading. The 50 mark signal stagnation.

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