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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 5 July 2011

Glaxo to help catch sport cheats

GlaxoSmithKline has signed a deal to supply the World Anti- Doping Agency (Wada) with confidential information about drugs in development to help scientists to detect drugs that have performance- enhancing potential in sport. Sports such as cycling and athletics have been plagued in recent years by athletes abusing banned substances such as EPO.

Elementis to recoup £21m fine

The European Commission is to repay price-fixing fines levied on the British chemicals company Elementis and its Swiss peer Ciba two years ago. Elementis will get back the €23.4m (£21m) fine plus interest, while Ciba stands to receive €68.4m. In November 2009, the EU fined 24 companies €173m for belonging to a cartel.

Housebuilding hits construction

The construction industry grew again in June, though uncertainty over the economy sent confidence to its lowest level for six months. The Markit/Cips purchasing managers’ index, where a reading of more than 50 represents growth, slowed slightly to 53.6 in June, from 54.0 in May, as housebuilding faltered but was still above market forecasts.

Bombardier set to announce job cuts

The Canadian train-maker Bombardier is expected to announce job cuts at its plant in Derby today, after losing out to the German group Siemens in the battle for a key contract to supply trains for Thameslink. Bombardier, however, said that reports of it shedding up to a third of its workforce in Derby were wrong.

BAT set to bid for Bulgartabak

British American Tobacco is among three companies expected to bid for Bulgaria’s 79.8 per cent stake in the cigarette maker Bulgartabak. The other two are Austria’s CB Family Office Service and BT Invest. The sale could help Bulgaria slash its deficit to 2.5 per cent of GDP this year from 4 per cent in 2010.

Imperial ends price war in Spain

Imperial Tobacco has raised cigarette prices in Spain, ending a price war started by its rival Philip Morris after the country banned smoking in public places at the start of the year. The move prompted Imperial to warn last month of a £10m hit to profits in Spain, where its brands include West and Fortuna.

Elementis to reco up £21m fine

The European Commission is to repay price-fixing fines levied on the British chemicals company Elementis and its Swiss peer Ciba two years ago. Elementis will get back the €23.4m (£21m) fine plus interest, while Ciba stands to receive €68.4m. In November 2009, the EU fined 24 companies €173m for belonging to a cartel.

One in 10 insurers fails stress tests

Nearly 10 per cent of European insurers would need to raise fresh capital in the event of a severe economic shock accompanied by a plunge in share prices, tumbling interest rates, and a property market crash, the new European insurance regulator, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (Eiopa), said yesterday.

Rubbish deal for Exeter

The South West Water utility Pennon’s waste arm Viridor has signed a deal with Devon County Council to convert 60,000 tonnes of Exeter’s rubbish into electricity through the construction of a new £46m Energy from Waste plant. The plant, which is expected to come on stream in 2014, will generate about 3MW.

VW drives off with control of Man

Volkswagen has gained a 55.9 per cent stake in the German truck maker Man, and plans to merge the group with its Swedish truck business Scania. The car giant expects a merger to save €200m (£180m) a year and said the combined company would be on a scale to compete with truck makers Volvo and Daimler.

Baby Range Rover production starts

The first Range Rover Evoque rolled off the production line at Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood plant on Merseyside yesterday. Demand for the “baby Range Rover” is credited with creating more than 1,000 jobs at the factory over the next two years. Deliveries to customers are set to begin in September.

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