The Business Matrix: Tuesday 7 June 2011

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Diageo in Kenya SabMiller deal

Diageo is to buy out SabMiller’s 20 per cent shareholding in its Kenya Breweries for £137m in a move that also unwinds the pair’s distribution agreements in East Africa. The decade-old deal allowed SabMiller to sell Diageo brands such as Tusker beer throughout Tanzania while Diageo brewed and sold Sab’s Castle Lager in Kenya.

IMF gives a boost to UK’s Osborne

The International Monetary Fund has said now is not the time to ease up on any deficit-reducing plans in the UK. The IMF admitted there had been “unexpected” weaknesses in the economy but judged these setbacks were temporary. However, the global financial organisation downgraded its growth forecast for the UK from 2 to 1.5 per cent.

New car sales down 7% this year

The number of new cars sold last month was 1.7 per cent down on May last year, at 150,431 registrations, leaving sales for the first five months of 2011 at 846,513 units, down 7.3 per cent. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said fleet sales, up 11 per cent, supported the market as demand from private buyers fell 15.3 per cent in May.

Credit crisis bill unpaid ‘until 2026’

Britain’s banks will not have repaid the cost of the financial crisis until 2026, a new report from the Robin Hood Tax campaign claims. The group, which is campaigning for a global tax on financial transactions, said its figures, based on IMF estimates that the crisis added £737bn to UK debt, proved the levies on the banks did not go far enough.

Rolls-Royce takes control of Tognum

Rolls-Royce and Daimler have taken control of German engine maker Tognum after their improved €3.4 bn (£3bn) offer was accepted by nearly 60 per cent of shareholders. Rolls plans to combine Tognum with its Bergen unit, which makes engines used across the maritime and power-generation sectors.

WS Atkins tackles funding deficit

WS Atkins has begun consultations with 1,400 staff about removing the link between their accrued pensions and future increases in salary. The planned change will reduce the pension scheme’s funding deficit by £28m to £265m, which the engineer intends to eliminate over the next 10 years.

Jordaan to take Ferro Metals helm

International Ferro Metals has named Christiaan Jordaan, a former BHP Billiton manager, as its new chief executive, to replace David Kovarsky from August. Mr Jordaan, a mechanical engineer,was general manager at BHP’s Metalloys, running one of the world’s largest producers of manganese alloys.

Ex-Citi Tabet goes to Terra Firma

The private equity firm Terra Firma has hired Kamal Tabet, the former head of private equity at Citigroup, as its head of investor relations, as it prepares for a new fund that could come in 2012. Mr Tabet left the US bank at the start of the year that Terra Firma launched a lawsuit against Citi over its EMI deal.

ScottishPower to open gas station

ScottishPower is planning to build a big gas-fired power station near Bristol. If planning permission is granted, the power plant, known as Avon power station, will have a generation capacity of between 900 and 1,200 megawatts and will use high-efficiency combined-cycle gas turbine technology.

SSE and Statoil in 10-year gas deal

Scottish and Southern Energy is set to sign a 10-year gas supply deal with Norway’s Statoil. The Norwegian giant will send 500 million cubic metres of gas a year to SSE’s Peterhead power station from the end of 2012. SSE also plans to develop a carbon-capture and storage project at the Peterhead plant.