The Business Matrix: Wednesday 13 November 2013


New Look rules out IPO for a year

The fashion retailer New Look will not attempt another stock market flotation for at least a year after its last effort ended in failure two years ago, its chief executive Anders Kristiansen said. "We know we need to continue to deliver, so it's not something on our mind right now. I cannot see us doing an IPO in the next 12 months."

Oxford offers £159m for Andor

Oxford Instruments, the technology firm that built a device enabling retailers to near-instantly distinguish between beef and horsemeat, has made a hostile bid for Andor Technology that values the scientific camera-maker at £159m. Shares in Andor jumped 23 per cent to 490p, while Oxford gained 13 per cent.

Ex-Balfour chief to chair Bovis

The former Balfour Beatty chief executive Ian Tyler, who quit the construction giant in March after a profits warning, is to become chairman of housebuilder Bovis Homes. Mr Tyler succeeds Malcolm Harris, adding to a string of non-executive directorships that includes BAE Systems and Cable & Wireless Communications.

Babcock forced to change its name

Babcock International is rebranding its £270m-turnover civil nuclear division as Cavendish, after the physicist who discovered hydrogen. Babcock's move came after South Korea's Doosan Group successfully argued in the High Court that it had an unlimited time licence to use the Babcock name in the civil nuclear sector.

Sluggish start for Just Retirement

London's latest big flotation got off to a soggy start as shares in Just Retirement, which provides pensions to people with health problems, fell below their offer price. The shares had been sold at 225p and, after touching 228.75p in early trading, retreated to 213p. That values the company at £1.1bn.

Menzies pinpoints print revenue fall

John Menzies warned over profits as trading is hit in newspaper and magazine wholesaling. The group, which also has an aviation services business, said magazine and newspaper volumes were at the same levels as earlier in the year but there were "disappointing returns" from ancillary revenues and sticker collections.

Speedy tooled-up for a profits hike

Tool and equipment hire business Speedy Hire announced a joint venture with J&J Denholm Group to provide its services to three of the largest oilfields in the world. The Kazakhstan tie-up details came as half-year results showed underlying profits rose 3 per cent to £6.8m.

Premier Farnell's sales improve

Leeds-based electronic components supplier Premier Farnell said sales excluding its card-sized computer Raspberry Pi grew 2.1 per cent year on year in the third quarter in an improved performance on the 1.4 per cent decline seen in the first half of the year.

Messaging apps hit SMS revenues

Annual SMS text-message revenues will fall by nearly a quarter or $23bn by 2018, to $96.7bn, down from $120bn in 2013. Over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps such as What's App are eating into telecom firms' revenues from short messages.

John Lewis store to create 600 jobs

John Lewis will open a four-level department store in London's Westfield shopping centre in a move set to create 600 jobs. The new store, which will anchor the planned Westfield extension, is set to open in 2017, marking the first branch in West London.