The Business Matrix: Wednesday 17 September 2014


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The Independent Online

KKR buys 85%  of Pioneer DJ

The US private equity giant KKR is hoping to tap into the global dance music scene by paying $550m (£338m) for the DJ equipment division of Pioneer, favoured by the likes of Avicii (pictured). Japan’s Pioneer is spinning off its headphone, turntable and mixer division into a new venture Pioneer DJ, with KKR taking an 85 per cent stake.

Astra agrees Alzheimer’s deal

AstraZeneca has agreed a deal with Eli Lilly over an experimental Alzheimer’s treatment that could see its US rival pay the drugs group up to $500m (£307m) to share the rights. The two pharma firms are going to partner on Astra’s AZD3293 drug, which the UK firm highlighted during its recent bid battle with Pfizer.

Thomas Cook takes a tumble

A slowdown in late summer bookings from German customers and an earnings forecast no higher than City expectations saw shares in Thomas Cook drop 6 per cent yesterday. The tour operator forecast that its annual earnings would be £315m to £335m, compared with £263m for the previous year.

N Brown switches focus to online

Home shopping retailer N Brown revealed sales slowed in the first half as it moved away from customers with poor debt records. Its chief executive Angela Spindler is cutting back on credit on goods such as electricals where it may not recoup its money. It is also sending out fewer catalogues to focus on online sales.

Levy lingers after Publicis shake-up 

The veteran advertising boss Maurice Levy will stay at the helm of Publicis Groupe for longer than expected, until 2017, as part of a shake-up yesterday that saw the French group’s chief operating officer, Jean-Yves Naouri ,depart following a failed £23bn merger with US rival Omnicom.

Gold standard for Olympic centre

Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust has sold the Olympic Office Centre close to Wembley Stadium for £15.4m – almost £5m more than it was valued at in June. It is being bought by Network Stadium housing association which plans to develop the site into a mix of offices and homes.

29% return for Qatar Fund

Qatar Investment Fund, which makes investments in the country and wider Gulf, produced a total shareholder return of 29 per cent in the last year. Its net asset value increased by 22 per cent against the Qatar stock market’s 24 per cent rise.

Heineken sells  111 Star pubs

Heineken UK has agreed the sale of 111 pubs from its Star Pubs & Bars business to Admiral Taverns for an undisclosed sum. The two have agreed that Heineken will continue to supply the pubs. The deal leave’s Star with a total of 1,100 pubs.

Galliford Try profits soar 28%

Galliford Try said full-year profits rose 28 per cent to £95m after revenues at its housebuilding arm topped £1bn following a surge in completions to 3,107 and an average selling price for its Linden Homes business of £305,000.

Virginia sues over ‘shoddy bonds’

Virginia is suing units of 13 banks, including Citigroup and HSBC, accusing them of defrauding the US state’s retirement fund by selling it shoddy mortgage bonds in the run-up to the financial crisis. The banks have 21 days to respond.