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The Business Matrix: Wednesday 2 October 2013


Halpern and Hornby link up

Two of the media industry's most colourful figures are going into business together following the sale by Jenny Halpern Prince of a 50.1 per cent stake in her public relations agency, Halpern, to Johnny Hornby's advertising agency, CHI & Partners. She is the daughter of the retail magnate, Sir Ralph Halpern, who founded Topshop.

Headhunter acquires rival

Odgers Berndtson, the headhunter leading the search for Lloyds Banking Group's new chairman, has acquired Australian rival Braithwaite Steiner Pretty. The deal will boost the company's presence in Japan, China, Singapore and India. Chairman Richard Boggis-Rolfe said: "BSP adds significant scale to our capabilities."

Numis boosted by Foxtons

The stock market flotation of estate agent Foxtons last month proved a winner for City broker Numis, it emerged today. The company said the upturn in London's IPO markets had boosted its performance in the second half of the year. It added: "Our corporate client base has seen a pleasing increase as listed companies seek advice."

Experian snaps up 41st Parameter

Experian boosted its fraud detection business today by snapping up US rival The 41st Parameter for $324m (£199.6m). The FTSE 100 constituent, which is also known for its credit checking services, said the deal would boost its presence in the fast-growing market and would also boost its revenues by about $26m in the first year.

Walker sales lifted by US

Upmarket wallpaper and fabrics maker Walker Greenbank saw first half profits rise 13 per cent as its US customers went for both its traditional and modern designs. Sales in America grew by 7.4 per cent in the six months to July, more than countering a 1.7 per cent decline in the UK.

Bumper payday for MacSween

Serial technology entrepreneur Angus MacSween had a bumper payday today after cashing in millions of pounds worth of shares in his AIM-listed cloud computing company Iomart.MacSween, the chief executive, and two other Iomart executives offloaded shares in the technology firm totalling £11.8m.

Swinson launches new regulator

The Competition Minister, Jo Swinson, yesterday launched a new regulator to replace the Competition Commission and part of the Office of Fair Trading. The Competition and Markets Authority will work as a shadow body until taking over responsibility next April.

Tourre seeks to overturn verdict

The Former Goldman Sachs banker Fabrice Tourre has asked a New York court to overturn the guilty verdicts handed down to him in August for defrauding investors in a complex mortgage deal that left them nursing $1bn (£620m) in losses.

Ireland will issue no more debt

Ireland, which is set to become the first euro zone country to exit an international bailout this year, has decided not to issue any more bonds in 2013 as it has enough cash on hand, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) said yesterday.

Nestlé moves to drop bad brands

Nestlé has hinted it will dispose of bad brands and shake up its portfolio to deal with businesses that have underperformed for too long. Chief executive Paul Bulcke told investors yesterday that Nestlé had drawn up lists for consideration.