The Business Matrix: Wednesday 3 September 2014


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Mozilo: ‘We did nothing wrong’

Angelo Mozilo, the Wall Street executive vilified for running America’s biggest mortgage lender Countrywide until it nearly collapsed in the financial crisis, has denied his company was to blame for the subprime disaster. “No, no, no, we didn’t do anything wrong,” he said, blaming the collapse in house prices for causing the crisis.

Graham link to ‘Post’ finally ends

The Washington Post’s owner, Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, has named Frederick Ryan, from rival Politico, as publisher of the 137-year-old newspaper, replacing Katharine Weymouth. His appointment ends 80 years of control by the Graham family after Ms Weymouth’s great-grandfather bought the newspaper in 1933.

Bargain-hunters  go mobile

Shoppers are, for the first time ever, spending more time checking out shopping websites on their mobile phones and tablets than on their desktop computers. The IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report also found that more than one in three sales are now completed on smartphones and tablets.

Osmond in £40m bid for Strada

Hugh Osmond, famed for making a fortune buying and selling PizzaExpress, is plotting a £40m bid for the Strada restaurant chain. His Sun Capital Partners private equity fund is buying the name and up to 40 restaurants from the Café Rouge owner Tragus, which is restructuring under a company voluntary agreement.

Date for Autumn Statement is set

The Chancellor, George Osborne, is to deliver his Autumn Statement on 3 December. Mr Osborne announced the date during his regular Treasury questions in the House of Commons yesterday. The statement will come just six months before next year’s general election.

Liz Airey to take over at Jupiter

Liz Airey, a former investment banker at SG Warburg and chairman of Unilever’s pension fund is to become chairman of the £33bn fund manager Jupiter. She is taking over from Jamie Dundas, who has chaired Jupiter since 2008. He has been forced to stand down because  of ill health.

Sales fall after cuts by Johnsons

The dry-cleaning business Johnsons has reported a fall in half-year sales and profits after cutting its number of branches. The business, which trades from 321 outlets under the Johnson Cleaners and Jeeves of Belgravia brands, said revenues fell 4.6 per cent to £27.2m.

Permira sells  Hugo Boss shares

The European private equity firm Permira has reportedly launched an accelerated sale of €850m of shares in the German fashion retailer Hugo Boss. Permira is believed to be selling 7.9 million shares, representing around 11.2 per cent of the issued share capital.

Co-op to sell Sunwin for £41.5m

Co-operative Group has agreed to sell security business Sunwin Services for up to £41.5m to US ATM management firm Cardtronics. Bradford-based Sunwin, which employs 1,500 staff, guards cash in transit and provides ATM support.

Rise in mergers and acquisitions

There were 37 mergers and acquisitions between UK firms in the second quarter of the year with an average value of £32m, compared with 39 in the previous quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics.