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The Business Matrix: Wednesday 30 January 2013


Equity firms close to Twinkies deal

The private equity firms Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos are believed to be near a deal to buy the snack cake brands including Twinkies from bankrupt Hostess Brands. A deal, part of Hostess's bankruptcy reorganisation, is not yet final. The so-called stalking horse bid would be for more than $400m.

Israel's central banker resigns

Stanley Fischer resigned as the governor of the Bank of Israel yesterday, two years ahead of his scheduled departure date.Mr Fischer – who has in the past been voted the world's leading central banker – is credited with successfully guiding Israel through the credit crisis that engulfed other major economies.

Grigg rules out Broadgate swoop

British Land's chief executive, Chris Grigg, has ruled out a swoop to buy back the 50 per cent stake in Broadgate, the City's biggest office estate, that it sold near the bottom of the market to Blackstone three years ago.It sold the share in the £3bn development to help shore up its balance sheet in the wake of the financial crisis.

Imperial Leather boost for Cussons

PZ Cussons, the soap-to-tanning group, has posted a rise in half-year profits but took a hit from lower revenues because of the social unrest in its key market of Nigeria. It delivered a 3.3 per cent leap in profits to £40.6m in the six months to 30 November, boosted by "robust" demand for Imperial Leather soap in the UK.

IRS go after Wegelin clients

The US Internal Revenue Service is to go after Americans suspected of hiding their income in the now-defunct Swiss bank Wegelin after a judge authorised the taxman to seek records from UBS. The US authorities allege that UBS was used by Wegelin to handle for funds for American clients.

BAT signs up White House doc

British American Tobacco, the cigarette maker, scored a coup yesterday by appointing one of the world's most famous doctors to its board. Dr Richard Tubb was the White House physician for 14 years, serving Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. He is becoming a non-executive at BAT on £90,000 a year.

Morrison's trading woes continue

The trading woes of Morrisons have continued after Christmas, with its sales significantly trailing behind rivals Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's. Bradford-based Morrisons suffered a 3.7 per cent fall in food and drink sales over the 4 weeks to 20 January, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Refurbishment aids Carpetright

Floor-covering retailer Carpetright's store refurbishment programme helped to drive an uplift in UK sales in its latest quarter but it suffered torrid trading in the Netherlands. The market leader has modernised 122 stores and hailed the success of other "self-help" initiatives.

Jefferies boss rakes in $19m

Richard Handler, head of the Jefferies investment bank, has raked in more in annual pay for 2012 than his opposite numbers at some of Wall Street's bigger and better-known firms. Jefferies paid Mr Handler $19m (£12m) for the 2012 fiscal year.

Fryar takes up BP safety role

BP has named Bob Fryar as executive vice-president for safety and operational risk, reporting directly to Bob Dudley, group chief executive. Mr Fryar, currently executive vice-president for production, will take up his new position from 15 February.