Business week in review

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The Independent Online

In profit...

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again.

That appears to be the personal motto of Xavier Rolet, the chief executive at the London Stock Exchange. On Monday, the LSE's shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of Rolet's plan to buy up to 60 per cent of London clearing house LCH.Clearnet.

The €813m (£671m) deal is the former investment banker's sixth attempted purchase since he took the reins nearly three years ago. However, last year Rolet ended up with serious egg on his face when he failed to land TMX Group, the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, which led to speculation that the LSE could itself become a takeover target.

Now there's a colourful combination: Lonrho, the pan-African group once run by the late takeover obsessive Roland "Tiny" Rowland, has joined forces with Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou's easyGroup. On Tuesday, the companies announced that they would open an easyHotel in Johannesburg by the end of the year, the first of 50 budget hotels they plan to open across Africa by2016.

Jonathan Kaye, the chief executive of pizza chain Prezzo, pleased investors on Wednesday when he announced a 14 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to £16.4m last year.

...at a loss

Newspapers shouldn't really gloat at the troubles of their rivals – what goes around comes around and all that – but it does seem extraordinary that Sly Bailey was paid £1.3m last year, including a £248,000 cash bonus.

Shareholders were unimpressed by the news, which emerged in Monday's annual report, and she now faces changes to her bonus plan. Although her 2011 pay was down on the previous year's, Bailey also received half-a-million shares as part of her incentive package. Still, when 250,000 of these vest in two years they are likely to be worth very little should the stock continue on a trajectory that has seen them lose more than 90 per cent of their value during her reign.

Still, loosely, on newspapers – can't be helped – James Murdoch added BSkyB to his burgeoning list of former chairmanships. On Tuesday, he surrendered a title that he also held at News International, the British publishing arm of the family empire, but he remains a non-executive director.

GDF Suez boss Gérard Mestrallet's £6bn offer for the 30 per cent the French group doesn't own in International Power was rebuffed by the UK electricity group's board on Wednesday.

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