Business week in review

In profit...

Always dangerous driving after a heavy New Year's Eve, but, unlike many, Avis boss Ronald Nelson started 2013 with a smile. On Wednesday, Avis announced it had snapped up car club Zipcar for $500m (£300m), adding a fleet of 10,000 vehicles and 760,000 members to the motor rental giant.

However, this might be a sign of how gloomy the next 12 months could be: car clubs have boomed at least in part thanks to the soaring cost of petrol.

Also on Wednesday, Queens Park Rangers co-owner Lakshmi Mittal celebrated a $1.1bn windfall. A consortium, led by South Korean steelmaker Posco and China Steel Corporation, agreed to take a 15 per cent stake in ArcelorMittal's Labrador Trough mine in Canada.

Lord Sassoon, once tipped as a Bank of England governor, was confirmed as executive director of Asia-focused conglomerate Jardine Matheson on Thursday.

...at a loss

Sir Martin Sorrell had a turbulent 2012, vehemently defending his huge pay packet during the shareholder spring. Fortunately for headline writers, WPP's advertising guru has not resolved to keep his views to himself in 2013 and got off to a marvellous start by defending Starbucks' and Google's UK tax arrangements.

On Wednesday, he said multinationals' tax contributions were a "matter of judgement" after the outcry over the amount they have paid in recent years.

Compost-maker William Sinclair was deep in its own product on Thursday, as boss Bernard Burns admitted last year's weather had kept gardeners inside. In the 12 months to September, the group lost £403,000.

The same day, Nat Rothschild escalated his long-running row with miner Bumi by claiming a key subsidiary lacked credibility.

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