Business week in review
Sunday 19 May 2013
In profit …
Stefano Pessina , the executive chairman of Alliance Boots, hit back over criticism of its UK tax payments, as the retail and wholesale pharmaceutical giant posted an uplift in annual profits.
The Italian said it was "much more than a cash cow – we're like a [cash] whale", adding the Switzerland-based company paid £300m in taxes, including £64m in corporation tax, last year.
Investor money flooded into Severn Trent after the water firm, whose chief executive is Tony Wray, said it had received a £5bn-plus takeover approach. Canada's Borealis, Kuwait Investment Authority and the UK's Universities Superannuation Scheme have teamed up to make the bid.
Shares in easyJet, which is led by Carolyn McCall, also took off the following day after the budget airline significantly reduced its half-year loss to just £61m.
... at a loss
Gerald Corbett, the Betfair chairman, came under pressure from investors gambling on a lucrative payday after the betting exchange walked away from a £988m takeover bid. Shares in Betfair tumbled on Tuesday, as Mr Corbett said the 950p a share bid from the private equity firm CVC and its partners Richard Koch and Antony Ball undervalued Betfair.
The chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, Sir Philip Hampton, joined him in having an uncomfortable time as he was unable to guarantee at its annual meeting that the bank did not have more "skeletons in the cupboard", such as Libor-fixing. Michael Spencer, the chief executive of the broking giant Icap, was also unsure about the "fragile and unpredictable" trading outlook following a 20 per cent fall in annual profits.
- 1 Games of Thrones actor Lena Headey makes emotional promise to her unborn daughter
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
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