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.
Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
Croatia's second city to close 'worst zoo in the world' after reports of 'nightmare' conditions and 'depressed' animals
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
- 4 California man Christopher Viatafa surrenders to police after googling own name and discovering himself listed as ‘most wanted’
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
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