Business week in review
Sunday 27 October 2013
Having spent years delighting customers with his London Eye, Madame Tussauds, and Alton Towers attractions, Nick Varney finally gets to live his own dream: the listing of Merlin Entertainments. On Monday, the chief executive outlined plans that would value the attractions empire at around £3bn.
Given the recent rush of small investor interest in Royal Mail, Merlin is offering the opportunity to own a slice of the business for a minimum £1,000.
Monday was quite a day for flotation fans, as Guy Hands unveiled the biggest share sale of a pure renewables company in the UK. Infinis started life as a landfill energy business, but the group now focuses on windfarms.
Santander's British boss, Ana Botin said on Thursday she was "encouraged by early signs of UK economic recovery". The bank announced 900,000 people had signed up to its 123 account since the start of the year.
...at a loss
Former Co-op Group chief executive Peter Marks was subjected to a no-holds-barred grilling from Treasury Select Committee MPs on Tuesday. Appearing repeatedly flustered, he refused to take the blame for the near-collapse of Co-op Bank, even though he sat on the board of the lender. He blamed successive bosses of the banking division, saying that he was merely a non-executive director of that subsidiary.
Mr Marks even claimed he had warned the group board that it was overstretching management by trying to be everything from a "major food retailer" to a "major funeral business".
On Wednesday, banknote manufacturer De La Rue saw its shares hammered by a profit warning. Chief executive Tim Cobbold said he expected the producer of more than 150 currencies to be £10m short of a £100m operating profit target.
Unilever boss Paul Polman announced a near 7 per cent slump in global turnover on Thursday.
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
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