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Business Analysis & Features

Week in Review

In profit...

Phew! South African billionaire Ivan Glasenberg finally has his hands back on Xstrata, the miner he spun-out of his Glencore commodities empire a decade ago. For years, as the Swiss-based coal-to-zinc empire grew, Glasenberg nursed ambitions to reunite the pair. Over the past eight months (it's only seemed like years), the two have tried to hammer out a megamerger in the public eye. Glasenberg recently upped his offer for Xstrata and on Monday the latter's board recommended it to shareholders. Now, the deal has just to get past pesky EU regulators.

Ian Meakins, the boss at heating and plumbing giant Wolseley, warmed the hearts, and wallets, of investors on Tuesday, announcing a £350m special dividend. This marked the latest stage of a recovery that saw the firm shed thousands of jobs to cut its debts.

Talking of dividends, it emerged on Thursday that Marie Claire publisher, IPC Media, paid a £51.5m dividend to parent company Time Warner. IPC chief Sylvia Auton must now be a favourite with bosses across the pond.

...at a loss

Beverley Williams, who must have had more fun selling naughty knickers at La Senza than trying – and usually failing – to flog tracksuits at JJB Sports. Only interim boss since July, last Monday she saw the chain cease trading as administrators closed 133 stores and shed 2,200 jobs.

KPMG managed to sell 20 shops to rival Sports Direct, but, sadly, the JJB name will no longer be found on the high street as Sports Direct pushes through a rebrand.

Also on Monday, one of the City's most high-profile bankers was one of four charged with insider trading by the Financial Services Authority.

Martyn Dodgson, a managing director at Deutsche, who advised the Treasury on its bank bailouts, is alleged to have been part of a three-year conspiracy to trade on inside information, netting £3m.

On Wednesday, Tesco boss Philip Clarke announced the grocer's first profit fall for nearly two decades. There were particularly bleak updates on its sales in South Korea, the United States and Europe.