Business and City in Brief

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Novell in dollars 1.4bn WordPerfect deal

WordPerfect, the computer software house responsible for the world's best-selling word-processing program, has agreed to be acquired by Novell in a share swap worth dollars 1.4bn. At the same time, Novell will buy Quattro Pro, the spreadsheet program jointly marketed with WordPerfect, from its owners, Borland International.

Novell, a software producer best known for its networking programs, will pay dollars 145m for the business, and take on 100 Borland employees.

Dollars 3bn Danish sale

The government of Denmark has announced the dollars 3bn sale of shares in Tele Danmark, the state-owned telecommunications company, through an international offering. The sale of 49 per cent of the company, which will be listed in London, New York and Copenhagen, will rely heavily on foreign investors.

Rise in takeovers

British companies spent pounds 2.2bn buying 117 overseas companies in the fourth quarter of 1993, while overseas companies spent pounds 1.1bn buying 80 companies in Britain, the Central Statistical Office said. Both figures were up on the third quarter.

Tesco in Hungary

Tesco is poised to invest pounds 12m in Global, a Hungarian food retailing company that operates 43 stores with a total selling area of 100,000 sq ft. Tesco said the investment, although small, would provide the company with a stake in a developing market in addition to its ownership of the Catteau chain in Northern France. Global is due to float on the Budapest stock exchange next month.

Strike hits Lonrho

Lonrho South Africa said a strike by about 3,000 workers at its Eastern Platinum mine in Bophuthatswana had virtually halted production. The strike started last week after the mine dismissed 14 employees for their participation in 'kangaroo courts'.

Lloyd's recruit

Lloyd's insurance market has appointed Peter Lane as director of marketing and public affairs. He was previously head of brand development, worldwide supply and marketing co-ordination with Shell International Petroleum Company. Andrew Duguid, formerly director of marketing services at Lloyd's, assumes the newly-created post of director, policy and planning.

Mercury stake

Mercury, part of Cable and Wireless, has bought a 36.8 per cent stake in M33 for pounds 3.75m. M33 produces reference books and multimedia products under the Andromeda Oxford and Andromeda Interactive names.

Cheshire first

Cheshire Building Society yesterday became the first to launch a floating rate issue of permanent interest bearing shares. Hoare Govett, lead manager to the pounds 10m issue, said the move recognised the investors' increased demand for floating rate securities in a period of market volatility.


New York: Fears that the Fed will today raise interest rates sent blue chips sharply lower. The Dow Jones Average ended down 30.80 points at 3,864.85.

Tokyo: Closed (holiday).

Hong Kong: Continued selling by overseas investors had the Hang Seng index tumbling more than 5 per cent, closing 465.28 points lower at 8,667.03.

Sydney: Deepening concern over US interest rates triggered a 23-point fall by the All Ordinaries index to 2,140.5.

Bombay: With the ban on forward trade killing liquidity in the market, a dull session took the index up 18.87 to 3,820.73.

Johannesburg: Gold shares posted steady gains on the back of bullion strength, but industrials gave ground. The overall index eased four points to 5,230.

Frankfurt: Quiet trade driven by bond market losses left the DAX index 24.33 weaker at 2,131.28.

Paris: With sentiment still depressed, the CAC-40 index gave up 18.65 points to 2,202.69.

Zurich: Interest rate concern kept volume thin and took the Swiss Performance Index down 22.17 points to 1,809.34.

London: Report, page 26.