Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
Grand marriage of newspapers

The New York Times announced yesterday in a front-page story that it is buying the Boston Globe for dollars 1.1bn in the biggest deal in US newspaper history.

The purchase makes the Times the biggest newspaper chain in the US northeast, giving the two papers a combined daily circulation of 2.5 million, the fifth biggest of any group in the US.

DAF buyout

The sale of Leyland DAF's truck plant in Lancashire to a management buyout team was completed yesterday, securing 700 jobs.

Rausing retirement

The Britain-based Rausing brothers are retiring as directors of the Tetra-Laval Swedish packaging empire they founded. Hans Rausing, aged 67 and Gad, aged 71, are said to be worth pounds 4bn, second only to the Queen.

BCCI creditors

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority dominates the BCCI creditors' committee elected by the meeting of creditors in Wembley Arena two weeks ago and announced yesterday. Abu Dhabi owns 77 per cent of the collapsed bank.

Gold sales surge

Sales of gold bullion coins jumped by 56 per cent in April and May from a year earlier, the World Gold Council said.

SIB injunction

The Securities and Investments Board has obtained permanent injunctions to prevent Peter Glennie from conducting investment business without authorisation. Mr Glennie trades as John Allen & Company of 7 High Street, Maidenhead, and 20 Cambridge Street, Aylesbury.

Clowes appeal

The Court of Appeal reserved judgment until next week on the appeal by Peter Clowes, the Barlow Clowes gilts fraudster, against 10 convictions for theft.

Ritblat's loan

John Ritblat, chairman of British Land, has taken a loan facility to allow him to buy 1 million ordinary shares in the group, as required under the deal recently agreed with George Soros's Quantum Fund.

Thames acceptances

Pearson has received acceptances for 46,675,100 Thames Television ordinary shares, representing 94.04 per cent of the issued share capital, at the first closing date of its offer. The offer is now unconditional, and is extended until 25 June.

BP offer

British Petroleum will offer Fr120 a share for the 14.01 per cent of BP France that it does not already own, BP France said.

EBRD plans

Jacques Attali, head of the European bank for Reconstruction and Development, has proposed that the bank be reorganised into three regional divisions to improve efficiency.

Jobs on hold

(First Edition)

Aer Lingus's maintenance subsidiary, Team, put 2,000 workers on protective notice because of a downturn in summer business. It wants staff to work three weeks out of four to save 500 jobs.

King's cut

(First Edition)

Lord King suffered a cut in income from pounds 669,000 to pounds 479,000 in his last year as chairman of British Airways, mainly because he did not receive a bonus.

World Markets

New York: Better-than-expected producer prices lifted shares but best levels were not held. By the close the Dow Jones average was 13.28 points up at 3,505.01.

Tokyo: Disappointment over the weak level of business sentiment revealed in a Bank of Japan report wiped out almost all early gains, leaving the Nikkei average 7.63 points firmer at 20,500.95.

Hong Kong: Bargain-hunting in lacklustre trading took the Hang Seng index up 6.16 to 7,266.74.

Sydney: In a day of light turnover the All Ordinaries index recorded a 1.8-point gain to 1,714.3.

Frankfurt: Sentiment was bolstered by speculation that the Bundesbank will cut interest rates on 1 July. The DAX index added 7.91 points to 1,680.98.

Paris: Interest rate hopes also boosted the French market, with the CAC-40 index putting on 9.21 points to close at 1,920.43.

Zurich: Quiet pre-weekend trading left the Swiss Performance Index 1.27 points better at 1,449.53.

Milan: Ferruzzi and Montedison continued to fall sharply as the MIB eased 0.17 per cent to 1,175.

Madrid: The general index edged up 0.36 of a point to 257.91.

London: Report, page 21.