CITY DIARY

Profits were up 40 per cent at Low & Bonar, the Corn Flakes to Fruit & Nut packaging company, and analysts were sent puzzling yesterday about what it may buy with its burgeoning cash-pile.

In Britain the acquisition of Vibixia, the Weetabix box manufacturer, might clash with their existing commitments to Kellogg's, while the Britton group - trading 50p lower than its 180p high a year ago - would be fiercely fought by the packaging group's ambitious management, led by Robin Williams.

Opportunities may, however, be more numerous in America, where many paper mill companies such as Smurfitt and James River are selling off their packaging divisions. William Leng, chief executive, is encouraged by the success of the company's recent $10m (£6.4m)acquisition of Twinpack, the Canadian packaging business.

It is odd to hear Tony Wheeler, the British-born, publisher of Lonely Planet travel guides, slagging off the country of his birth as "tacky" and complaining about the service in the forthcoming guide about Britain. He has made a fortune out of selling incredibly idiosyncratic travel books, with indecipherable maps and uninteresting pictures, which are constantly featuring bug-ridden doss-houses and the most unappetising meals around the world. The words pot, kettle and black spring to mind.

The story behind Carr Sheppards' charitable support of the National Gardens Scheme gives an intriguing insight into the life of Fred Carr, chief executive of Carr Sheppards, the private client investment managers and stockbrokers. Mr Carr admits he loves horticultural affairs. He lives with his wife, Cinty, in a Fulham house with a tiny garden which is packed with flora and fauna. Among the wildlife are two ducks, up to a dozen ducklings, five hamsters and three guinea pigs among others.

Why on earth does he put up with it? His secret passion is an Edwardian launch and, for being patient, his wife lets him play with it at weekends. "Just don't tell her how much it costs - she would kill me," he pleads.

I was wrong to suggest last week that Ascot Holdings had yet to tackle a £173m debt. In the haze of Christmas I did not notice that shareholders approved a complete financial restructuring in December. Changing Derby Day from the first Wednesday in June to the weekend may have annoyed the gypsies, but its seems to have delighted the corporate hospitality junkies. The gypsies, who used to meet on local common ground before the mid-week race for a wild festival of trading, Romany dancing and bare-knuckle fighting, said the change disrupted their traditional event. However, demand for tickets for the fixture by businessmen is so high, I hear, that the hospitality boxes at Epsom's Grandstand and the Queen's stand are sold out four months before Derby Day on 10 June. Anyone without a ticket could always go along to see the gypsies.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003