Column Eight: Old age bonus for Lord King

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The Independent Online
PENSIONERS are to get discounts according to their age on Swissair and Austrian Airlines this month and next. The offer applies to economy class tickets between the two countries. A 70-year-old will get a 70 per cent reduction. Sounds like a treat for Lord King, who has just stepped down as British Airways chairman. Seventy-five per cent off]

DOWN AT the Daily Mirror, a writer stirs. The word is that a book chronicling David Montgomery's takeover of the group is on the cards. The provisional title? Presbyterians at the Gate.

IAN MCKENNA, the publicity-hungry boss of Blyth McKenna, a London mortgage broker, has suffered an embarrassing setback. His firm has gone bust. This may help to explain his decision to relinquish control of the firm to pursue a career in music. Blyth McKenna is to transfer its business to a new company, Mildmay Money Management, run by Mr McKenna's partner. Mr McKenna plans to keep his hand in by working at Mildmay, which Fimbra has helpfully authorised.

THE MAIL ON SUNDAY launched an attack last week on the business activities of Christopher Chataway, chairman of Crown Communications, which collapsed last month. The timing of the piece is interesting, as Associated Newspapers has just lost its shirt on a 5.4 per cent shareholding it held in Crown.

THE ASSISTANT manager at a north London pub in the Chef & Brewer chain, owned by Grand Met, was urged by head office to put some sparkle into his marketing. But when he asked for some posters he was told to stop wasting money and write his notices on wallpaper instead. This from the company that brings you those glossy Haagen-Dazs ads.

A VERY happy birthday for one of the children of Kenneth Morrison, chairman of Wm Morrison, the supermarket group, judging by yesterday's announcement. Mr Morrision has given up a beneficial interest in 13.7 million shares in the group 'due to one of his children reaching the age of 18'. At 160p a share, that makes the birthday present worth a cool pounds 22m.

JOHN PARKINSON, chairman of Midlands Radio, is clearly a hard-working man. In the document accompanying Capital Radio's agreed pounds 17.7m bid, it is noted that on 21 January Midlands' board voted Mr Parkinson a pounds 25,000 bonus. One wonders why Midlands' board left it so late to grant this award. After all, Capital's bid was officially launched the next day, on 22 January.

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