2010 at a glance: Cuts, spills, and failed floats


January


The US takes over two of Britain's market-leading brands: buy-out group KKR pays £955m for Pets at Home, and Cadbury bows to Kraft's £11.5bn offer.

February

Volatile markets cause collapse of stock floats, including New Look and London Eye owner Merlin Entertainments.



March

Rail contractor Jarvis finally goes into administration eight years after the Potters Bar disaster.



April

BP's Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico explodes, killing 11 and destroying company's reputation in US.



May

Coalition government formed. Within weeks Chancellor George Osborne announces emergency Budget crammed with public-spending cuts.

June

Insurer Prudential bows to the inevitable and pulls out of $35.5bn takeover tilt at AIA, wasting £450m in fees.



July

Online retailer Ocado gets away flotation, but drastically cuts the price of its shares to value group at less than £1bn.



August

The world's biggest miner, BHP Billiton, launches an ultimately unsuccessful $39bn hostile bid for the world's biggest fertiliser supplier, PotashCorp.



September

HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan, right, quits after he loses out on the chairman's job to finance director Douglas Flint.



October

Bankers and finance ministers at the IMF summit in Washington fail to reach an accord to sort out the global economy.



November

Business Secretary Vince Cable refers Rupert Murdoch's bid to control BSkyB to regulators. He's later taped privately criticising the media baron.



December

Latest bouts of snowfall means cost to British economy of bad weather in 2010 could top £27.7bn.

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