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Business News

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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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