Business Diary: Moulton set to become housewives' favourite

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The Independent Online

So good luck to Jon Moulton, the critics' choice to pick up the trophy for European Private Equity Personality of the Year at the Financial News Private Equity Awards tomorrow night. BGC Partners puts him a 5/4 favourite for the gong. Maybe the grateful folk at Reader's Digest UK, who Moulton's Better Capital is buying out of administration, should make him next week's cover star.

More light needed for Prince of Darkness

For all his powers of spin, it seems Lord Mandelson has yet to come to the attention of small business owners, 75 per cent of whom don't know he is Secretary of State for Business, according to a poll published yesterday. On the plus side for Labour, 89 per cent couldn't name his Tory shadow, Ken Clarke.

Ryanair demands Gordon pays up

Bad news for Daily Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon: Ryanair wants her flat and everything in it. It claims letters it is publishing today from bona-fide customers mean Gordon has lost the wager she made in the newspaper last week. "I am willing to bet my flat and its contents that nobody has ever said the words 'Ryanair', 'marvellous' and 'service' in the same sentence," Gordon said. The budget airline begs to differ.

Probably the best reason to go on strike...

And people say British trades unions are unreasonable. Production at the Copenhagen brewery owned by Carlsberg has been hit by a strike – some 250 workers have walked out after the brewer announced it would no longer allow them free beer while they worked, limiting rations to a single lunchtime drink only.

Small price to pay not to lose your grip

The best entrepreneurs are those who invent products people didn't even realise they needed. To this end, we can only applaud the folk who came up with "grip-it-strips", which you can stick to your laptop to make it less likely you'll drop the thing. A device that "improves hand-grip over 200 per cent" seems like a snip at only £7.99. What will they think of next?

Number of the day: £125m

Last year's profit at Geely, up 52 per cent. The Chinese automaker has just bought Volvo.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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