Business diary: Stelios venture brings baggage

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Easyjet says its founder, the smiling Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is setting up a new airline, the imaginatively named FastJet, whose website – Fastjet.com – tells us that, one, it's "By Stelios" and, two, it's "Coming Soon". To find out more, Diary decided to dig deeper, only to find that the site was registered by one Kate Spade in the US, who we assume is connected with the great man. Surely this doesn't mean that Sir Stelios has gone into collaboration with the New York designer of the same name? The new "frills" airline with free handbags on every flight?



Bad bank's lucky break at Ascot

Those who bet on horses by sticking a pin in the racecard know that you'll eventually manage to find a winner or two. The same appears to be true with cavalier lending. So congratulations to Allied Irish Banks. Among all the dreadful dross that has been dumped on to Nama, the state-owned "bad bank", its pin stickers did find one winner in the form of Ascot Racecourse, which has been paying off the cash lent to fund its £220m grandstand early. Brilliant chaps, a winner at last.



Tycoons face M&A stewards' inquiry

Talking of racing, JP McManus and John Magnier, who made millions from the gee-gees, may have galloped into regulatory issues relating to Mitchells & Butlers, now a bid target for Joe Lewis. Elpida, their investment group, released a statement on Monday saying it had a 20.7 per cent stake in M&B, only to amend it hours later saying it had 24.2 per cent alongside a company called Smoothfield, suggesting the two vehicles were acting in concert. So they might not fear a stewards' enquiry but the Takeover Panel is likely to take an interest.

Bloomberg heads are confusing

Far be it for us to criticise an august news organisation such as Bloomberg, but every now and again the headlines leave Diary scratching its head. Some of the finest have been collected on blogging service Tumblr. "Man Selling Panties May End in Saudi Arabia," reads one. "GE Beating S&P Sets Profit Goal After Immelt Decade Skirts Abyss," says another. A third reads: "PepsiCo Joins Fossil Bracing for Weak Demand" We are two countries divided by a common language.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

Comments