Pembroke: In fond memory

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The Independent Online
THE CHAIRMAN of BP, Lord Ashburton (better known as the banker Sir John Baring), yesterday paid reasonably effusive tribute to Bob Horton, former chairman and chief executive, at the company's annual general meeting of shareholders. 'He was a loyal member of the BP team for some 35 years and served with distinction during that time in a number of testing positions. I think particularly of the time (etc, etc).' Can this be the same Bob Horton who, as we know, was chucked out of BP last June when the board forced him to resign?

'He deserved well of the company for his long and notable service,' Lord Ashburton continued yesterday. True, Mr Horton was given pounds 780,000 in compensation for loss of salary, and pounds 722,740 was paid into his BP pension scheme. But money isn't everything.

WE ARE TOLD that last weekend looks to have been the turning point for the property market in the South-east. Sadly the new mood of optimism has come a bit late for Folkard & Hayward, London's largest independent estate agent, and its sister company Phillip Charles, because they went into administrative receivership yesterday with liabilities of around pounds 1.3m.

MEANWHILE the problems keep on piling up for another company in administrative receivership - the Trocadero arm of Robin Power's Power Corporation, which had debts of pounds 225m when Power bought out Brent Walker in March 1992 for pounds 18m, and went under in January of this year.

A writ filed in the High Court by the solicitors Jaques & Lewis, on behalf of Power Trocadero, names certain individuals 'in occupation' of more than one floor of the Trocadero site in Rupert Street, Soho, whom the company would obviously prefer to be shot of. The first so mentioned is Mickey Mouse. The second claims to be the comedian Jim Davidson. Other parties are named, more feasibly you may think, only as 'Persons Unknown'.

TRAFALGAR HOUSE's rather disastrous foray into the North Sea with its offshore construction business has contributed to the company's recent shaky performance. The City has been wondering for some time just what action Trafalgar Hut will be taking to make things better. Interested parties will know very soon, since the company is to unveil restructuring plans on 20 April at a presentation at the Ritz - hosted by the unfortunately named Syd Fudge, OBE, managing director of the Offshore Structures division.

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