Pembroke: Wm Low chief on the shelf

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The Independent Online
James Millar, former chairman of William Low, the Scottish supermarket group that was recently carted off in Tesco's trolley, resigned yesterday and admits he is feeling at a loose end. 'I'm struggling to find myself, to be honest. It's not easy finding your motivation and working out what route to take. Even my honorary positions were related to my position at William Low.'

Still, Ian McLaurin, the golfing retailer who minds the shop at Tesco, is being gentle. He has let the affable Mr Millar keep an office in Dundee for a few months.

Just back from a holiday in southern Ireland, where he did some walking and sailed his 36ft motorcruiser, the Sunset Touch, Mr Millar is easing himself back into the fray. A couple of non-executive directorships, one at a plc, are under discussion.

Sir Tim Bell, Baroness Thatcher's favourite PR man, has flushed away his lavatory subsidiary. Sir Tim backed into the loo business when he reversed his PR company into the quoted Chartwell Group, which owned Venesta, the lavatory cubicle maker. Sir Tim denies that in the six months he has owned the subsidiary he might have become an industry expert. 'Certainly not. I never went near the place.'

As part of its big push for satellite dishes, Sky TV is 'taking over' Covent Garden tube station from this weekend. Sky has caused considerable glee in London Transport's advertising department by booking every poster site in the station. It also plans to dress up the buskers in special T-shirts and hats. Sky says it has tried to select only the ones 'who are any good'. Shame there's a tube strike, really.

The City was snorting with laughter yesterday at news from Australia that a Melbourne brothel is to seek a stock market listing, the first of many expected to ride the country's economic recovery. As one Square Miler commented: 'Imagine the analysts' visit.'

The new Guinness Book of Records is out this week and yields the following financial titbits. Kevin Maxwell became the world's biggest bankrupt with debts of pounds 408m (Sept 1992). The highest UK tax demand was for pounds 5.4m against the property landlord and speculator Nicholas van Hoogstraten (1981). The highest salary is recorded as being paid to the hedge fund manager George Soros. The sum? A mere dollars 650m.

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