Pembroke: Writing on the wall for Enterprise

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The Independent Online
It is hardly surprising really, but not everything went to plan at Enterprise Oil's 10th anniversary party on Friday night. The event, you may recall, fell on the same day that Enterprise's lengthy, ham-fisted bid to take over Lasmo was consigned to the dustbin marked 'corporate failure'.

It seems that the portable lavatories at the outdoor celebration were the scene of the crime. Enterprise decorated the walls of the gentlemen's toilets with the front and back pages of that day's newspapers. But as the evening drew on, one bright spark tore out the business pages of Saturday's papers, featuring headlines such as 'Enterprise routed' and 'Post-mortem begins after pounds 1.6bn bid fiasco' and plastered them all over the other cuttings.

Word is that the defacing items stayed precisely 10 minutes before being removed.

The bean-counting world of accountancy has been rocked by another financial embarrassment. Earlier this year Accountancy Television went bust. Now the publisher of Capital Account, the official magazine of the London Society of Chartered Accountants, has suffered a similar fate. Capital Publishing, which publishes the monthly glossy title, has called in receivers.

'I don't know what happened but we shall have to find another publisher,' the London Society says. 'We don't foresee any problems. It's an excellent magazine.'

Not that excellent. For a journal backed by an accountancy body, the title was notoriously slow in paying creditors. Doubly embarrassing for the London Society is that it has been pushing for legislation on prompt payment to small businesses. Perhaps Malcolm Bacchus FCA, the retiring head of the society, who is on the magazine's editorial board, will step in.

The Extel analyst rankings announced earlier this week continue to throw up amusing tales. Credit Lyonnais Laing was cock-a-hoop when its team of analysts in the banking sector leapt from fourth place to knock SG Warburg off the top spot.

And what else did the Credit Lyonnais team do on Monday? They downgraded Warburg. Was this not rubbing it in a bit? 'There's no connection,' says Laing's Neil Baker. 'Warburg's is a merchant bank so it's a different sector.'

Things are starting to get interesting up at Yorkshire Water. In February, Ofwat's chief, Ian Byatt, received criticism for not re-appointing Diane Scott as head of Ofwat's Yorkshire Customer Services Committee. Now the customers' champion is bidding for a seat on Yorkshire's board.

After adverts in local newspapers, she has the backing of enough shareholders to table a resolution at the company's annual meeting in September. 'I feel there should be a bridge between customers and the company,' she says. 'Yorkshire Water has the reputation of being very arrogant. They upset everybody.'