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The planned merger between accountancy heavyweights Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse has yet to settle on a name for the combined operation, I hear.

While the mega-merger winds its way past the European competition authorities, wags at PW have been toying with the idea of suggesting a return to an earlier name for their firm - "Price Waterhouse & Co", with Coopers taken care of by the "Co" bit. A bit of wishful thinking there, I think.

Apparently the firm used to be called "Price, Waterhouse" but the accountants decided during the Second World War to scrap the comma in the middle in order to save ink, as their part of the war effort. How Hitler must have quailed.

Back in the here and now, PW has poached four people to beef up its media and entertainment team. Two join the firm from Deutsche Morgan Grenfell: James Riddlough as a telecoms privatisation specialist and Olivier Castagn to work with internet service providers. Robert Davies is an IT specialist from Racal Network Services, while Hector Guenther joins the practice in New York, having worked at Chase Securities.

Hugh Corbett has taken time off from buying four new Tup pubs to help an old mate of his, Christopher Bromley, set up a French-style rotisserie in London's West End called Cafe Coq.

Mr Bromley hopes to open the first Cafe Coq in Shaftesbury Avenue in March, and says the concept is half-way between fast food and a restaurant. Diners will be able to pop in and select half a free-range French chicken ("real free-range jobs") from the spits at the front of the house and gobble them down with a range of spices and marinades.

Mr Corbett has taken a 30 per cent shareholding and, while the first 120-seater will be privately financed, if the idea catches on then Mr Bromley is keen to build a chain and float the company.

Mr Bromley tells me the French definition of "free-range" is pretty strict. "The chickens will have to be certain breeds that can survive outside, are a minimum of 85 days old and have eaten a diet of at least 80 per cent cereals," he says.

Meanwhile, the chaps over at the Paris Real Ale Brewery are worried men. As owners of two Brit brew-pubs in the French capital, their busiest day of the year is when England play France at rugby.

Monday's announcement that the recent cold snap froze the pitch solid and threatened Saturday's game came like a straight-arm tackle to the solar plexus.

Two former Insead bods founded the company in 1993, Paul Chandler and Thor Gudmundsson, an Icelander. David Bruce of Firkin pubs fame is also on the board.

Mr Chandler explained why the state of the pitch at the new pounds 270m Stade de France is so important: "We reckon to sell an extra 10,000 pints of beer from our two pubs in the week of the international, which means putting on 12 extra brews."

"Most supporters arrive in Paris on Thursday, play a friendly match on Friday and then continue on through Sunday. It's very, very messy," he says.

His Frog and Princess pub is in the Rue Princesse, which locals have dubbed "Rue de la Sois" or "the street of thirst". The other, the Frog and Rosbif, is more central, in Les Halles.

Mr Chandler and co will be praying for a thaw before the weekend, or there could be quite a lot of spare beer to get through. Now, where's my Eurostar ticket....

World Telecom, a phone card company, has pinched a finance director from Global One, a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Sprint of the US.

Boudewijn Nijdam, a Dutchman, is moving to the AIM-listed company from Global One, which sells telecoms to big multinationals.

Cerebrus, the British biopharmaceutical company which develops drugs to combat diseases of the nervous system, has hired two boffins, Dr Malcolm Sheardown and Dr Nigel Capps.

Dr Sheardown joins from Novo Nordisk, and, according to Cerebrus, was in 1990 "the first scientist to demonstrate that the AMPA ligand, NBQX, promotes neuronal survival following cerebral ischaemia [stroke] in rodents".

Sounds a fun way to spend your day. The doctor will be director of molecular pharmacology at Cerebrus.

Dr Nigel Capps, the newly appointed commercial manager, comes from Celltech, where he was responsible for licensing of products and technologies.

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