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Benefits rising for ‘Bake Off’ maker

The Investment Column: BICC

BICC, WHICH issued a trading statement yesterday, is a changed animal. It has sold its loss-making cables business and from January will emerge as a pure construction and engineering group. It will take on the name of its construction arm, Balfour Beatty, to reflect the new concentration of the company.

Turn left on to the A50 and move into your own toll lane

EVER fancied owning your own road? Well, now you may get your chance. Thanks to the financial problems of Philipp Holzmann, two of Britain's first private trunk roads - the A50 and the A30/A35 - are all set to be put on sale.

Shake-up will see BICC change to Balfour Beatty

FORMER INDUSTRIAL heavyweight BICC is set to ditch its 53-year- old name as part of an internal shake-up after the sale of its core cables business.

The Investment column: Bodycote metals fail to shine

BODYCOTE INTERNATIONAL, the metals group which hinted in March that its markets might be showing a glimmer of recovery, disappointed the City yesterday with news that the much-needed upturn had failed to materialise.

Railtrack ousts Brown & Root from pounds 2bn deal

BROWN & ROOT, the American construction giant, has been ousted from its lead role on the vital pounds 2bn project to upgrade the West Coast railway line for 140mph trains.

Wassall says BICC rejects bid

WASSALL, the bidder for BICC, the engineering group, yesterday said BICC's board had rejected an increased pounds 756m takeover offer without discussion.

BICC investors stand firm

LEADING SHAREHOLDERS in BICC have rebuffed an increased pounds 462m offer for the troubled cable and construction group from Wassall, the aggressive mini-conglomerate.

Outlook: Wassall should put up or shut up

ALAN JONES, the chief cable layer at BICC, is no stranger to hostile bid battles. When he was in charge at Westland he sucked GKN into a long and bloody skirmish. Eventually GKN came up with a price sufficient to allow the West Country helicopter maker to raise the white flag.

BICC complains to Takeover Panel

BICC, the struggling construction-to-cables group under attack from Wassall, the aggressive investment vehicle, has complained to the Takeover Panel about its suitor's failure to launch a formal bid.

BICC defiant on Wassall bid

LEADING SHAREHOLDERS in BICC, the construction-to-cables group, yesterday backed the board's decision to rebuff a pounds 379m informal takeover approach from Wassall.

BICC rebuffs pounds 379m Wassall takeover bid

BICC HAS turned down a takeover approach from Wassall, the aggressive venture capital vehicle, which valued the beleaguered construction-to- cables group at pounds 379m.

Smart Moves: A novel attempt to rebuild construction

Every week brings fresh predictions that the Millennium Dome will not be ready for the New Year festivities. Doubts are expressed, too, about the scheduled arrival of London's Jubilee Line extension. No one knows whether either will be up-and-running by the turn of the century, but both are already massively over-budget and will probably be even more so before the lights are finally switched on. It makes one think that perhaps, instead of poring over flow-charts and schedules, the project managers should have spent their time reading novels.

Investment: BICC shake-up leads to 200% rise in losses

BICC, the troubled cables and engineering group, yesterday showed the scars caused by 18 months of restructuring with a 200 per cent increase in pre-tax losses. The company shed several poorly-performing units and lost more than 2,000 jobs during the period in a bid to buck tough conditions in the market for industrial cables.

BICC sells telecoms cable unit for pounds 82m

THE RESTRUCTURING of BICC, the cables and construction group, continued yesterday with the surprise sale of its telecommunications cable business to Corning of the US for pounds 82m, writes Michael Harrison.
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