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Online sales climbed a record breaking 58% as HoF celebrated 'best ever' Christmas

A test for an IPO market that has been tricky for all but the very best

Opinions might be divided on the group's long-term prospects, but Ocado is likely to launch its IPO on Wednesday. In doing so it will join others seeking a listing in what has been a difficult market so far this year.

Investors dig deep to support Rothschild's mining venture

Nat Rothschild's new mining investment group, Vallar, closed its £700m flotation yesterday, making it the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in London this year.

New oil field 'one of region's largest finds'

An oil find in the UK North Sea has the potential to be one of the region's biggest discoveries of recent years, an exploration firm said today.

Nat Rothschild's mining investment group Vallar to raise £600m via IPO

Vallar, the investment group set up by Nat Rothschild to invest in mining assets, announced yesterday that it intends to float on the London Stock Exchange and spend as much as £5bn on projects within the next two years.

The business on...Nat Rothschild, Financier, Vallar

Why is he in the news?

The Honourable Nathaniel Philip Victor James Rothschild, entrepreneur and scion of the famous banking family, said yesterday that he was preparing to float his latest venture, Vallar, which is expected to invest up to £5bn in the mining industry.

US tycoon backs Virgin Money's growth

Wilbur Ross promises to inject up to £600m into Sir Richard Branson's operation

Eco-warrior turns green on his voyage across the Pacific

Banking heir hit by seasickness nine days into 8,000-mile trip

De Rothschild claim conman jailed for 18 years

An "accomplished conman" who claimed to be the illegitimate son of financier Edmund De Rothschild was today sentenced to 18 years in prison for defrauding a single mother and raping a schoolgirl.

Megève: Less is more for chic French skiing

Megève is steeped in ski heritage, but this smart resort has few British winter visitors. Stephen Wood relishes the upmarket ambience

France's GDF to sweeten UK generator offer

GDF Suez, the French power giant, is considering a revamped bid for International Power (IP), a £5bn independent power generator.

Banks bid for £2bn Arriva deal

SNCF, the French national rail operator, will move closer to a £5bn-turnover merger with Arriva, the British Ftse 250 transport group, with the appointment of deal advisers this month.

Zola at risk as Cellino closes in on deal

Gianfranco Zola's job as West Ham United manager looked increasingly insecure yesterday as sources close to Massimo Cellino, the club's most recent suitor, claimed a takeover is "99.98 per cent" certain to go ahead.

West Ham braced for heavy FA fine after crowd trouble verdict

West Ham face a severe punishment after the club was found guilty yesterday by the FA of two charges of failing to control their fans following an investigation into serious crowd trouble at a Carling Cup match against Millwall at Upton Park last August.

Mandelson uncut: Election rift with PM

Business Secretary rejects Gordon Brown's class war strategy and predicts the general election will be a close-run thing
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all