Scardino starts to hunt away from the Forest

People & Business

Nigel Cope
Sunday 23 October 2011 07:45

Albert Scardino, the American journalist whose bid for Nottingham Forest failed at the last minute, is still on the hunt for suitable deals. He is avoiding football for the time being and is looking at media opportunities instead. "I would like to do a deal with a media business either here or in the States. It could be newspapers, television or sport." Mr Scardino is looking at deals up to pounds 100m.

"I wish it could be in newspapers," he says. "But I'm not sure that is where the best opportunities are."

Mr Scardino is confident he can secure backing for his next move. However, he is unlikely to be troubling Mercury Asset Management after it walked away from the Forest deal just days before the crunch deadline.

Kogan Page, the publishing firm, is celebrating its 30th birthday this week. The firm was founded in 1967 by Philip Kogan and Terry Page with pounds 2,000 borrowed from Mr Kogan's late brother. Though Mr Page left after just a few months, Mr Kogan stayed on and still runs the firm today at the age of 66. "I knew it had stopped being a game when our payroll topped pounds 1m," he said.

Mr Kogan founded the company in his spare time while working at Cornmarket, the publishing group co-founded by Michael Heseltine. He built Kogan Page up to an pounds 8m sales company publishing 300 titles a year.

Now edging towards retirement, he is not sure what to do with the business. "I have had offers but quite like being independent. I have known a lot of my contemporaries sell out, often for a lot of money, but many of them wish they hadn't. And we don't have to answer to a bunch of suits from Amsterdam or New York."

Un-Cadbury-like goings-on at Rover, the car group. The chief executive, Dr Walter Hasselkus, will become chairman as well following an announcement yesterday. Current incumbent Dr Wolfgang Reitzle is stepping down.

"We have had situations before where we have combined the roles of chairman and chief executive and it has worked well. It suits the BMW main board to have a hands-on executive chairman rather than a non-executive figurehead," a Rover spokesman says. But what about Cadbury? "We are part of a German company."

The Trocadero property group has appointed a new finance director. He is 39-year-old Malcolm Gardner, the former finance director of People's Phone, the mobile phone group sold to Vodafone. He replaces Julian Gleek, who filled the role on a part-time basis following the group's demerger from Burford Holdings. As part of his remuneration package, Mr Gardner has been granted 1.2 million share options at 40p. Mr Gardner will have an interesting set of numbers to add up in his new role. Trocadero bought the rights to Enid Blyton's works last year. And Noddy pyjamas went on sale in Marks & Spencer yesterday for the first time.

The corporate banking team at NatWest is entering into the spirit of Comic Relief Day tomorrow. Thirty execs including George Derbyshire, head of corporate banking, are taking part in a nine-hour sponsored row. The rowers will be overseen by Olympic gold medallist Steve Redgrave and will do their stints on a rowing machine in NatWest's lobby in Drapers Gardens. The goal is to row the equivalent length of the English channel from Dover to Calais, a distance of 67.2 kilometres.

Also donning a rowing singlet and Lycra stretch pants will be Chris Sullivan, managing director of the Lombard business finance division.

PG Tips is planning to make a splash next week for the launch of its pyramid teabags. The company has commissioned a performance artist, Ben Jones, to build more than 40 pyramids around London. The largest will measure more than 40 feet high and will pass along the River Thames under Tower Bridge.

PG Tips is also paying pounds 50,000 for a state-of-the-art firework display which will be launched from a barge moored alongside the Oxo Tower restaurant near Blackfriars Bridge.

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