Taxman hardens stance on disputes
The UK taxman has toughened its stance on disputes with big business in response to public pressure over alleged “sweetheart” deals, companies say. Three-quarters of such groups surveyed by Clifford Chance, a law firm, said HM Revenue & Customs had “generally become more aggressive in recent years”.
Santander US eyes $1.56bn IPO
Santander’s US consumer finance division plans to raise as much as $1.56bn (£940m) from a New York stock market listing as the Spanish bank’s private equity partners in the business seek an exit. Santander Consumer USA Holdings, which is 64.9 per cent owned by Santander, Spain’s largest bank by assets, has set a price range of between $22-$24 per share, according to a regulatory filing. The shareholders in the business selling down their holdings are the private equity groups Centrebridge, Warburg Pincus and KKR. Citigroup and JPMorgan are to act as lead co-ordinators for the listing. Santander did not specify when it would happen.
GW raises $90m for epilepsy treatment
A UK company that makes medicines from cannabis has raised nearly $90m (£54.6m) on New York’s Nasdaq stock exchange to develop a treatment for childhood epilepsy. GW Pharmaceuticals already sells a marijuana-based drug across Europe for multiple sclerosis.
Swann sets sights on SSP listing
Kate Swann could soon be back at the helm of a public company after it emerged that SSP is considering a £2bn stock market flotation alongside a possible trade sale. An exit by EQT Partners, the catering group’s private equity owner, would be expected to crystallise a big windfall for the former WH Smith chief executive, who took the helm in September.
Novartis faces Japan criminal inquiry
The Japanese Government is pressing for a criminal prosecution of Novartis for allegedly falsifying research and advertising on its bestselling blood pressure treatment drug.
The Daily Telegraph
Mobile networks to offer Eurostar calls
Eurostar passengers could soon be able to use their mobile phones under the sea, after British mobile operators EE and Vodafone signed a 10-year deal to offer mobile services in the Channel Tunnel. The quality of communication is said to be equivalent to a call made in Paris or London.
Compensation for CPP mis-selling
Seven million people who were mis-sold identity theft insurance will receive compensation following a successful vote on whether the payouts were fair. An average of £200 will be paid to customers of CPP, who were sold useless insurance that protected credit and debit cards.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Hedge fund trader to be charged
The UK’s financial regulator plans to seek criminal charges against former trader Julian Rifat for alleged insider trading, according to people familiar with the matter. Rifat, a former trader for hedge fund Moore Capital Management in London, was arrested along with several other men in March 2010. Rifat has denied wrongdoing.
Christie fires aide as US opens probe
Gov. Chris Christie yesterday fired his deputy chief of staff at the center of the politically charged George Washington Bridge lane closures and distanced himself from a top political adviser.