The Sunday Telegraph
CAMELOT LAUNCHES CONSULTANCY
Camelot, the national lottery group, has launched a consultancy business to lotteries globally and is close to winning its first piece of business advising the California operator. Camelot Global Services, an independent company, is expected to be appointed as a consultant to the California State Lottery and advise the US operator on how to grow sales.
PROFITS DIVE AT CARPETRIGHT
The number of bidders circling the commercial arm of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) has been halved after the sale process entered its second phase. Eight civil engineering companies, including Amec and VT Group, are understood to be in the hunt for the small state-owned nuclear power project management and consultancy business.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
PROFITS DIVE AT CARPETRIGHT
Carpetright is expected to report a 70 per cent drop in pre-tax profits to £17m when it unveils its full-year results on Tuesday. The retailer, led by Lord Harris of Peckham, has been hit by the recession as shoppers delay purchasing big-ticket items like carpets amid fears over unemployment. The company last reported that like-for-like sales in the UK were down 15.3 per cent in the 12 weeks to 25 April.
LAW FIRMS SLAM EU SKILLS RULING
A group of the City’s largest law firms are up in arms over changes to employment law that prevent them hiring talent from outside the European Union. Under the new regulations, which came into force in March, only foreign workers with a masters qualification are eligible for a highly-skilled migrant visa. It is uncommon for lawyers to possess a masters degree.
MICROSOFT TO SELL RAZORFISH
Microsoft has appointed Morgan Stanley to find a potential buyer for Razorfish, its digital agency. Publicis Groupe, the French marketing company that says it is planning more acquisitions in online advertising, is thought to be a possible bidder.
BATS EUROPE IN ‘DARK POOL’ PLAN
BATS Europe, one of a new breed of share trading platforms, is today due to unveil plans to launch a pan-European “dark pool”, becoming the latest entrant into the growing market for dealing in large blocks of shares. The move comes as regulators on both sides of the Atlantic are stepping up scrutiny of dark pools amid questions over their transparency. Dark pools are a relatively new type of trading venue growing in popularity among institutional investors.
The Daily Telegraph
WEST BROM MULLED CONSORTIUM
West Bromwich Building Society considered merging with a group of mutuals to stave off collapse before the regulators came to its rescue. Chief executive Robert Sharpe has revealed he was in early talks about a “consortium” tie-up with rivals before the authorities devised a new capital instrument to repair the society's battered balance sheet.
VIRGIN SIGNS DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL
Virgin Media, the commercial broadcaster, has signed a deal with Universal Pictures to create a new movies-on-demand service for its 3.6m customers. The service, called PictureBox, will pool a selection of 28 Universal films from Hot Fuzz and The Bourne Ultimatum to The Holiday and Scarface for a fixed price per month. PictureBox is already used by BT Vision and TopUpTV in the UK.
POLITICAL DISPUTES THREATEN SALE OF RIGHTS TO IRAQI OILFIELDS
Executives from the world’s leading oil companies are flying to Baghdad today to place bids in the first auction of production contracts for Iraqi oil since the 2003 invasion. Drawn by the promise of rich pickings from the world’s third-largest oil reserves, the multinationals, including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, will find themselves at the centre of a political row over the legality of the contract auction.
ANGLO SEEKS DUBAI CASH BOOST
Anglo American, the mining conglomerate that is being stalked by Xstrata, its Swiss-based rival, is in talks with Dubai Natural Resources World to co-develop iron ore assets in Brazil. The discussions with the Gulf company come after separate talks with other potential investors.