INEOS PUTS IPO ON BACK BURNER
Ineos, the world’s third-largest chemicals producer, has put on ice exploratory work for an initial public offering, according to people close to the situation. A listing, which would have been among the largest by a UK company, was one of a range of options that had been considered by Ineos to strengthen its balance sheet, which is burdened with more than €7bn (£6.3bn) of debt.
CHINESE STAKE IN AFRICAN MINERALS
African minerals is discussing a “corporate deal” with several large companies, even as it conditionally agreed a £153m investment with a chinese industrial conglomerate, according to its chairman. The Aim-listed explorer, whose top asset is an iron ore deposit in Sierra Leone, provisionally agreed to sell China Railway Materials Commerical Corp about 40 per cent of the iron ore it plans to produce from its Tokolili deposit in the west African country.
CATTLES INVESTORS FIGHT COURT DECISION
Cattles bondholders are challenging a court decision that could leave them with next to nothing in a restructuring of the troubled subprime lender’s debts. The legal fight could go as far as the UK’s Supreme Court and take until early next year to resolve. An anonymous Cattles bondholder known as party A is fighting back for holders of £750m of bonds issued by Cattles and filed an appeal on Monday with the Court of Appeal. This follows a High Court decision on 14 December that a guarantee to Cattles’ bank creditors will see them paid in full before the bondholders. Cattles, which provides loans to people with poor credit history, was thrown into crisis last year.
LONDON UNDERGROUND IN DISPUTE OVER UPGRADE COSTS
London Underground has been called before the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Arbiter by the end of the week to explain new information that has emerged about the cost of upgrading the Victoria Line. The request for clarification is the latest development in the continuing funding dispute between Tube Lines, which maintains the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, and London Underground, which maintains the others.
CHINA SUED FOR “STEALING” CYBERSITTER PROGRAMME
A US maker of software that helps parents to filter internet content for their children is suing the Chinese government for allegedly stealing its technology and using it to block sites deemed politically undesirable.
The Daily Telegraph
OCH-ZIFF GROWTH HIGHLIGHTS HEDGE FUND RECOVERY
Och-Ziff Capital Management, the owner of a stake in retailer Debenhams, has underlined the recovery in the hedge fund industry by recouping most of 2008’s losses with a return to form last year. The turnaround was powered by its flagship OZ Master Fund which recorded growth of 1.1 per cent for December, lifting its return for the whole of 2009 to 23 per cent.
OLEG DERIPASKA SELLS OIL COMPANY BACK TO FOUNDER
Oleg Deripaska, the debt-laden Russian tycoon, has sold oil company Russneft back to its founder, Mikhail Gutseriyev. Deripaska sold the mid-sized company for $600m (£375m) and repayment of outstanding debt of around $6bn.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
MORGAN STANLEY WINS RULING VERSUS DISCOVER
Morgan Stanley won a ruling in its legal battle with former credit-card subsidiary Discover Financial Services over nearly $800m that Morgan Stanley claims it is owed. New York state Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick said that Discover is obligated to pay the amount as a special dividend to Morgan Stanley. The ruling means that the Wall Street firm stands to boost its bottom line if the decision isn’t reversed on appeal.
GM CHIEF PREDICTS A PROFIT IN 2010
General Motors Chairman Ed Whitacre said yesterday he believes the company can become profitable this year. Whitacre, who took over the CEO job last month, said he is pleased with GM’s progress.