TOTAL CHIEF STILL KEEN ON UAE DESPITE SETBACKS
Total, the French oil company, is looking to invest in the United Arab Emirates’ nuclear industry despite having been part of a consortium that lost the $20.4bn contract to build the country’s reactors. The loss to a Korean consortium, led by Korea Electric Power Corp and initially seen as the underdog, was widely acknowledged as a major upset. It has prompted the leader of the French group, Areva, to rethink its strategy, including considering offering older, cheaper reactors.
BRANSON ATTACKS WATCHDOG OVER BA-AA PACT
Sir Richard Branson has lashed out at competition authorities in Brussels for what he claims is the “lazy” and “misguided” way they are treating a planned alliance between British Airways and American Airlines. Branson, founder of the rival Virgin Atlantic airline, has long criticised the proposed tie-up, which would deepen transatlantic co-operation between the two carriers, as well as Iberia, of Spain.
INVESTMENT BANKS BID TO CUSHION NEW RULES
Investment bankers have begun to develop ways in which banks might be able to circumvent the most punitive of the new capital rules being drawn up by international regulators. According to investment bankers and senior bank executives, new products are being developed that would allow banks to mitigate the shrinking of their capital bases under the new rules by using a new generation of financing structures. The more entrepreneurial investment banks – traditionally the likes of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank in this kind of area – have spent recent weeks touting new ideas to banks.
MITCHELLS & BUTLERS REJECTS SUITORS SEEKING ALL BAR ONE CHAIN
Mitchells & Butlers, the pub and restaurant operator, has rebuffed preliminary approaches from a number of private equity firms keen to buy its Browns and All Bar One chains. The approaches come after a strategy review unveiled last month by John Lovering, M&B’s new chairman, which encouraged suitors to believe that the company may consider offers for several concepts outside its six principal brands.
The Daily Telegraph
CADBURY’S LAW IS ‘UNWORKABLE, COSTLY AND A THREAT TO BRITAIN’, SAY CITY BOSSES
A group of leading City bosses has attacked Labour’s plans for a “Cadbury’s Law” to protect UK companies from foreign takeovers as unworkable, costly and a threat to Britain’s standing as a global financial centre. The City figures have told The Daily Telegraph that the proposals risk damaging industry, the economy and pension fund returns.
‘WANTED’ MAN ISSUES LEGAL THREAT
A multi-millionaire British businessman is threatening to sue Interpol for putting him on its “wanted” list over corruption charges in Indonesia that he claims are politically motivated. Lawyers for Rafat Ali Rizvi have warned Interpol that he will sue for millions in reputational damages unless the “red notice” is removed.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
US STEPS UP PROBE OF HIRING IN TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES
The US justice department is stepping up its investigation into hiring practices at some of America’s biggest companies, including Google, Intel, International Business Machines, Apple and IAC, people familiar with the matter said. The inquiry is focused on whether companies, particularly in the technology sector, have agreed not to recruit each others’ employees in a way that violates anti-trust law.
UNITED, US AIRWAYS TALKS AT KEY JUNCTURE
Discussions between United Airlines and US Airways have become “very serious”, said one person close to the matter, but they remain at a very sensitive stage. Both sides are carefully monitoring whether Continental Airlines will jump in the fray.