ROCKHOPPER set for $40m CASh CALL
Rockhopper, the first explorer to find oil on the Falkland Islands, is priming a £40m cash call that could be launched this week. The Aim-quoted oil company, one of three small UK wildcat explorers drilling for Falklands oil, has been working with broker Canaccord Adams to sound out institutional investors to take part in an accelerated book build.
BEGBIES EXPECTS MORE INSOLVENCIES
Begbies Traynor, the corporate insolvency specialist, continues to expect UK companies going bust because of the recession. “There are lots of zombie businesses, which are effectively the walking dead and have no chance of actually coming back to life,” said Ric Traynor, executive chairman. Most of the pain from the recession had yet to be
felt, he added.
WORKSPACE CLOSE TO DEBT DEAL
Workspace, the developer of flexible business space in London, is close to completing a £200m ($290m) debt refinancing in the final part of a recovery that has helped it return to profit. The company, which typically lets its London office space to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on flexible leases, said that operating performance had improved over the past year amid renewed demand from tenants.
BERGGRUEN CLOSES ON KARSTADT DEAL
Nicolas Berggruen, the billionaire investor, is close to taking over Germany’s insolvent Karstadt department store chain after a committee of the group’s creditors voted to favour his bid over those of two rivals. A formal contract to acquire Karstadt and the approval of a German court are set to follow this week, making Mr Berggruen’s group the owner of the chain of about 120 department stores with 25,000 employees.
RACE TO SUPPLY OBAMA HELICOPTERS
AgustaWestland is to join Boeing in a multibillion-dollar competition to supply a fleet of helicopters for President Obama. Boeing will offer Westland’s EH101, known as Merlin in the British Army. Westland had been in partnership with Lockheed Martin to supply Merlin for the presidential helicopter project, but Obama ended the contract after its cost doubled to $11 billion for only 25 aircraft.
HAMBRO TO LIST IRON ORE DIVISION
Peter Hambro’s mining company is planning a $1 billion listing of its iron ore division in Hong Kong. An announcement is expected within weeks as the company, renamed Petropavlovsk last year, concentrates on its core gold operations in Russia. It brought in new investors yesterday when it raised $60 million in a private share placing in Hong Kong.
The Daily Telegraph
MADOFF MOCKS VICTIMS
Bernard Madoff has mocked the investors he swindled out of $65bn (£45bn), reportedly saying that he “carried them” for 20 years and that he took money from “greedy” rich people who wanted more. The convicted fraudster, sentenced to 150 years in jail for running his “Ponzi” scheme, allegedly said “f**k my victims” when a fellow inmate condemned him for his crimes.
WILLIAM HILL RIDES TO PROFIT
A storming performance at the Cheltenham Festival has helped William Hill report an increase profits for the first quarter despite poor weather earlier in the year that led to the cancellation of several racing and sports events. William Hill’s operating profits rose 3pc in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2009.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
HP LAUNCHES PC-LESS PRINTER
Hewlett-Packard announced plans to make it easier for users of smartphones and other devices to print documents without the need for a computer. The company said it will start adding microchips and software to connect all its printers to the Internet. HP’s goal is to allow users from any location to send pages for printing using email, avoiding the need for software on their devices to work with specific printers.
BSKYB SETTLES CLAIM AGAINST EDS PAY-TV OPERATOR BRITISH SKY Broadcasting Group PLC said Monday that it had “finally and fully” settled a suit it brought against tech firm Electronic Data Systems six years ago over a botched customer-service technology contract. EDS, now a unit of Hewlett-Packard, agreed to pay a total of £318m.