HIGH COURT RULES INVESTOR BROKE BUY-OUT FUND CONTRACT
An important precedent for the private equity industry has been set by a High Court ruling that Robert Adair, chairman of oil group Melrose Resources, breached a contract by refusing to put more money into Advantage Capital’s buy-out fund. Adair, who owns more than half of London-listed Melrose, now faces a hearing to determine damages.
INVESTOR GROUP SUES HAMPSON
A consortium of private investors led by Midlands industrialist David Grove is suing engineering group Hampson Industries for almost £4m, alleging “fraudulent misrepresentation”. They claim that Hampson misled them concerning the revenues of a subsidiary, Hampson Precision Automotive, which they bought for £2.5m cash in June.
OAKTREE IN MCINERNEY TALKS
Oaktree Capital, the US private equity group, is in talks to take control of McInerney Holdings, the debt-laden Irish housebuilder, according to sources close to the talks. McInerney Holdings, which has struggled with a €236m debt pile since the collapse of the Irish housing market in 2008, confirmed that it was in advanced discussions with an investor “regarding a substantial injection of new capital”.
BUY-OUT GROUPS EYE MORGAN STANLEY FUND
US private equity firms have approached Morgan Stanley about buying a stake in its troubled real estate funds management business, according to people familiar with the matter. KKR and TPG, both private equity firms that lack a substantial property operation, have expressed tentative interest in Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund, or MSREF.
ONLINE BANKING HIT BY NEW TROJAN
Online banking customers are being targeted by international cyber criminals who are using sophisticated computer viruses to empty their accounts. A new version of a well-known trojan virus has stolen £675,000 from about 3,000 online customers of an unnamed British bank, according to an internet security company.
PRU HOPES REDUCTION IN AIA COSTS WILL SATISFY SCALP-HUNTERS
Prudential will try to mollify irate investors tomorrow by announcing that it has cut the cost of its failed bid for AIA by 15 per cent to about £380 million. The insurer is understood to have convinced some of the 30 banks that worked on the aborted Asian acquisition to reduce their final fees. Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Cazenove and HSBC were among the advisers.
The Daily Telegraph
CHINA TACKLES £213BN HIDDEN LOANS IN BANKS
Chinese banks could be hiding off-balance sheet loans worth about 2,300bn renminbi (£213bn), according to the country's authorities. In a move that could lead to massive unexpected losses for the Chinese banking system, the China Banking Regulatory Commission has ordered lenders to account for the missing loans.
RUPERT MURDOCH FIGHTS TO TAKE THE SKY OUT OF SKYPE
BSkyB is trying to prevent Skype, the internet phone company, from continuing to use its name because the first three letters spell “sky”. It emerged yesterday that BSkyB has been ensconced in a legal battle with Skype for more than five years. But the legal action over the “Skype” trademark only became public when Skype mentioned it in its IPO document.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
DISASTER CLAIMS WEIGH ON HANNOVER RE’S PROFIT
Germany’s Hannover Re yesterday reported a 24 per cent decline in net profit for the second quarter, on lower income from its own investments and higher claims from natural and man-made disasters.The company said second-quarter net fell to €159.6 million from €208.7 million a year earlier.
TWO GROUPS DROP SSANGYONG BIDS AS DEADLINE PASSES
The deadline for binding bids for a majority stake in troubled South Korean carmaker Ssangyong Motor passed yesterday with at least two of the six interested parties abandoning the race.South Korean private equity fund Seoul Invest and a group led by French carmaker Renault SA didn't submit bids by the deadline for a controlling stake in Ssangyong.