STRICKEN SCOTTISH AIRLINE’S £30M IN QUESTION
Administrators of Globespan, the collapsed Scottish airline that has left thousands of passengers stranded abroad, were investigating last night why £30m of its funds were being held by E-Clear, the company that handles its credit card transactions.
Bruce Cartwright, of PwC, said he understood that about half that amount might be recoverable for creditors of the Edinburgh-based group.
AADB IN FRESH EQUITABLE PROBE
The disciplinary arm of the Financial Reporting Council has launched an investigation into the actions of an unnamed Scottish qualified accountant involved with Equitable Life in the late 1990s. It is the third such investigation related to Equitable in the past year.
MOUCHEL BID DEFENCE BUOYED BY M&G SUPPORT
Mouchel’s defence against a £380m ($613m) takeover approach from VT Group was bolstered when its largest shareholder came out in support of the target’s board. After holding a meeting with Mouchel’s management, M&G Investment Management – which has an 11.4 per cent stake – told the Financial Times that the maintenance group “enjoys our complete support”.
CD&R IN POLE POSITION FOR BCA BUY-OUT
Clayton Dublier & Rice, the US private equity group, has entered exclusive talks to acquire British Car Auctions in a deal valuing Europe’s biggest vehicle reselling network at about £400m. The acquisiton of BCA, which is owned by Montagu Private Equity, would be the latest sign that private equity groups are making deals after a virtual hiatus in buy-outs in the past year.
BIG INVESTORS CALL FOR INQUIRY INTO BANKS’ FEES FOR M&A WORK
Some of the City’s most influential shareholders are demanding a competition inquiry into the fees charged by investment banks on takeover deals, The Times has learnt. Investors are preparing an assault on the “exorbitant” fees of advisers on both sides of company takeovers.
BANKS TOLD CRISIS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED WITH LOWER BONUSES
The Bank of England heaped fresh pressure on banks to curb staff bonuses as it calculated that the entire taxpayer-funded rescue might have been unnecessary if bonuses and dividends had been shaved by as little as a fifth in the years before the crisis. British banks could have piled up an extra £75 billion to strengthen their balance sheets between 2000 and 2008 by showing a little more restraint.
The Daily Telegraph
EX-LEHMAN BROTHERS STAFF TO SHARE $50M BONUS BONANZA
A group of former Lehman Brothers employees working to wind-up the remnants of the collapsed investment bank are in line to share in a $50m (£31m) Christmas bonus pot. Approximately 230 bankers working to settle Lehman's $10bn-plus derivatives portfolio will share in the pay-out, after it was approved by a US bankruptcy judge.
DAWSON HOLDINGS CLIMBS AS IT AGREES NEW BANKING FACILITY
Shares in Dawson Holdings jumped 23 per cent on Thursday after the newspaper and magazine distributor said it had agreed new banking facilities. Dawson said it had signed the agreements with GE Capital and Barclays "well ahead" of the end of a 180-day "standstill agreement" with its creditors.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
COURT BATTLE SHINES A LIGHT ON AIG UNIT
A Canadian real-estate investment firm that sued American International Group over a 25-year swap deal is taking part in a litigation "lottery" to avoid paying $1.2 billion cash to AIG, the insurer alleged in court papers filed late yesterday. Lawyers for AIG asked a federal district court in New York to dismiss a lawsuit from Brookfield Asset Management.
PRIVACY GROUPS FILE COMPLAINT ON FACEBOOK
Ten privacy and consumer groups announced they've filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission alleging that Facebook privacy-policy changes violate federal law. The groups are urging the FTC "to open an investigation into the recent changes made by Facebook”.