CANDOVER POISED TO PULL PLUG ON THEME PARK
Candover, the private equity group, is on the brink of ditching plans to sell or float Parques Reunidos, the Spanish theme park operator, after offers from rival buy-out groups came in below its €2bn ($2.8bn) price tag. Apollo Management and a consortium of Advent International and the Carlyle Group both submitted final bids for Parques on Friday. But the two offers were below Candover’s asking price for the operator of 69 theme parks in Europe and the US.
TERRA FIRMA SPENDS €670M ON SOLAR ENERGY
Terra Firma, the UK private equity group, has sealed its third renewable energy deal by acquiring Italy’s biggest solar power company from Terna, the Italian national grid operator, for as much as €670m (£588m).
FORD TO SLASH MAZDA STAKE
Ford is preparing to sell most of its remaining interest in Japan’s Mazda in a move that would all but end the carmakers’ 31-year capital alliance. Ford wants to reduce its 11 per cent stake in Mazda to less than three per cent, according to people familiar with the matter. The total stake would be worth about $372m at the current market price. The US carmaker controlled 33 per cent of Mazda as recently as 2008 until collapsing motor industry sales forced it to sell assets to raise cash.
GE PLANS RETURN TO US-MADE PRODUCTS
General Electric plans to invest $432m in four US centres that design and make refrigerators by 2014. The move will reverse a long-term trend of outsourcing its appliance manufacturing to places such as China. GE argues that a combination of US production quality and rising transport, currency and labour costs have made the moves practicable.
PREMIER MULLS $500M BID
One of Britain’s biggest independent oil explorers is mulling a $500 million bid for BP’s gas production business in Pakistan in an attempt to bolster its position in the troubled South Asian nation. Premier Oil has expressed an interest in the unit alongside Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, according to people familiar with the talks.
OBAMA SET TO RATTLE CAMPAIGN TIN
As fundraiser-in-chief for a party in dire need of money President Obama will embark tomorrow on a breakneck tour of the American West to rattle the campaign tin for five powerful allies locked in races that Democrats cannot afford to lose. Republican fundraising has surged in the third quarter of the year, erasing the financial lead that Democrats enjoyed three months ago.
The Daily Telegraph
COWELL SECURES X FACTOR DEAL
Hit reality television show The X Factor looks set to continue dominating Saturday viewing with the agreement of a new three year deal between ITV, Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment and the production group FremantleMedia. The broadcaster said it has also secured The X Factor and the exclusive UK broadcast rights to the American version of The X Factor and America's Got Talent for ITV2.
IPLAYER FOR RADIO COMING
UK Radioplayer, the BBC-backed single online player for more than 400 UK radio stations, will be made available on YouView and other internet-connected TV set top boxes, post launch. The internet radio player, which will allow users to listen to more than 200 radio stations, is set to go live in February.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
ISRAEL DRILLS BIG GAS PROSPECT
Oil companies in Israel, led by Texas-based Noble Energy Inc. this week are expected to start drilling one of the world's most promising natural-gas prospects of recent years, according to executives. Seismic surveys show the Leviathan prospect, located 135 kilometers, or about 84 miles, off Israel's northern coast, may hold 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to supply all of Israel's gas needs for 100 years.
HUNGARY UNVEILS TAX PLAN
Hungary’s populist leaders unveiled a new budget plan that singles out a handful of industries for large, temporary tax increases in an effort to raise funds and cut the state deficit. Prime Minister Viktor Orban acknowledged the proposed levies on telecom, energy and retail companies would send a “bad message” to investors.