BUY-OUT GROUP GAINS CONTROL OF MADEJSKI’S LARGEST PROJECT
Sir John Madejski, the property and publishing tycoon, has sold control over one of Britain’s largest commercial developments to a private equity consortium in the latest debt-driven property transaction. Benson Elliot, the private equity real estate firm, has teamed up with UK developer Stanhope to acquire the majority of the Station Hill redevelopment from Sir John’s Sackville Developments.
BOPARAN REJECTS TALK OF BREAK-UP
Ranjit Singh Boparan, the poultry processor considering a bid for Northern Foods, has played down speculation that he would break up the convenience food maker if he secured control of the company. Boparan, whose 2 Sisters company is Tesco’s main chicken supplier, has until 21 January to announce whether he will make a cash offer under a Takeover Panel deadline.
GLOBAL ACCORD TARGETS CREDIT BUBBLES
Banking regulators have quietly taken a major step towards harmonised global regulation by agreeing to raise worldwide capital requirements whenever an individual country declares a credit bubble. Part of the Basel III reform package, the “countercyclical capital buffer” heralds a step change in the way national banking regulators interact.
FINE WINE INVESTORS RECEIVE A CRUDE AWAKENING OVER RISK
Fine wines such as Bordeaux or Rioja do not offer much more diversification for an investor than Brent crude oil, research by two economists at the International Monetary Fund has found. Investment in fine wines has boomed in recent years, according to research, partly in the belief that this diversifies risk.
CONTAGION FEARS FORCE AMERICAN FUNDS INTO RETREAT FROM EUROPE
American money market funds have aggressively cut back their dealings with the eurozone’s financial services sector amid fears that the sovereign debt crisis could infect the region’s banking system. David Glocke, head of taxable money-market funds at Vanguard Group, said that his firm’s $109bn prime fund was no longer directly exposed to such banks.
RETAILERS THREATEN TO HALT INVESTMENT OVER SHOP TAX
Britain’s biggest supermarkets and retailers are threatening to withdraw future investment from Scotland unless the government at Holyrood abandons plans to impose a new levy on their largest stores. Senior sources within the retail sector have told The Times that major players on the high street are “raging mad” at the plan.
The Daily Telegraph
GOLDMAN SACHS TO REVEAL HOW IT MAKES ITS MONEY
Goldman Sachs plans to disclose more than it has ever done about how it makes money in an effort to end the barrage of public criticism it has had since the financial crisis. The overhaul of how it reports its results is one of a series of changes the investment bank is making following an internal review by a committee headed by two of its most senior executives.
BARCLAYS COULD SET UP BAD BANK, SAY UBS
Bob Diamond’s elevation to chief executive from head of Barclays’ corporate and investment banking arm, combined with the introduction of capital and liquidity rules, could provide the catalyst for the bank to restructure, UBS suggested yesterday. Analysts said that such a move would shed low-return legacy assets.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PORSCHE OPTIMISM RUNS HIGH
Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn said yesterday the auto maker is “slightly more optimistic” about the prospects and timeframe of the merger with Porsche, after a US court last month dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of hedge funds over alleged market manipulation. He noted, however, the plaintiffs could still appeal the verdict.
INDITEX FOUNDER TO STEP DOWN AS CHAIRMAN
Inditex’s founder, controlling shareholder and chairman Amancio Ortega proposed that chief executive Pablo Isla become the new chairman of the world’s largest fashion retailer by sales. The company behind the Zara clothing chain said in a press release that Ortega will propose Isla as chairman at the next shareholders meeting in July.