HOLLYWOOD MAKEOVER FOR YOUTUBE
Google is deepening its ties with Hollywood by enlisting top stars to supply original content for YouTube in a bid to boost profits and user engagement at the company’s online video site. Google has been making the rounds of Hollywood’s biggest talent agencies, outlining plans to create a network of channels based around specific themes or niches, such as fashion, food and video games.
L&G SET FOR REAL ESTATE LENDING DRIVE
Legal & General, the UK’s fourth largest insurer, is gearing up for a push into lending money to the UK commercial real estate market to help fill the debt gap left by retreating banks. The insurer has appointed Ashley Goldblatt, who has worked in the company’s fixed income team, to prepare a strategy to invest into debt in the property market, which has been hamstrung since the credit crisis by the lack of available bank finance.
ODDBINS SEEKS ADMINISTRATION
Oddbins, the wine retailer, has applied to go into administration to protect itself from creditors’ claims. The move, which the company described as “purely precautionary”, was enacted at the end of last week after one creditor issued a winding-up order.
TULLOW LOOKS TO RAISE GHANA OIL STAKE
Ireland’s Tullow Oil is seeking to increase its stake in Ghana’s offshore Jubilee field through the $300m acquisition of shares controlled by allies of John Kufuor, the former president, industry officials in London and Ghana said. Tullow’s bid is higher than offers made by other mostly Ghanaian groups.
NEW INVESTOR SAVOURS TASTE OF WESTBURY’S ROBUST RESULTS
Intermediate Capital Group has acquired 20 per cent of Westbury Street Holdings, Britain’s fourth-biggest caterer. The purchase by the FTSE 250 listed investment firm comes soon after it took stakes in Courtepaille, the French restaurant chain, and Quorn, the meat-free food group.
YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR, TOO FAST, POWER CHIEFS TELL CHANCELLOR
The introduction of a carbon tax in the Budget to penalise coal-fired power stations that emit greenhouse gases threatens to accelerate the closure of generating plant, potentially creating a serious energy supply gap in the middle of the decade. The electricity generating industry has warned the Treasury that it has gone too far, too fast.
The Daily Telegraph
JOHN LEWIS INTRODUCES THE “NEVER ENDING REFUND” TO ENCOURAGE SHOPPERS IN AUSTERE TIMES
The days of buying a new dress that you shove in the back of the wardrobe and never wear are over after John Lewis announced it is scrapping its 28 day return limit for a “never ending refund”. The retailer is the first major high street name to scrap the refund limit.
BRITAIN SET FOR “BROLLY AND SUNBLOCK” SUMMER
Britain faces a “brolly and sunblock” summer with June thunderstorms threatening Wimbledon and Glastonbury, followed by a mixed July and scorching August in time for the school holidays. As the clocks went forward and British summer time started, weathermen predicted this summer will see worse weather than the last two years.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
SANTANDER, CCB TO TARGET SMALLER CHINA TOWNS
Spain’s Banco Santander SA will take a 19.9 per cent stake in a joint venture with China Construction Bank Corp. to provide banking services outside of China’s major cities, an area of increasing interest to foreign financial institutions looking to make a mark in China.
CHIP FIRM GAINS SIZABLE INFUSION
A Silicon Valley start-up has raised one of the biggest funding rounds in years in the semiconductor industry, a sector that many venture-capital firms have been avoiding. The $108m infusion in Tabula is also notable because Tabula is targeting a market niche that has attracted a number of other entrants that subsequently went out of business. The company spent nearly eight years perfecting a technology for programmable chips.