TOPAZ POSTPONES $1.7BN FLOTATION
Topaz Energy & Marine, one of the biggest oilfield service companies in the Middle East, has pulled its $1.7bn flotation in London less than a month after announcing its intention to list, becoming the latest corporate victim of the civil unrest sweeping the region. Oman’s Renaissance Services blamed the “increasingly uncertain investment climate for new issues caused by international events” for the decision.
ALL3MEDIA LINES UP POSSIBLE SALE
All3Media, the UK’s largest independent television producer, has appointed UBS to conduct a strategic review that is likely to result in a sale of the business with a price range of between £600m and £750m. The maker of Skins, Undercover Boss and Shameless has had informal conversations about a sale in the past year.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF ACER RESIGNS
Gianfranco Lanci, Acer’s chief executive and global president, has resigned from the Taiwanese computer maker, the latest top executive to fall because of a failure to react quickly enough to the rapid changes sweeping through the consumer electronics industry. Lanci’s resignation came after the Asia’s biggest PC group by sales said last week that first-quarter results would be worse than expected, the second straight quarter that it would miss guidance.
M&S STARTS TALKS ON NEW PAY STRUCTURE
Marks and Spencer has begun consulting shareholders on a new executive pay plan that could see remuneration linked more closely to the strategic plans set out by chief executive Marc Bolland. One big shareholder described the talks on the new pay plan as “constructive” in terms of its parameters, structure and scale.
TENPIN BOWLER TAKES AIM AT LOSS-MAKING SITES
Britain’s second-biggest tenpin bowling operator has hired advisers to renegotiate leases on up to a third of its estate in an effort to return the venues to profit. Essenden, which runs 37 centres under the Tenpin brand, said that it had appointed Ernst & Young to “look at the full range of options” for restructuring the loss-making sites.
HSBC ON COLLISION COURSE OVER PAYOUTS
HSBC has clashed with shareholders over a controversial plan to change its bonus arrangements for senior management, which critics believe could lead to over-generous payouts. Britain’s biggest bank has suggested a radical approach to long-term incentive plans. The plan would be the first of its kind.
The Daily Telegraph
CURRENCY DEALER INTERCHANGE ORGANIZATION ON BRINK OF COLLAPSE
Thousands more holidaymakers have seen their savings put at risk because of problems at an unregulated foreign exchange company. Interchange Organization, the owner of Interchangefx, was teetering on the verge of collapse yesterday with accountants Moore Stephens trying to put together a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to deal with its mounting debts.
ARM IN DEMAND AFTER IPAD 2
With the recently-launched iPad 2 high on gadget geeks’ wish lists, investors were also piling into the company behind the “brains” of Apple’s tablet computer – ARM Holdings. The source of their optimism was a bullish note from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
TURKISH BANKER QUITS
One of Turkey’s top bankers resigned amid growing tension between commercial banks and the government over pressures to cut lending. Ersin Ozince, general manager of Turkiye Is Bankasi and head of the Turkish Bankers Association said at a news conference yesterday that he was stepping down from both posts to establish a goat farm.
HIGH GRAIN PRICES HERE TO STAY
There will be little respite from high global grain prices next year if the US Department of Agriculture’s predictions are accurate. US corn prices soared to their daily limit in Chicago, and wheat and soybean prices also rose as the first forecast for US grain plantings this year pointed to tight supplies well into the 2011-12 crop season. Acreage devoted to corn will expand by four million acres this year.