UKRAINE’S RICHEST MAN SNAPS UP A WINDOW ON HYDE PARK FOR £136M
Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, has bought the UK’s most expensive flat at the One Hyde Park residential development in London’s Knightsbridge. Akhmetov was behind the purchase of the penthouse, which sold for £136.6m. The identities of buyers at One Hyde Park have been one of London’s best-kept secrets, closely guarded by confidentiality agreements with developers and protected by offshore ownership structures and Swiss corporate advisers.
PGI TAKES UP A MAJORITY STAKE IN FINISTERRE CAPITAL
US asset manager Principal Global Investors has taken a majority stake in Finisterre Capital – netting the London-based hedge fund’s five founders an estimated $52m (£32m).
The move is another example of long-awaited hedge fund and asset management industry consolidation.
VOLKSWAGEN REVAMPS BEETLE
Volkswagen has unveiled the first redesign of the Beetle since the German carmaker relaunched its best-known model in 1998. The style of the latest incarnation draws on the shape of the original Beetle, which made its debut in 1938, before being revamped 60 years later as the New Beetle.
EVACUATION OF MISURATA BEGINS
International aid agencies began to evacuate thousands of stranded civilians from the besieged rebel city of Misurata yesterday, despite continued shelling of its population by Libyan government troops. As efforts intensified to contain the humanitarian crisis Libya’s third largest city, about 1,000 people boarded a ship sent by the International Organisation for Migration, a UN agency.
BRANSON TO CREATE SANCTUARY FOR LEMURS
Sir Richard Branson has triggered a conservation row over a plan to import lemurs to the Caribbean, half a world away from their natural habitat in Madagascar. The British entrepreneur said ringtailed lemurs would be transported and released into the rainforest of Moskito island, a tropical hideaway he owns in the British Virgin Islands.
PRICES FOR AGRICULTURAL LAND HIT RECORD HIGH
Agricultural land prices in Britain have hit record levels following the surge in global food prices, according to figures from Savills. An acre of prime arable land in East Anglia is fetching up to £8,500 compared with around £3,000 in 2005, with demand driven by the dramatic increase in wheat prices over the past year.
The Daily Telegraph
RESPITE FOR SOUTHERN CROSS ON COVENANTS
Embattled care homes operator Southern Cross saw its shares surge 7.1 per cent after it reached an agreement with lenders to postpone covenant tests by a month. The company said its lenders were aware of an “impending covenant breach” and therefore agreed terms that would allow it to postpone a covenant test until 31 May.
Orange tells call centre workers they can keep their jobs if they relocate to the Philippines
Orange has apologised after telling its employees they could only keep their call centre jobs if they moved to new offices... in the Philippines. The firm told 40 night shift workers at its Darlington call centre that they could take alternative, less lucrative roles, or relocate 7,000 miles to Manila.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
NOMURA PLANS SHAKE-UP IN EUROPE
Nomura is set for a shake-up of its senior ranks in Europe as part a wholesale review of its staff, according to people familiar with the situation. The Japanese bank plans to replace underperformers and cut employees in areas where it decides it can't afford to compete. William Vereker, co-head of global investment banking at Nomura, is understood to be keen to “upgrade the talent pool,” according to one person close to the bank.
BMW HALTS SHIPMENTS TO ARGENTINA
Germany’s BMW AG suspended exports to Argentina because of import restrictions imposed by the South American country’s government, a spokesman said yesterday.
Currently around 700 BMW vehicles are stuck in Argentine customs.