WATCHDOG IN PENSION VICTORY
Britain’s Pensions Regulator has dropped the threat of action against US-based Chemtura Corp and its UK subsidiary, after the company agreed to pay £60m into its pension scheme over the next three years. In December 2010, the regulator issued a formal warning to Chemtura Corp and Chemtura Manufacturing UK that it was considering seeking a Financial Support Direction to force contributions to the underfunded pension scheme of the UK business. Chemtura Corp had been involved in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding in the US.
HEDGE FUND “LOOTED” AFFILIATE, CLAIMS LAWSUIT
One of the world’s biggest hedge funds “looted” hundreds of millions of dollars from a listed company it controlled by manipulating its accounts, a new US lawsuit alleges.
The shareholder action, filed on Monday in New York, accuses London-based Polygon Investment Partners of misvaluing toxic structured assets in a supposedly independent affiliate, Tetragon Financial Group, in order to earn huge fees over the past three years at the expense of its investors.
BRUSSELS TO INVESTIGATE VW AND BMW OVER AID REGIME
More than €100m ($141m) of investment aid to two of Germany’s biggest carmakers – BMW and Volkswagen – is to be investigated by Brussels to see whether it complies with European Union rules. Competition officials at the European Commission said on Wednesday that they would look into German government plans to grant €46m of regional aid towards a €368m electric car project at a BMW plant in Leipzig, to see whether it was compatible with EU state aid rules. The project involves the manufacture of two models of electic cars.
RYANAIR FALLS FOUL OF SPANISH RULES OVER CHILDREN
Ryanair faces legal action in Spain for refusing to allow children to fly unless they carry passports or national identity documents. Under Spanish law, under-14s are permitted to travel if an accompanying adult presents a Family Record Book. The National Institute of Consumers, part of the Health Ministry, has advised the public prosecutor’s office to take action against the Irish airline.
CARD FACTORY ADDS PERSONAL TOUCH ONLINE
Card Factory has caught the bug for customised cards and gifts, buying one of Britain’s ten biggest gift websites and joining what has become the latest online gold rush. The private equity-owned chain of 570 greetings card shops has bought GettingPersonal.co.uk.
The Daily Telegraph
GOLD ATM MACHINE AT WESTFIELD SHOPPING CENTRE
Gold vending machines are to be placed in every major city in Britain after the country’s first machine was switched on in Westfield shopping centre. The company behind the gold bar vending machines plans to install 50 across Britain over the next few years, allowing ordinary shoppers to invest in the precious metal.
RENTS RISE AS HOMES REMAIN IN SHORT SUPPLY
A shortage of homes to let has forced rent levels higher and further increased the squeeze on cash-strapped consumers, according to research. The Association of Residential Lettings Agents found 56% of its members reported that rents had risen over the past six months, compared with 53pc three months ago.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
HARTFORD ISSUES PROFIT WARNING
Hartford Financial Services warned that second-quarter profit fell by about 68 per cent on the increased cost of natural disasters and a charge related to asbestos policies it sold years ago. Net income of about $24m declined from $76m in the same period a year earlier, the company said in a statement yesterday disclosing preliminary results.
BORDERS CREDITORS OBJECT TO BID
Borders Group could be worth more dead than alive, publishers and landlords said in a court filing yesterday, raising the stakes in a looming bankruptcy-court auction that will determine whether the bookstore chain survives. Borders’s creditors committee objected to a bid for the chain from private-equity firm Najafi, contending that an offer from liquidators would pay creditors more.