LIVING SOCIAL SET TO BUY TICKET MONSTER
LivingSocial, the world’s second biggest group discount website by customers after Groupon, has agreed to buy Ticket Monster, a South Korean equivalent site, to strengthen its presence in Asia. It is the latest acquisition by the US company, which has this year announced three deals to acquire coupon sellers in south-east Asia and the Middle East.
TV DRAGON LOOKS FOR TWEET REVENGE ON BLACKMAILER WHO THREATENED HIS DAUGHTER
Duncan Bannatyne, the hotel and spa entrepreneur and television personality, has taken to Twitter to fend off a threat of violence against his daughter that was made via the short-messaging site. Bannatyne, who appears on the BBC reality TV show Dragons’ Den, attempted to turn the tables on the would-be assailant by asking his 370,000 Twitter followers to seek out his tormentor.
HEALTH SERVICES CHIEF RECEIVES SEVEN PER CENT PAY RISE
The chief executive of the national Health Service saw his pay package rise by about seven per cent last year, despite a Whitehall austerity drive that has prompted job cuts and a pay freeze across the public sector. The government does not publish precise figures but said Sir David Nicholson’s pay package had increased from £255,000-£260,000 to £275,000-£280,000.
PROTESTERS SEEK TO BLOCK DOVER SALE
Opponents of plans to privatise the port of Dover have called on the government to use a revised set of criteria for the sale of trust ports – to be published today – to block the proposed traditional sell-off of Europe’s busiest ferry port.
FRENCH LINE GOES FROM MÉTRO TO METROLINK
The French state-owned operator of the Paris Métro is taking over the running of Manchester’s trams. RATP yesterday snapped up Stagecoach’s ten-year Metrolink management contract, which was struck with the city’s passenger transport authority in 2007 and expires in 2017. The exact price of the deal was not disclosed, although Stagecoach said that the gross assets of the Metrolink business were worth £16.2m.
SKYSCRAPER THAT REALLY DOES REACH FOR THE SKIES
A company backed by the Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is to build the world’s tallest tower in Jeddah. Kingdom Holding said it had secured a $1.2 billion (£737m) deal with the Saudi BinLadin Group to build the 1,000-metre (3,280ft) tower.
The Daily Telegraph
COMET BIDDERS FACE PICKING UP £50M PENSION DEFICIT
Comet, the UK’s third biggest electrical goods retailer, has told potential buyers they will have to take on a £49m pension deficit in order to buy the company. The retailer was put up for sale by its Anglo French parent, Kesa Electricals, after Comet made a £9m loss. Kesa bowed to pressure from its largest shareholder, the activist investor Knight Vinke, to look at “a range of strategic options”.
KOREA TOPS UP GOLD STOCKS FOR FIRST TIME IN 13 YEARS
South Korea’s government has beefed up its gold reserves for the first time in 13 years amid continued uncertainty over the health of the US economy and the safe-haven status of the dollar.
The Asian country bought 25 tonnes of gold in June and July for $1.24bn (£762m).
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
NURSING-HOME FIRMS AIM TO CUT EXPENSES
Nursing-home companies Sun Healthcare Group and Skilled Healthcare Group said yesterday they are aiming to cut expenses to help offset the impact of a severe Medicare reimbursement cut coming in two months. In addition, Skilled Healthcare said it is no longer considering selling itself after the prospects of fewer Medicare dollars made the company a less attractive takeover target.
MCGRAW-HILL IN CROSS HAIRS
Two big investors have upped their stake in McGraw-Hill in a move that could lead to a push to break up the conglomerate, known as much for its financial data and bond ratings as for its school textbooks. The firms are hedge fund firm Jana Partners and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.