COULSON LEGAL PAYMENTS COULD BE STOPPED
News International’s senior management has met to consider stopping payments to Andy Coulson’s legal team. Mr Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World who was arrested in July as part of an investigation into phone hacking, is taking legal advice on the testimony he gives to parliament, and on the evidence he gives to police in their two investigations into phone interception and into corrupt payments to police.
WIND TURBINE PROJECT IS SHELVED
A project to build the world’s largest wind turbine blade in Newcastle has been shelved. Clipper Windpower, a Californian company, was to have developed and built the blade for the Crown Estate’s Britannia Project. United Technologies Corporation terminated the project.
PHOENIX EQUITY POISED TO SELL ASCO
Phoenix Equity Partners is preparing to sell Asco Group, the fast-growing oil and gas logistics business based in Aberdeen. The UK mid-market private equity group has appointed advisory boutique Lexicon Partners to sound out a possibble full disposal or partial sale of the company, two people close to the situation said. The move comes as the oil and gas logistics business seeks fresh capital to enter the next phase of its international expansion. Lexicon started talks this week.
HEWLETT-PACKARD CHIEF SEEKS TO CALM IMPACT OF PC UNIT SPIN-OFF
Léo Apotheker is confident that Hewlett-Packard’s personal computer business will continue operating as well as it has been, “if not better”, in spite of plans to spin off the $40bn-revenue unit from the parent company. The chief executive of HP is keen to reassure investors, suppliers and customers, who have been alarmed about the effect of the move.
POUND FOR POUND, IRELAND IS THE WAY FORWARD
With unemployment and austerity rising, now would not appear the most opportune moment for a growing business to enter the Irish market. Unless you are a pound shop. 99p Stores Group, one of several discount retailers to have taken advantage of empty shops to expand during the recession, is opening its first store in the Republic of Ireland this month.
BIDDER TOLD TO DIG DEEPER AS AXIS-SHIELD WINS OVER CITY
The embattled healthcare company Axis-Shield shored up City support in fending off a £230m American takeover by revealing a surge in sales of its machines to diagnose diabetes, flu and heart disease. Seven City analysts published research yesterday arguing that a 460p-a-share bid from the Boston-based Alere was too low.
The Daily Telegraph
US EAST COAST RECOVERS AFTER RARE EARTHQUAKE
Two nuclear reactors that were shut down after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Virginia, sending tremors across America’s east coast on Tuesday, have been restarted. The reactors at the North Anna power plant, just seven miles from the epicentre in the town of Mineral, Virginia, shut down automatically when the earthquake took place.
SILVIO BERLUSCONI HINTS HE WILL WRITE TELL ALL BIOGRAPHY
Silvio Berlusconi has said he may write a memoir in which he will document all his sexual conquests. The 74-year-old prime minister dropped the hint at a recent dinner when the conversation turned to claims made by an Italian footballer in an autobiography that he had slept with around 600 women.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
APPLIED MATERIALS GLOOMY ON OUTLOOK
Applied Materials Inc. provided a dismal fourth-quarter outlook amid slowing personal-computer sales and a weakening economy, overshadowing a leap in quarterly profits for the big Silicon Valley maker of machine tools. The company, which makes equipment used to manufacture semiconductors, yesterday predicted that net sales in the fourth fiscal quarter will decline 15 per cent to 30 per cent from third-quarter levels.
GUESS PROFIT FALLS 9.1 PER CENT ON SETTLEMENT CHARGE
Guess Inc’s fiscal second-quarter profit fell 9.1 per cent on a settlement charge, though the apparel maker posted better-than-expected revenue on double-digit sales growth in Europe and Asia. Shares fell 3.1 per cent to $32.25 in after hours trading.