SHAREHOLDERS IN EVOLUTION BACK BID BY INVESTEC
Investec’s £202m takeover of Evolution Group will go ahead despite last-minute resistance from Evolution’s biggest shareholder after the broker’s other big investor backed the bid. Aberforth Partners, which owns 10.8 per cent of Evolution, said last week it had withdrawn its support for the all-share offer ahead of a shareholder meeting on Thursday that will vote on the bid.
WILLIAM HILL IN STRIKES RESPONSE
William Hill said it had sought to quell a revolt by staff working at its online gambling business in three countries after sacking seven senior managers in its internet venture. The gambling group said last week it had taken disciplinary action against senior managers at William Hill Online after a strike involving about 180 people at the company’s marketing business in Tel Aviv.
ARCELORMITTAL IN MACARTHUR EXIT
ArcelorMittal has pulled out of a $5bn joint bid for Macarther Coal after deciding that the $1.12bn it was to have spent might have represented a step too far in light of growing signs of global economic weakness. The surprise announcement means that Peabody Energy, the US coal business that was ArcelorMittal’s bid partner, will be free to take 100 per cent control of the Australian group.
CUMMINS AND 3M REDUCE FORECASTS
Two of the US’s biggest manufacturers cut their full-year outlooks, warning of slumping demand in both the developed world and emerging economies. Third-quarter profits at 3M, one of the US’s biggest industrial conglomerates, missed Wall Street expectations and the company slashed its outlook for full-year earnings.
THOMAS COOK VOTE PUTS FLIGHTS IN JEOPARDY
The spectre of flight disruptions over Christmas returned yesterday as the threat of a strike by Thomas Cook cabin crew moved a step closer. In a consultative ballot, members of the Unite union voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action over the company’s plans to cut up to 250 jobs. Unite said that 475 cabin crew had backed action, with 53 against.
TATA CLOSE TO BREAKING UP THE IMPOSSIBLE JOB
He is the most respected man in Indian business, overseeing a sprawling business empire of more than 90 companies. But a selection panel seeking a replacement for Ratan Tata, the Tata chairman, is considering splitting the role for the first time in the company’s 140-year history.
The Daily Telegraph
GIVE FIRMS FREEDOM TO SACK THEIR UNPRODUCTIVE WORKERS, LEAKED DOWNING STREET REPORT ADVISES
Companies should be given the right to dismiss unproductive workers without explanation, a leaked Downing Street report advises. Britain’s “terrible” employment laws are undermining economic growth and should be overhauled, according to the confidential report obtained by The Daily Telegraph.
AVIATION TAX RISE COULD CRIPPLE BRITISH TOURISM
Further increases to Air Passenger Duty (APD) could deter foreign visitors to Britain and cost the economy nearly £1bn in lost revenue, the government has been warned. Despite the Prime Minister predicting four million extra foreign tourists in 2012, a survey has found that many are anticipating a significant drop in visitors.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
NOMURA WHETS SCALPEL FOR CUTTING
Scaling back its ambitions to become a full-service global investment bank, Nomura is planning a major cost-cutting drive that will likely land heaviest on its money-losing European operations, people familiar with the matter said. Executives inside Nomura are debating the plan, with some calling for cutting as much as $1bn a year while refocusing the bank on profitable businesses in the US, Japan and the rest of Asia.
DREAMWORKS' NET DROPS 51PC
DreamWorks Animation’s third-quarter earnings dropped 51 per cent, hurt by soft sales of DVDs and movie tickets, as the studio didn't release a new movie in the latest quarter. DreamWorks Animation reported net income of $19.7m, or 23 cents a share, compared with $39.8m, or 47 cents a share, a year ago.