HGCAPITAL IN TALKS TO BUY BACK IAS
HgCapital, the mid-market private equity group, is in talks to buy back the main part of Iris Software Group four years after it sold the UK’s largest private business software maker to Hellman & Friedman. The buy-out house has approached its larger US rival with a £425m proposal to acquire IAS, the accountancy and payroll software unit that makes up the bulk of Iris’ valuation.
LAWYER SNUBS F1 BRIBERY CASE
A British lawyer closely linked to the running of Formula One has declined to appear in court in the trial of a German banker accused of receiving bribes in connection with the $1.7bn sale of the motorsport. Stephen Mullens had been due to give evidence on Tuesday as a witness in the trial of Gerhard Gribkowsky in Munich. The court was told Mullens was using his right not to have to answer questions that might cause him to incriminate himself.
BORDERS CHIEF SLAMS HOME OFFICE
The former Border Force chief accused of sanctioning a breach of security rules at UK ports and airports has told MPs that he is “no rogue officer” and strongly disputed claims by the home office that he acted improperly. Brodie Clark, who was suspended earlier this month for allegedly extending a home office pilot scheme to relax border checks without permission, said he had been “meticulous” in following ministerial instructions on the trial programme.
MEXICAN FIREBRAND TO RUN
Mexico’s firebrand campaigner and self-proclaimed champion of the poor has confirmed that he would run as a presidential candidate in next July’s election. Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that he would run as the candidate of the left.
WM MORRISON RESISTS BOXING DAY
It was once a day for dozing off excess and conjuring new and ever more ingenious uses for leftover turkey. But now only one supermarket group wants to keep it that way — and it is looking increasingly lonely. Wm Morrison is resisting the stampede among stores to open on Boxing Day, leaving only it and the John Lewis partnership in the traditionalists’ corner.
SOHO HOUSE TO BRANCH OUT
It was founded 16 years ago as a haven from the hubbub of Soho. Now, plans to turn Soho House into a global chain look set to receive a boost from a wealthy overseas investor. The Times understands that Richard Caring and Nick Jones, the owners of the group, are in talks over the sale of a “significant minority stake” to an outside investor that would value the company at between £250m and £300m.
The Daily Telegraph
OFGEM FLAGS MAJOR FRAUD THREAT
The head of the UK’s energy regulator told MPs that his “biggest concern” is that a newspaper front page will one day read: “Ofgem in fraud”. Describing the watchdog as a multi-billion pound “clearing house” for money funding various energy schemes, Alistair Buchanan, its chief executive, said fraud was a “huge issue”.
YELL BONDS BOUGHT BY BOB WIGLEY
Yell chairman Bob Wigley has taken the unusual step of buying the bonds of the indebted directories company as it attempts to convince lenders to accept changes to its debt’s terms. Wigley bought Yell senior debt yesterday with a face value of $1m (£625,260) for about £200,000, as well as increasing his stake in the struggling company with the purchase of shares worth over £100,000.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
SERVICE FEE HITS MF CUSTOMERS
Customers with funds trapped by the collapse of MF Global could be hit with additional costs as the trustee overseeing the broker-dealer’s liquidation outlined potential costs for returning wire transfers. Trustee James Giddens sought to apply a “service fee” of up to $5,000 for returning “misdirected” wire transfers sent to MF Global’s brokerage unit, according to documents filed with the bankruptcy court.
WORRIES OVER HUNGARY GROW
Hungary’s central bank sounded the alarm yesterday as international investors continued to dump Hungarian assets amid concerns over the country's economic management and over the impact of the euro crisis on its banks and sovereign rating. The National Bank warned the drop in its currency escalates the risk of inflation.