AUCTION OF ICELAND FOODS BESET BY DELAYS
The auction of Iceland Foods, the frozen food retailer, is facing unexpected delays, with second-round bids now not expected to be lodged until the new year. Work on second-round bids for Iceland Foods – put on the block in May by its majority Icelandic owners with a price tag of about £1.5bn with a sale anticipated before Christmas – is expected to begin shortly.
SFO EYES PROBE INTO F1 BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office is examining whether to conduct its own investigation into the bribery allegations surrounding Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, who has admitted paying almost $23m (£14.6m) to a German banker standing trial in Munich on corruption charges.
CRUDE SWITCH TRIGGERS US OIL RECOVERY
It was one of the wildest rides in commodity markets. After years of trading within a few dollars of one another, the world’s two most important oil contracts parted company this year. The “spread” between the two rapidly became one of the most popular trades for hedge funds, who made and lost millions as a barrel of North Sea Brent crude rose to as much as $28 a barrel more than the price of West Texas Intermediate, its US counterpart.
GENERAL MARITIME FILES FOR CHAPTER 11
The crisis in world tanker shipping markets claimed its highest-profile victim on Thursday when General Maritime Corporation, which once had a $5.3bn (£3.4bn) market capitalisation, was forced to seek bankruptcy protection.
YOU’RE GETTING IT ALL WRONG ON AIRPORTS, CBI TELLS CAMERON
The CBI is setting itself on a collision course with the Government over what it regards as the coalition’s failure to face up to the need for new runways in the South East. John Cridland, the Director-General, has identified airport expansion as one of the big policy battlegrounds of 2012. Britain will be left behind the “premier league of nations” if it is not addressed, he warned.
OLD BOSS TAKES THE REINS AT LAURA ASHLEY
Laura Ashley has called in a former chief executive to run the business from the new year, after its current leader announced her retirement. Ng Kwan Cheong will return to the post he held between 1999 and 2003 when Lillian Tan leaves in January to “pursue other interests”.
The Daily Telegraph
TONY HAYWARD MOVES INTO KURDISTAN WITH GENEL ENERGY
Vallares, Tony Hayward and Nathaniel Rothschild's oil investment vehicle, will issue its Genel prospectus at lunchtime on Friday – three days sooner than expected. The move means the shares can start trading in London on Monday morning, completing the reversal of private Turkish group Genel Enerji into the cash shell. Vallares will then be renamed Genel Energy.
8,000 APPLY FOR 1,000 JAGUAR LAND ROVER JOBS WITHIN SEVEN DAYS
Luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover has received more than 8,000 applications for 1,000 jobs just a week after launching a recruitment campaign, it was revealed today. Des Thurlby, human resources (HR) chief at JLR, said the firm is hiring in extra HR people just to handle the surge in applications.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
ALCATEL SHAREHOLDERS LOSING PATIENCE WITH CEO
Investors are losing patience with Alcatel-Lucent chief executive Ben Verwaayen’s efforts to turn around the struggling telecommunications-equipment maker. Shareholder pressure on the Franco-American company’s board to replace Verwaayen is running high, according to people familiar with the situation. The company surprised investors earlier this month by lowering its 2011 profit forecast when it reported third-quarter results.
RIO TINTO RAISES BID FOR HATHOR
The fight for Vancouver’s Hathor Exploration continued yesterday, with London mining giant Rio Tinto boosting its offer for the uranium company to 4.70 Canadian dollars a share, topping a recently sweetened rival bid from Cameco Corp.
Rio Tinto values its increased offer for Hathor at about C$654million (US$639 million). Hathor's board recommended its shareholders accept the new Rio Tinto bid.