DUBLIN IS URGED TO SELL NAMA AS A SINGLE ENTITY
A secret report into the operations of Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency, the state agency set up to purge Irish banks of their toxic property loans, has recommended that the government should consider selling it off as a single entity.
FINANCING PROBLEMS WEIGH ON EUROPEAN PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
The volume of European private equity deals has dropped to its lowest level since the height of the financial crisis two years ago as buy-out groups struggle to finance deals amid the eurozone debt crisis. Europe’s buy-out market has shrunk to $11.5bn in the current quarter to date, a mere fifth of the transaction volume seen in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the lowest level since the second quarter of 2009, according to data from Dealogic.
CARGILL REPLACES HEAD OF SUGAR UNIT
Cargill has replaced the head of its sugar business, the most senior departure yet in the wake of the announcement 2,000 people will leave the group due to the “continued weak global economy”. Jonathan Drake, who joined Cargill as a graduate trainee in London in 1985, left the US agribusiness group on Monday. “We can confirm that Jonathan Drake is no longer with Cargill,” it said.
NOKIA MAKES VERTU OF NECESSITY AND PREPARES LUXURY UNIT FOR SALE
Nokia is to sell its luxury subsidiary – maker of the world’s most expensive mobile phones – as the once dominant Finnish handset manufacturer overhauls its business in an effort to compete with Apple and other smartphone makers. Vertu was created by Nokia in 1998 to tap into a niche market for mobile devices with price tags that rival luxury watches.
VIRGIN LAUNCHES RAILWAY BID WITH ATTACK ON FOREIGN RIVALS
The railway knights Richard Branson and Brian Souter have fired the opening salvo in the biggest shake-up of the railways since privatisation by claiming that overseas state-backed train companies offer substandard services. With seven rail franchises due to be re-tendered over the next two years, the bosses behind Virgin Trains also called on the Department for Transport not to repeat mistakes by handing contracts simply to the highest bidder.
ASTRAZENECA CUTS 1,150 US JOBS AS PATENTS TEETER ON A CLIFF
AstraZeneca is cutting 1,150 jobs in the United States as its ageing portfolio of drugs leaves its sales force with fewer medicines to sell to doctors. The job losses are for a quarter of AstraZeneca’s US sales team.
The Daily Telegraph
LAKESIDE PLANS TO BECOME UK’S THIRD-LARGEST SHOPPING CENTRE
The Essex shopping centre Lakeside is to become the third-biggest retail destination in Britain under plans by its owner for a £180m extension. Capital Shopping Centres submitted a planning application yesterday for 325,000 sq ft of new retail space at the northern end of the centre which will create 40 new stores.
UNILEVER WORKERS TO STRIKE OVER PENSIONS
Thousands of workers at PG Tips and Marmite manufacturer Unilever are preparing to strike for the first time in the company’s 80-year history tomorrow in a row over pensions. Unions said more than 2,500 staff would join picket lines across the country on Friday to fight an “unjustified attack” on their workplace pension scheme.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
RIM DROPS BBX PHONE NAME
A federal judge in New Mexico barred BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd. from using the name “BBX” for its new operating system, forcing RIM to rename it – at least temporarily – and deepening uncertainty around the planned launch sometime next year of RIM’s next-generation smart phone. The temporary restraining order applies only to a three-day technology conference taking place in Singapore this week.
CHINA OPENS WIDER TO TAKEOVERS
China’s antitrust regulators approved Nestlé SA’s $1.7bn offer for candy maker Hsu Fu Chi International, in one of the largest foreign takeovers of a Chinese company. It is another sign that China is open to foreign acquisitions. The Swiss food and beverage maker in July announced plans to buy 60 per cent of Hsu Fu Chi.