TNK-BP WARNED ON LEGAL ACTION
Two of the independent directors in TNK-BP, the Russian joint venture of BP, warned the board that legal action by the company against either set of shareholders could destabilise the group, according to a letter seen by the Financial Times. In the letter addressed to Mikhail Fridman, TNK-BP’s chairman, and copied to the board, Gerhard Schröder and Jim Leng warned that asking the board to consider taking legal action “could seriously disrupt and destabilise TNK-BP and its executives”.
BUY-OUT CASH STUCK IN ZOMBIE FUNDS
About half of all institutional private equity investors have a stake in a “zombie fund” where unsuccessful managers with no hope of getting a bonus are holding on to the investments as long as possible to live off the management fee, a global survey shows.
GSK OUTLINES DRIVES TO BOOST EARNINGS
GlaxoSmithKline is launching aggressive fresh steps to boost earnings by cutting inventories, centralising back office functions and lowering global tax payments, under plans drawn up by the new finance director. Simon Dingemans, the former Goldman Sachs investment banker who took over as CFO at the UK pharmaceutical group in April, is refining detailed long-term measures to enhance cash flow return on investment, traditionally a low priority for an industry that generates large amounts of cash.
BRITISH GROUPS VIE FOR QATAR DEALS IN RUN-UP TO WORLD CUP
British construction companies are scrambling to win lucrative contracts in Qatar as the gulf state gears up for the 2022 Fifa World Cup with an estimated $275bn of spending.
VIRGIN GOES IN FAST AND LOW IN DOGFIGHT OVER BMI
The battle for control of bmi British Midland has intensified with Virgin Atlantic starting due diligence to buy the ailing airline. The Times understands that Virgin has made an indicative offer and signed a “terms of agreement” contract with Lufthansa, bmi’s owner, so that it can analyse the airline’s books. International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, said last month that it had reached an agreement in principle to buy loss-making bmi from Lufthansa but Virgin has been determined to gatecrash that deal.
HP SEEKS ALLY IN GOOGLE FOR FIGHTBACK IN TABLET WARS
Hewlett-Packard has held talks with Google about using its software for mobile devices, as the world’s largest PC maker plots a tablet comeback.
The Daily Telegraph
WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIMS WAIVED GOLDMAN TAX BILL WAS HIGHER
The Goldman Sachs tax bill controversially waived by HMRC chief Dave Hartnett was twice as big as he has claimed, a whistleblower has revealed. Mr Hartnett had said the bill was “smaller than £10m”. However, Osita Mba has claimed it was “£20m in rough figures” in fresh evidence deposited on a Parliamentary committee website on Friday.
PEARSON LOOKS AT ACQUIRING COLLEGE OF LAW
Pearson, owner of the Financial Times newspaper, has been examining an acquisition of legal training company, The College of Law has appointed Collins Stewart Hawkpoint to carry out a strategic review. Sources said the company may change hands for between £100m and £200m.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PROBE OF GM'S VOLT FIRES MAY BE LENGTHY
General Motors could be in for a lengthy investigation over why the batteries on several Chevrolet Volt cars caught fire, potentially hurting sales of the plug-in vehicle. GM repeatedly has said a coolant leak is behind the problem. GM has said the battery is safe and that the company likely can fix the problem without a major redesign. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration isn’t sure that explanation is correct.
HUAWEI TO SCALE BACK BUSINESS IN IRAN
Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies said it will scale back its business in Iran, following reports Iranian police were using mobile-network technology to track and arrest dissidents.