Commerzbank eyes £5bn UK sale
Private equity groups are lining up bids for Commerzbank’s UK property business in a potential £5bn deal that would mark a significant disposal from the German government-backed lender. US real estate investment firms, including Blackstone, Lone Star and Starwood Capital, have expressed interest in buying all or part of Eurohypo in the UK, according to several people familiar with the process.
Funding for Lending to be extended
The Funding for Lending Scheme is expected to be extended and “put on steroids”, in an admission from the coalition that its flagship credit creation programme is failing small businesses.
George Osborne and senior Liberal Democrats want to see the scheme, unveiled by the Treasury and the Bank of England last summer, extended beyond 2013 and skewed towards business lending rather than mortgages. Nick Clegg wants the scheme put “on steroids”.
JCB digs for victory on road to Rio
A sure-fire bet on the Brazilian economy has come in again for JCB, with another big order for 1,000 of its backhoe loaders, the definitive digging machine of the British heavy industrial champion. In the run-up to the football World Cup and Olympic Games that Brazil will host over the next three years, JCB has been handed a £40m order for diggers to help ensure food reaches metropolitan areas.
The Daily Telegraph
Blackstone eyes McCarthy & Stone
Blackstone, the US private equity firm, is running the slide rule over a potential £500m bid for McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s largest retirement homes builder. The housebuilder, which is owned by funds including Goldman Sachs and private equity firm TPG, is midway through a strategic review that has triggered interest from potential buyers including Blackstone’s buy-out rival CVC.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
VeriFone CEO to step down
VeriFone Systems chief executive Douglas Bergeron is stepping down after a dozen years at the helm of the card-payment systems maker, and will be succeeded on an interim basis by Chairman Richard McGinn. The departure comes just weeks after the company slashed its profit outlook which prompted several analysts to question the firm’s management. Shares rose after the announcement.