The Sunday Telegraph
WIGLEY TO ADVISE ADVENT
The former chairman of Merrill Lynch’s European operations and a respected City figure, is joining the private equity firm Advent International to identify investment opportunities across the financial services industry. Wigley will become a part-time operating partner at Advent, which is sitting on a large cash-pile after raising a €6.6bn (£5.7bn) fund last year.
TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES OWNER BLOOR BREACHES COVENANTS
The owner of Triumph Motorcycles breached banking covenants last year and was forced to renegotiate loans as the economic downturn gripped the group, accounts filed at Companies House show. Bloor Holdings, owned by millionaire John Bloor, saw debts more than double in the year.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
VICTORIA HOPE FOR GO-AHEAD
One of London’s largest commuter railways will get a new operator this week when the Department for Transport names the winner of a keenly contested battle between four big transport groups. The successful bidder will run the South Central franchise, which includes almost all trains from Victoria, including the Gatwick Express. The franchise carries 140m passengers a year.
ASHLEY DRAWS UP BONUS PLAN FOR 2,000 SPORTS DIRECT STAFF
Mike Ashley is drawing up plans for a controversial £50m bonus scheme that could see more than 2,000 staff at his Sports Direct retail chain bag one-year’s salary in free shares. The bonus plan would hand employees a share windfall worth an average of £25,000 if the company meets profit targets over the next two years.
DOUBTS MOUNT OVER US TOXIC ASSET PLAN
The controversial US toxic asset clean-up plan, aimed at clearing bad loans from US banks’ books to enable them to raise capital and lend freely, has fallen behind schedule, and may never be fully implemented. The plan has fallen prey to concerns from potential investors and regulators and waning interest from the banks.
ARCANDOR IN RACE TO HEAD OFF INSOLVENCY
Arcandor could file for insolvency today if German politicians do not agree a rescue loan, the retail group admitted as it agreed to pursue negotiations over a deal to merge stores with a rival. Arcandor and Metro said talks had “agreed constructive contributions” to the formation of a separate company to combine the chains.
The Daily Telegraph
APPLE’S NEW IPHONE SET TO HEAT UP PHONE WAR
The battle for dominance of the lucrative “smartphone” market will step up a gear today as Apple is widely expected to launch a new version of the iPhone. The new iPhone is so important to Apple that Steve Jobs, the chief executive, is expected to return from sick leave to attend the launch at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
UK MUST EXPORT ITS WAY OUT OF RECESSION SAYS LORD DAVIES
Lord Davies, Minister for Trade and Investment, has combined forces with the British Chambers of Commerce to urge British businesses to start exporting their goods as part of the battle against recession. Timed to coincide with the World Trade Week, they called on companies to “rediscover their mercantile spirit”.
PRIVATE EQUITY BUYOUTS SLOW TO A CRAWL IN LONDON
Private equity buyouts of British companies have virtually ground to a halt since early April, with only five deals announced this quarter, barely a tenth of those in the same period of last year. The number of UK deals this quarter compares with 47 last year and marks a significant further decline on the weak activity levels reported for the first quarter, according to new data from Dealogic.
CITY INVESTMENT BANKS SEND TREASURY £9M BILL
Four City investment banks have charged the Treasury at least £9m in fees for advising the Government on how to stop the financial system from imploding. In addition, UK Financial Investments spent £1.2m of taxpayers’ money in the first five months of operation.