BC PARTNERS WINS MORE TIME
Investors in BC Partners have granted the UK-based private equity group an extension to the investment period on its latest fund, in a sign that buy-out groups are winning more time to deploy their $500bn of unspent capital. The extension of BC Partners’s investment period from November until June 2011 eases the pressure on the group to do deals and gives it more time to raise its next fund, for which it has a €6bn (£5.1bn) target.
FINANCIAL CLIMATE CASTS CLOUD OVER BUY-OUT ACTIVITY
The decision by private equity groups Blackstone, TPG and THL to abandon their planned $15bn offer for Fidelity National Information Services comes at a time when the favourable financing conditions that have stirred buy-out activity in recent months may be coming to an end.
EMERGING MARKET DIETS BOOST CARGILL PROFITS
The appetite of emerging markets for processed food, meat and dairy products had confounded fears of a big drop in demand in the wake of the financial crisis, said Cargill, the big US agri-business. Gregory Page, chief executive, said diets in emerging markets, which over the past 10 years had become more similar to those of western countries, had proved “remarkably resilient”.
PEABODY’S BID FOR MACARTHUR COLLAPSES
Peabody Energy’s plan to acquire Macarthur Coal for A$3.8bn (£2.3bn) has collapsed after the Australian miner said it could not recommend a revised takeover offer that was unlikely to win support from its two largest shareholders. The US coal group last week cut its cash takeover offer for Macarthur, the world’s biggest supplier of pulverised coal, from A$4.1bn to A$3.8bn.
ROLLS CHIEF OFFLOADS SHARES TO BEAT CGT INCREASE
The chief executive of Rolls-Royce has raised £2.66m selling shares in the company, before a possible increase in capital gains tax. Sir John Rose has reduced his personal shareholding in Rolls by half, selling 400,000 shares at 597.38p yesterday. He sold a further 45,191 shares from a nominee account. A Rolls- Royce spokesman said the sale was Sir John’s first for several years and would allow him to diversify his portfolio.
PFIZER TO CUT 6,000 JOBS WORLDWIDE
Pfizer is to cut 6,000 jobs, including 800 in the Republic of Ireland and 90 at its medicine packaging plant in Havant, Hampshire. The Viagra manufacturer employs about 5,000 people in Ireland. It plans to close three of its five plants there.
The Daily Telegraph
PROFESSOR TELLS INVESTORS TO SELL SHARES AND BONDS
The New York University professor, Nassim Taleb, who made his name predicting the credit crunch, has told investors to dump equities and government bonds and buy “hard assets”.
He has poured scorn on the economic recovery, claiming that the global economy is in worse shape than it was during the subprime crisis and warns that the US could yet lurch into a Greek-style meltdown.
3I IN FOCUS AS FTSE 100 RISES 1PC
3i perked up as the blue-chip index closed in positive territory for the first time in three days. The private equity investor was in focus amid rumours it is on the verge of selling at least five of its portfolio companies in the next few weeks. According to sources, 3i is planning to break up testing group Inspicio.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
EUROZONE CONSUMER PRICES EDGE HIGHER
Consumer prices across the 16 countries that use the euro edged higher in April, as rising energy and transportation costs pushed the rate to its highest level since December 2008, data showed Tuesday. But a sharp fall in core inflation—which strips out the most volatile components—to a record low showed that inflation pressures were subdued. Also yesterday, the Eurozone posted a sharp increase in exports and imports, allowing it to post a trade surplus in March.
CHIP MAKERS TO SETTLE EU CARTEL CHARGES
The world’s largest memory-chip makers are expected to settle their cartel charges with the European Commission today, facing lower cartel fines as a result.