APAX PLANS €11BN FUND
Apax Partners aims to cement its position as Europe’s biggest private equity group next year by raising a new €11bn-plus ($14.5bn) fund – the biggest buy-out fundraising since the start of the credit crisis. Led by Martin Halusa, who replaced Sir Ronald Cohen as head of Apax six years ago, the London-based firm will approach investors earlier than expected if it completes a potential $8.5bn takeover of Denmark-based cleaning group ISS.
ALROSA SHAPING UP FOR FLOTATION
Alrosa, De Beers’ Russian rival, is considering a stock market flotation in 2012 in a move that would open the traditionally closed diamond industry to outside investors. Alrosa, controlled by Russia’s federal and regional governments, has long been the second-largest producer of diamonds behind De Beers. In 2009 the two companies mined half of the world’s diamonds, measured by carat volume. Both are private, limiting opportunities for investors in a commodity that is expected to face a supply crunch in coming years.
ARCHITECT OF SINGLE CURRENCY DIES
Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, who has died in Rome aged 70, was a former Italian finance minister and founding member of the executive board of the European Central Bank who was regarded by many as a central architect of the euro. A passionate advocate of European integration, he was highly intelligent, well-versed in economics, and a first-rate financial technician. A central banker by training, he was witty, charming, deeply cultured and steeped in European history. He was also a tireless worker on issues of international monetary and financial reform and unpaid adviser on the current crisis to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.
RIO KEEPS POWDER DRY AHEAD OF TALC SALE
Rio Tinto is in advanced talks to sell its talc business to the French mineral conglomerate Imerys for up to €500m (£420m). A planned sale of Luzenac, which meets about a fifth of the world’s demand for talc, was first announced last year as part of a massive asset disposal programme introduced to pay down the giant London-listed miner’s debt.
HUHNE’S LOW-CARBON VISION HITS SHARES IN DRAX
The future of Britain’s largest power station has been plunged into uncertainty after energy secretary Chris Huhne announced a shake-up of electricity markets. Shares in Drax, which operates a coal-burning facility, slid five per cent last week after Huhne unveiled plans for £110bn of investment in low carbon energy plants.
The Daily Telegraph
GOOGLE INVESTIGATION WIDENS AS COMPLAINTS MOUNT UP
The European Commission has widened its investigation into Google’s domination of the internet search market. The commission has extended the remit of its antitrust probe to include complaints from the powerful German publishers’ associations BDZV and VDZ, as well as Euro-Cities, the online mapping company. Last month the commission launched an investigation into allegations that Google deliberately demoted rival websites in its search rankings.
SAVERS SEE £5BN WIPED OFF THEIR INVESTMENTS
Savers have seen more than £5 billion – the equivalent of £131 each – wiped off the value of their investments this year due to the rising cost of living. Savers were already suffering shrinking rates of return.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
POLAND REJECTS RUSSIAN FINDINGS IN AIR CRASH
Poland’s prime minister rejected the findings of Russian investigators looking into the April plane crash that killed the Polish president and dozens of other dignitaries, saying their draft report was “indisputably unacceptable”—a development that threatens to set back warming ties between the two countries.
TOTAL AND SUNCOR SIGN OIL SANDS ALLIANCE
French oil major Total has said its Canadian subsidiary Total E&P Canada will pay Canada’s Suncor Energy C$1.75bn (£1.11bn) to form a strategic alliance that will pool their interests in several oil sands projects in western Canada. Total will acquire 19.2 per cent of Suncor’s interest in the Fort Hills project in Alberta, bringing its interest to 39.2 per cent.