LONDON, April 1 British newspapers reported the
following business stories on Sunday:
COOKSON PLANS ELECTRONICS SPIN OFF
Cookson is working on a plan to spin off its
electronics business, which accounts for about a third of its
2.8 billion pounds ($4.5 billion)of annual sales, and list it as
a standalone company. It has appointed Rothschild to work on the
GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND JP MORGAN VIE FOR EDINBURGH AIRPORT
London Gatwick airport owner Global Infrastructure Partners and
an international consortium led by JP Morgan are vying
to buy BAA's Edinburgh airport after buyout firms
Carlyle and 3i dropped out of the auction. Second round bids are
due in the middle of this month.
NBNK TO REJOIN LLOYDS RACE THIS WEEK-SOURCES
Former Northern Rock chief executive Gary Hoffman's buyout
vehicle NBNK Investment is planning to restart its campaign to
buy more than 600 branches from Lloyds Banking Group
this week, according to industry sources.
Lloyds had been in exclusive negotiations to sell the
branches to the Co-operative Group, but the mutually owned group
said on Thursday that regulatory and financial hurdles might
stop it completing the acquisition.
3i SHAREHOLDERS DEMAND STRATEGY SHIFT
Top shareholders at 3i want a radical new strategy at
the quoted private equity firm after the departure of chief
executive Michael Queen last week.
Investors have called for rapid sell offs and savage cost
cuts, and have even suggested the firm considers selling all of
its assets and closing down.
AQUASCUTUM PUT UP FOR SALE
British clothing maker and retailer Aquascutum has been put up
for sale by Harold Tillman, who also owns fashion brand Jaeger.
Suitors are understood to include Hong Kong-based YGM Trading,
and a number of private equity firms, including Carlyle's Asian
operations, are believed to have expressed interest.
PRIVATE EQUITY EXAMINES FOOD BRANDS TIE-UP
Two baskets of food brands, one from Premier Foods and
one from Leeds-based manufacturer Symington's, could be snapped
up by private equity and merged into one food company. Both
Permira and PAI Partners are considering a plan to merge the
brands up for sale by Premier, including Robertson's, Angel
Delight and Bird's, with Symington's Ragu, Aunt Bessie's and the
British and Irish rights to Campbell's soup.
CANADIAN PENSION FUND EYES GOALS SOCCER CENTERS
The private equity arm of Canada's Ontario Teachers' Pension
plan wants to buy five-a-side soccer operator Goals Soccer
Centers. Both parties declined to comment.
OPCAPITA TO RESCUE GAME GROUP'S BRITISH STORES
Investment firm OpCapita is set to buy the British stores of
video games retailer Game Group out of administration,
safeguarding the future of the bulk of its remaining 333 shops.
It is thought OpCapita, which owns electrical retailer
Comet, has agreed to buy Game's UK assets for a nominal amount,
believed to be 1 pound.
ARGENTINA THREATENS BRITISH AND U.S. BANKS OVER FALKLANDS' OIL
A group of British and American banks have been threatened with
legal action by the Argentine government for advising companies
involved in the Falkland Islands' 1.6 billion-pound oil
RBS CHIEF IN SHARE SALE TALKS
Royal Bank of Scotland's chief executive Stephen Hester
has held meetings with fund managers about making a major
investment in the bank priced at as low as 32 pence a share. The
talks come after it emerged the government had held early stage
discussions with Abu Dhabi wealth funds about investing in the
82-percent State-owned bank.
DIAGEO APPOINTS GOLDMAN FOR CUERVO BID
Drinks group Diageo has instructed Goldman Sachs
to finalise its talks on taking a stake in Jose Cuervo, valuing
the Mexican tequila brand in the region of $3 billion.
Independent on Sunday
BALFOUR BEATTY TO OFFLOAD HOSPITAL STAKE
Balfour Beatty is looking to sell its one-third stake
in London's University College Hospital. It hopes to fetch 60
million to 80 million pounds ($96-128 million) for the stake.
HELEN ALEXANDER LINED UP TO CHAIR UNITED BUSINESS MEDIA
Helen Alexander, a former CBI president and chairman of
privately owned publisher Incisive Media, is understood to have
been lined up to chair publishing and events business United
VODAFONE CONSIDERS ASKING UN TO ARBITRATE ON INDIA DISPUTE
Vodafone is ready to take the Indian government to the
United Nations over its demands for the telecoms company to hand
over more than $2 billion in back-dated tax.
The company is considering taking the Indian Government to
the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, where
the dispute could be settled through arbitration.
WEALTH FUNDS EYE RBS STAKE
Sovereign wealth funds Qatar Investment Authority, Singapore's
Temasek Holdings and the Government Pension Fund of Norway are
understood to be weighing up whether to bid for part of the UK
government's 82 percent stake in Royal Bank of Scotland.