Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Other News

Virgin Media, the cable, telephone, mobile & internet company where Sir Richard Branson is the majority shareholder, has called off its £5 billion-plus sale to private equity for now because of the crisis in the debt market. Virgin said “potential strategic and financial counterparties have continued to confirm a strong ongoing interest” (source: The Lite)

Royal Bank of Scotland’s Consortium bidding to buy ABN Amro was boosted yesterday when Belgian-Dutch bank Fortis secured shareholder backing for an £8.8 billion to help finance the deal. The news makes the consortium more likely than rival Barclays to clinch ABN Amro. Mauric Lippens, Fortis chairman said today “EGMs mark a key milestone in the success of the bid. We thank our shareholders for their trust in our growth strategy and for their vote in favour of this bid. This bid leaves Barclay’s CEO John Varley under pressure to improve his £42.3 billion offer, largely made up of Barclay’s shares. (source: City AM)

Facebook is to lose more advertising from its site after a government clampdown on where its campaigns appear. Vodafone also withdrew from Facebook because their advertising had appeared on a profile page for the British National Party. The COI (Central Office of Information) said yesterday it was suspending advertising on all sites where its campaigns could end up on user-generated pages. The list includes Facebook. Facebook’s terms dictate that users cannot post material it deems to be harmful, threatening, unlawful, inflammatory, obscene or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable. (Source The Guardian)

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is currently fighting it out with two rivals in a bidding war for Southampton Football Club. Mr Allen is expected to sell as many as 12 million shares in DreamWorks Animation SKG, the maker of the Shrek films, for $548 million (£269 million). The shares represent half or Allen’s holding (source: The Lite)

Easyjet, the no-frills airline could grow its profits by up to 50% in the year to September, it said today. This is despite carrying fewer passengers per plane and continually falling fares in a cut-throat market. Easyjet carried 9.9 million passengers during April, May and June, 13% more than the same period last year. (Source: The Lite)

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