Business diary

Lok’NStore takeover bid

By Candice Krieger, April 23, 2009

Lok’NStore, the self-storage company run by Andrew Jacobs, has reportedly received a takeover approach. The AIM-listed company has a market value of around £18 million.

Mr Jacobs, the biggest shareholder, would have to agree to the offer for any takeover to go ahead.

More..

Leviev firm enjoys share surge

By Candice Krieger, April 23, 2009

What is the story with the firm Africa-Israel? Despite grim financial reports pointing to huge losses of $1.2 billion, the company — controlled by billionaire Lev Leviev — has witnessed a sharp rise in its share price. The share has reportedly risen over 140 per cent since the beginning of 2009, and the company’s market cap has broken through the NIS 4 billion threshold. The trading volume in Africa-Israel’s share has also been high lately.

More..

US banks may open in Iran

By Candice Krieger, April 23, 2009

Four American banks, including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, are said to have filed requests to open branches in Iran. According to reports, official requests have been submitted to the Central Bank of Iran. If approved, the banks will be able to send delegations to Iran’s free trade zone.

More..

GLG chief on $1 salary

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

Sir Fred Goodwin take note. According to reports, hedge-fund manager Noam Gottesman and two other top executives at GLG Partners, one of Europe’s biggest hedge funds, have cut their salaries to $1 (71p) as the global financial turmoil puts pressure on senior managers to waive their pay.

More..

Hapoalim resignation

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

Bank Hapoalim’s chief executive, Zvi Ziv, will step down towards the end of 2009. His decision is said to be partly based on a disagreement with the board over the bank’s future.

More..

Robert Peston is the showbusiness

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

BBC business editor Robert Peston has been named as ‘non-acting television performer of the year’ at this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild awards. The honour was no doubt bestowed on Mr Peston in recognition of his scoop on the Northern Rock crisis, in addition to other breaking business stories. Here at JC Business, however, we doubt it is due to his unique ability to emphasise certain words and syllables for no apparent reason. The category’s other nominees were Cheryl Cole, Stephen Fry, Bruce Forsyth and John Sergeant. Tough competition.

More..

Top hedge boss buys into Sotheby’s

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

Steve Cohen, the hedge-fund billionaire and owner of one of the most expensive art portfolios in the world, has reportedly built a six per cent stake in auction house Sotheby’s for his company SAC Capital. This makes him Sotheby’s third-largest shareholder. The son of a garment executive, Cohen began his career at Gruntal & Co in 1978, and established himself as a star trader on Wall Street.

More..

Playtech profits up

By Candice Krieger, April 2, 2009

Betting can pay off, it seems. Online gaming company and software group Playtech has made an encouraging start to the year. The firm says it has not been affected by the macroeconomic downturn, reporting total revenues in 2008 of €111.45m, rising from €65.67m in 2007, while pre-tax profit climbed to €41.45m from €26.84m. Last year, Playtech, majority owned by Israeli Teddy Sagi, teamed up with William Hill in a joint venture in which it has a 29 per cent stake. It has added sports betting to its list of services after buying sports betting software provider Player2Players.

More..

Tucker calls time on Pru

By Candice Krieger, March 26, 2009

The man from the Pru, who has spent close to 25 years with the insurer, is moving on.

Mark Tucker will step down in October after four years at the helm. He has denied suggestions that he has been the victim of a boardroom rift with his successor Tidjane Thiam. He said: “This was an entirely personal decision taken by me. I have achieved what I set out to do and, having done that, I can’t think of a better time to move on.”

What next? “I think there’s at least one more big job in me.” The Treasury could soon be looking for a minister...

More..

And the best firm to work for is...

By Candice Krieger, March 26, 2009

High street jeweller Beaverbrooks has been named the UK’s top company to work for in the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For list. The family-owned firm, of which Mark Adlestone is the MD, donates 20 per cent of its post-tax profits to charity each year. Adlestone said: “Our work ethic is as important to us as ever and we pride ourselves on making our working environment open, positive and motivated.”

More..