Mergers & Acquisitions
Does Unilever have a Facebook feed? Does the consumer goods group upload images to Apple Photos? If so, Paul Polman, chief executive of the Anglo-Dutch giant, is probably not finding the “Memories From One Year Ago” function terribly enjoyable, writes Matthew Vincent. It can only be showing him selfies of Kraft Heinz and Warren Buffett – and reminding him that we’re just a year on from their aggressive £115bn bid for the entire Unilever business.
If Carillion’s former directors, pension trustees, auditors or even pension regulators were hoping the news agenda might have moved on by now, Opening Quote has news for them. And it’s not good news, writes Matthew Vincent. This week, the Work and Pensions Select Committee is turning its attention to the collapsed construction group’s pension scheme funding – and the committee chairman has already accused the management of spending ten years trying to “wriggle out” of its pension obligations.
Good morning. Here is the news. Which could very likely soon not be news. But there is a chance that it might not be non-news. So, for now, it is very big news, writes Matthew Vincent. This morning the Competition and Markets Authority has sensationally ruled that the takeover of Sky by the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox is not in the public interest because of its likely effect on media plurality in the UK.
How was your Sunday? Church in the morning… roast lunch… walk to the pub… sudden desire to recalculate the value of your order book, phone your PRs and have them issue a press release…? No? That last activity was probably not top of the list for many of you, writes Matthew Vincent. But you’re not all head of GKN’s automotive division and facing a hostile takeover bid from Melrose, are you? Spare a thought, then for Phil Swash, who seems to have foregone the sermonising, the horseradish and a few swift halves in favour of a spreadsheet.
Compass Group will not be the only company to feel the loss of Richard Cousins, its chief executive who died on Sunday, writes Matthew Vincent. When, last September, Cousins announced his intention to step down as chief executive of the FTSE 100 caterer after 11 years, the FT Lombard column was not alone in suggesting others could have benefited from his food for thought. Not least Tesco, from which he had earlier resigned over an objection to its proposed Booker acquisition.