Utilities & Clean technology Correspondent, London
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Jun 19, 2012

Brookfield splashes $812 million on London offices

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. group Brookfield Office Properties (BPO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has spent 518 million pounds ($812 million) buying London office assets from Hammerson (HMSO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), in a deal that will see the British developer meet its aim of focusing on retail property.

Brookfield, which owns 78 million square feet of offices in North America and Australia, said on Tuesday the six sites it was buying included skyscraper 99 Bishopsgate and a development plot, Principal Place, in the City of London financial district.

Jun 19, 2012

Hammerson sells London offices portfolio for $812 mln

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) – Anglo-French property developer
Hammerson is selling the bulk of its London office
portfolio to Brookfield Office Properties for 518 million pounds
($812 million), it said on Tuesday, in line with its strategy of
becoming a specialist retail property company.

The company, which announced plans to sell its London
offices earlier this year, said its remaining portfolio would be
97 percent retail following the deal.

Jun 15, 2012

Aggreko shares hit as second quarter growth slows

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) – Britain’s Aggreko, the
world’s biggest temporary power provider, said it expects
first-half sales to grow 15 percent, signalling growth slowed in
the second quarter, news that disappointed investors and sent
its shares down 3 percent.

The company’s first-half sales forecast indicates growth of
about 9 percent in the latest second quarter, down from a much
higher rate of 21 percent in the first quarter.

Jun 14, 2012

Shell puts in more time on Cove Energy offer

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has given itself more time to decide the next move in its battle to buy Cove Energy (COVE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), extending the acceptance deadline on its $1.8 billion bid as it vies with Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production PTTE.BK for an entry into East Africa’s big new offshore gas play.

Shell said on Thursday it was extending the deadline for Cove shareholders to accept its 220 pence per share cash offer by another two weeks until June 27 after receiving valid acceptances for just 4.8 percent of the shares by the time of the last offer period closing at 0800 EDT on Wednesday.

May 31, 2012

Rain dampens Halfords sales after profit slide

LONDON (Reuters) – British bicycles to car parts retailer Halfords (HFD.L: Quote, Profile, Research) blamed the wettest April on record and a soggy start to May for dampening sales in its new financial year, after it reported a 27 percent drop in profit for the year ended March.

Poor weather has hit sales across Britain’s retail industry in recent weeks, exacerbating an already tough situation as shoppers struggle with rising prices, muted wages growth and government austerity measures.

May 17, 2012

Cookson flags breakup as activist fund joins board

By Brenton Cordeiro and Adveith Nair

(Reuters) – Cookson Group Plc (CKSN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) may break up into its two major divisions in an effort to improve shareholder returns and is to admit a partner from activist shareholder Cevian to its board, the British industrial materials supplier said.

The plan confirms break-up talk that has circulated for months since Cevian began building its stake, and pressure on the board built further on Thursday as almost a third of shareholders rebelled against the company’s executive pay proposals for 2012.

May 10, 2012

Trinity Mirror’s shareholders revolt over pay

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) – Shareholders in Britain’s Trinity
Mirror, publisher of the Daily and Sunday Mirror and the
People, rebelled against executive pay awards with nearly half
voting against its plans.

The vote comes a week after the company said Sly Bailey was
to step down as chief executive, after shareholders took issue
with her large pay package in the midst of falling profits and

May 10, 2012

China’s YGM takes Aquascutum off the shelf

LONDON/HONG KONG, May 10 (Reuters) – YGM Trading Ltd
has agreed to buy Aquascutum, the failed luxury
clothes maker that has dressed royalty and politicians, for 15
million pounds ($24 million) in the second Chinese acquisition
of a venerable British brand this month.

Cash-rich Chinese investors are picking up European assets
as the region grapples with a sovereign debt crisis, slowing
economic growth, depressed stock market valuations and a dearth
of deal-making capacity among potential buyers closer to home.

Apr 24, 2012

Reed Elsevier reaffirms 2012 growth track

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) – Anglo-Dutch publishing and
events group Reed Elsevier said it was on
track for further profit growth this year thanks to demand in
the science and health sectors.

Reed, which publishes scientific, business and academic
information, said on Tuesday first-quarter growth rates were
consistent with 2011 trends, echoing comments it made in
February along with stronger 2011 results.

Apr 16, 2012

GDF Suez takes full control of International Power

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – French utility GDF Suez (GSZ.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) took full control of Britain’s International Power (IPR.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday through a sweetened offer of 6.4 billion pounds ($10.2 billion), leaving the world’s biggest independent power producer better placed to win contracts in fast-growing emerging markets.

The deal comes a few weeks after IPR turned down an earlier offer GDF Suez had made to buy out the remaining 30 percent of the company it did not already own, saying it was too low.

    • About Adveith

      "I moved to Reuters' London bureau in February to cover green technology and UK utilities after a stint in Bangalore. In four years with Reuters, I have covered some of the biggest utilities and clean technology companies in the United States and Britain, from bureaus in London, Bangalore and, briefly, New York. I have also been a key part of two of the company’s biggest headline news operations – in Bangalore and London - since 2008, sending fast news alerts on the biggest companies on both sides of the Atlantic. I enjoy writing about sports, and occasionally contribute to Reuters' sports blog, ..."
      Joined Reuters:
      May 2008
      English, Hindi, Malayalam
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