Company News Reporter, London
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Aug 7, 2014

Qataris move to snap up IHG’s Paris flagship hotel Le Grand

LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – InterContinental Hotels Group
is set to sell its flagship Le Grand hotel in Paris to
Qatari-backed investor Constellation Hotels for 330 million
euros ($440 million), it said on Thursday, raising the prospect
of more cash returns for investors.

The world’s largest hotelier said it had received a binding
offer for the historic InterContinental Paris, where notable
visitors of the past included Russia’s last Tsar Nicholas II and
British king Edward VII, in a deal that will see IHG manage the
hotel for up to 60 years.

Aug 5, 2014

IHG upbeat as economic revival lifts demand in United States

LONDON (Reuters) – InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG.L: Quote, Profile, Research), under pressure from an activist investor to consider merging with a rival, said strong trade in its key U.S. market left it upbeat on its prospects despite problems in countries like Russia, Thailand and Israel.

IHG, the world’s biggest hotelier with around 4,700 hotels under brands such as Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn as well as its eponymous label, makes almost two-thirds of its operating profit in the United States, where business is being buoyed by increasing levels of business and leisure travel.

Aug 4, 2014

Activist investor Marcato steps up push for change at IHG

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Activist investor Marcato Capital
Management has hired an investment bank to advise it on strategy
at InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG), three months
after reports the firm had rebuffed a 6 billion pounds ($10
billion) takeover bid.

Marcato, which said it owns a stake of around 4 percent in
IHG, said it had hired Houlihan Lokey to help review various
alternatives, including improving the hotels group’s capital
structure and/or capital allocation and strategic transactions.

Aug 1, 2014

New boss aims to steer Mothercare to recovery

LONDON, August 1 (Reuters) – From transforming businesses to
sailing the Atlantic, Mark Newton-Jones is a man up for a
challenge. Now, the new chief of baby products retailer
Mothercare aims to succeed where many have failed and
fix one of Britain’s best known retailers.

Officially installed in July after an interim spell since
March, he will need to draw on all of his 30 years experience in
retail to arrest a sales slide in a UK business which generates
64 percent of revenue but has lost Mothercare 68 million pounds
($115 million) in three years.

Jul 31, 2014

Merlin lines up Legoland deals as profits rise

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – Britain’s Merlin Entertainments
said it was in advanced talks to open more Legoland
Parks overseas after a sales surge at its U.S. sites on the back
of “The Lego Movie” helped boost first-half profits.

Merlin, the world’s No.2 operator of visitor attractions
behind Walt Disney, currently makes over 60 percent of
sales in Britain and continental Europe but is aiming to
generate a third from Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific with
a raft of new attractions opening.

Jul 22, 2014

Royal Mail parcel revenues hit as competition bites

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Britain’s Royal Mail
said growing competition had cut its revenue expectations from
parcel deliveries, leaving it reliant on tight cost control and
its traditional letters business to hit full-year profit

Shares in the group, sold off to much controversy last
October in Britain’s biggest privatisation in decades, fell as
much as 4.5 percent in early Tuesday trading.

Jul 22, 2014

Royal Mail warns on lower parcel revenue as competition bites

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Royal Mail Group said it would have to rely on cost control measures and letters sales to meet full-year expectations after rising competition meant parcels revenue would be lower than anticipated.

The postal firm, sold off to much controversy last October in Britain’s biggest privatisation in decades, said on Tuesday group revenue for the three months to June 29 had risen 2 percent, led by a better-than expected performance in its letters arm.

Jul 17, 2014

Sports Direct makes up with Adidas after spat

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest sporting goods
retailer Sports Direct posted a 20 percent rise in
full-year profit and said it had made up with key supplier
Adidas AG after a recent row with the German
sportswear firm.

Sports Direct had criticised Adidas for its decision not to
supply the firm with replica shirts for the teams it sponsored
at the World Cup, due to it being unhappy with the presentation
of the retailer’s stores.

Jul 16, 2014

Sports Direct’s Ashley quits new bonus scheme after two weeks

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) – Sports Direct’s founder
Mike Ashley has quit the sportswear retailer’s controversial new
200 million pounds ($343 million) bonus share scheme just two
weeks after it unexpectedly drew the backing of independent

The British company said on Wednesday that after talks with
the board’s remuneration committee, executive deputy chairman
Ashley had informed the board he did not wish to be awarded any
shares under the 2015 scheme.

Jul 16, 2014

Royal Mail given notice of French competition investigation

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) – Britain’s Royal Mail has
received notice from French competition authorities over a
possible breach of antitrust law by one of its subsidiaries,
which could result in a fine for the recently privatised group.

Royal Mail said on Wednesday that it had received a notice
regarding an issue with the French arm of its GLS business, one
of Europe’s largest ground-based parcel delivery services.

    • About Neil

      "I'm a company news reporter covering the retail and leisure sectors. Based in London I write on everything from the big retailers to fashion chains, hotels, drinks firms, pubs and coffee shops. I've previously covered the outsourcing sector and before that worked on Reuters sport for three years. You can follow me on Twitter @ReutersMaidment"
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