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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Dow tops 15,000 as world shares gain

Category : Business

The Dow Jones index closes above 15,000 for the first time as strong German factory data pushes US and European share markets higher.

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Transport stocks keep on truckin’

Category : Business, Stocks

Shares of two major trucking companies were on fire, sending the Dow Jones Transportation average to an all-time high.

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US job creation strong in April

Category : Business

The Dow Jones surges through 15,000 after news that 165,000 jobs were created in April, much better than economists had predicted.

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Dow Jones and S&P climb to new highs

Category : Business

New York’s Dow Jones share index sets a new all-time high, as does the broader based S&P 500 index.

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VIDEO: Dragon Jones sees big picture at Jessops

Category : Business, World News

Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones has spoken of his excitement as camera retailer Jessops re-opens 30 stores across the country.

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Dragons’ Den star hopes to revive Jessops

Category : Business

Peter Jones re-employs 300 staff who lost jobs after camera chain went bust in January

It is a pitch that might draw snorts from the hard-headed judges on Dragons’ Den: invest in the resurrection of a high-street retailer extinguished by rampant e-commerce competitors.

But the proposal comes from arch-dragon Peter Jones, who believes he can revive the failed camera chain Jessops by reopening 30 high street stores, creating 500 jobs in the process. The entrepreneur is so confident in the chain’s success that he will run the business as chairman and chief executive, investing £5m of his personal fortune to revamp the brand. He has also re-employed more than 300 former Jessops staff who lost their jobs when the company went bust in January.

But he warned that the venture could mean walking away from the BBC show he is famous for if Jessops becomes a big success again.

“I’ll struggle to do both this and Dragons’ Den. I’m going to have to see. However, I’m very committed to Dragons and the BBC and have been there since the beginning, so they might not be able to get rid of me.”

Explaining how he fell for the Jessops pitch, he said: “I was abroad in January when I heard Jessops had gone down and was shocked because I had only bought a Canon camera for Tara [his partner] in November. When I got back to the UK I immediately put the calls in, culminating in several all-night negotiation sessions, but I was absolutely determined to get the business because it was such an iconic brand of which I was a customer.”

Six stores will reopen on Thursday in London, Manchester, High Wycombe, St Albans, Birmingham and Aberdeen, with the majority of staff made up from 1,370 workers left unemployed when all 187 sites shut their doors three days after administrators were called in. All 30 stores will open by the end of April.

On rescuing the business two months ago, Jones initially hinted that the future of Jessops would be online only, but after sending a tweet confirming he had bought the company he was inundated with CVs from former employees.

He said: “Store managers were saying: ‘If you ever need somebody let me know,’ and we just started making contact. I’ve never been overly emotional in business, but these guys are genuinely passionate about their jobs and are all photographers in their spare time.”

Robert Innes, 50, had been store manager in High Wycombe for seven years, having run a photography business in his native South Africa, when he found himself out of a job. However, after spending a few days trying to decide what to do next, he got a call from Jones asking him to come back to his old position.

“Jessops had been my pride and obsession,” he said. “I’ve been in photography most of my life, so when we got the email that said we were going into administration and to close the doors days later, that was very difficult. We were all in shock and completely devastated.

“Being asked to pack up the store for the administrators was the worst week of my life after turning the store into a money-maker. It was like going to a funeral each day. Then I got the call from Peter and it was all very emotional.”

The stores have been rebranded, with wooden floors and a sleek new design inspired by Apple’s stores. He said: “The high street has suffered from online shopping for many years, but I think customers still want the experience of going into a store and getting expert advice.”

Plans are under way to relaunch the website with a focus on click-and-collect, where customers pick up their online orders at the store, which has been highly successful for rivals including Argos and John Lewis.

Jessops traces itself back to a chemist’s store in Leicester 130 years ago. In 1935 Frank Jessop transformed it into a photography shop, and in the early days was mainly involved in hiring and selling 16mm cine films. The company quickly grew under the leadership of Jessop’s son, Alan Jessop, who transformed it into a cut-price retailer of photographic equipment. By the 1970s, it had outgrown its premises and moved to a new 20,000 sq ft site on Hinckley Road in Leicester, which was named as the largest photography store in the world by Guinness World Records. That shop closed in 2008.

A second store followed in the early 1980s in London and as personal cameras became more popular and affordable, the firm expanded to more than 50 shops. It ceased to be a family-run business in 1996 and was sold in a management buyout. In 2002 the Dutch bank ABN Amro’s venture capital arm bought Jessops for £116m.

Bayport International Holdings, Inc. (EXTO: OTC Link) | Bayport International Holdings, Inc. Oil and Gas Acquisition

Category : World News

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British-made typewriters reach the end of the line

Category : Business

The presentation of the last Brother CM-1000 to the Science Museum marks the end of the manufacture of typewriters in the UK

It was at 12pm on Friday that the last British-made typewriter was packed into its box at the Brother factory in Wrexham. Its maker, Edward Bryan, 40, has worked in the factory since 1989. When he started, around 30 people were on the typewriter line. By the end there was just him – the team leader – and another worker. The last CM-1000, an electronic typewriter that retails for around £400, was presented to Rachel Boon, a curator of technologies and engineering at the Science Museum, which will keep the machine. Colleagues gathered around, and the MD of Brother Industries, Craig McCubbin, reminisced about how he had started out on the production line in his school holidays.

“I was a bit sad,” says Bryan, who has been building typewriters for Brother for 23 years. “You could have ownership of the machine. From taking a little screw at the start, you end up with a typewriter in a box.” He can build one with his eyes closed – he tried it once. “It took about 40 minutes,” he says with a laugh. (Usually, it would take him just 18.)

The decision was taken six months ago to stop production, says Phil Jones, Brother’s UK head. “Clearly, typewriters have been undergoing a decline in many years. There’s always a point where it’s not economically viable any more, and we always knew that time was coming.”

The factory had been making 300-500 machines a month, accounting for just 0.25% of the company’s turnover. “When a category is such a small percentage, it really isn’t worth doing analytics on it,” says Jones when I ask who was still buying typewriters, but he says he thinks many of their customers were older people who don’t feel comfortable using a computer. “And they’re popular in prisons – it seems they’re still one of the approved technological products that prisoners can use in some prisons.” He also thinks there may be secret government bunkers, where highly classified missives are written on typewriters, “but that’s just speculation”. The international company will still produce typewriters in its Malaysia factory, primarily for the US market and developing countries, “but it is the end as far as UK manufacturing is concerned”.

As typewriters go, it would be difficult to feel too romantic about the CM-1000 – the large greige machine hardly conjures up the same image as Hemingway hammering away at his trusty black Royal, the clatter of the typing pool or William Boot packing his portable typewriter for assignment in Ishmaelia – but it still feels like a heavy-hearted full stop.

Disney to buy Star Wars production company Lucasfilm for $4bn

Category : Business

Deal will pave way for release of new series of Star Wars feature films from 2015, with George Lucas as creative consultant

Disney has announced its purchase of Lucasfilm, the maker of Star Wars, in a $4.05bn (£2.5bn) deal that will pave the way for the a new series of Star Wars feature films.

In a move that prompted excitement and speculation among sci-fi fans, Disney said the plan is to release a new Star Wars film every two to three years after bringing out Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015.

George Lucas, who founded Lucasfilm in 1971 before enhancing his name with other worldwide hits such as the Indiana Jones franchise, is a filmmaker known for exercising control over the most minute details of the fictional universe he created. So it was not a surprise to hear that Lucas will remain as a creative consultant on the new Star Wars films.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” he said.

“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

Disney’s chief executive, Robert Iger, said: “Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas.

“This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

Disney said it will pay about half the purchase price in cash and issue about 40m shares. The purchase, which comes in the wake of Disney’s acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, includes Lucasfilm’s prized high-tech production companies, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, as well as rights to the Indiana Jones franchise.

Kathleen Kennedy, the Lucasfilm co-chair who was handpicked earlier this year by Lucas, will become president of Lucasfilm and serve as executive producer on the new feature films, with Lucas coming in his consultancy role.

Twenty eight years after the first Star Wars film, and sixth and most recent in the series was 2005′s prequel, Revenge of the Sith, which was given a mixed reception by critics but broke several box office records and was the second highest grossing film of that year.

However, many passionate Star Wars fans have been hitting out at Lucas for years, alleging that he had become a commercial sell-out. They railed against him for adding grating characters such as Jar Jar Binks in the second Star Wars trilogy and attacked him for tinkering with the original trilogy, too.

The criticism grated on Lucas, who vowed never to make another Star Wars movie during an interview with the New York Times earlier this year.

“Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” Lucas told the Times.

Reports later suggested that the filmmaker had become disillusioned with Hollywood after experiencing difficulties in securing the distribution last year of his second world war film about squadron of African-American pilots, Red Tails, which he funded by Lucas with $58m of his own money after studios refused to back it.

In a video posted on YouTube, Lucas said the decision to continue with the Star Wars saga was not inconsistent with past statements.

“I always said I wasn’t going to do any more and that’s true, because I’m not going to do any more, but that doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to turn it over to Kathy [Kennedy] to do more,” Lucas said.

Amid a delighted reaction from many fans, suspicion and fears for the future were also present in large doses.

“I feel sick. It’s like having your Mum have an affair and remarry,” said one participant on fan site.

Elsewhere, one blogger suggested the most recent Star Wars films had completed the series and pleaded: “Please don’t make us regret this George. You still owe us big time for introducing us to Jar Jar Binks.”

Peter Hartlaub, pop culture critic at the San Francisco Chronicle and a Star Wars fan expressed doubt in another blog that the new Star Wars film could be turned around in time for 2015: “My hope as a fan is that this isn’t another Iron Man 2 situation, where the studio’s eagerness to pump out a sequel on a tight deadline seriously harms the potential of the finished product.”

Jay Rasulo, Disney’s senior executive vice-president, has hinted at the future direction of what the company described as the “Star Wars saga”: “Today, Star Wars is heavily skewed toward toys and North America. We see great opportunity domestically to extend the breadth and depth of the Star Wars franchise into other categories.”

Beware Wall Street Journal bosses bearing messages of rhetorical excess

Category : Business

An unctuous letter from WSJ managing editor Robert Thomson has got staff worried, and rightly so

Here’s an open letter from Murdoch high command. It could be a missive of gloom to journalists on the Times, telling them they’re not best beloved any more. But it’s from Robert Thomson at the Wall Street Journal, even higher up the new NewsCorp food chain, setting the tumbrils rolling there.

How does anyone who works for the Journal know it’s bad news? Try oleaginous rhetorical excess. We’ve “journeyed far together” says Robert. We have a “shared common purpose”. But “our journey is far from over”. Here comes “a new phase of integration”, a “shared newsroom” that puts extra emphasis “on scoops, thoughtful analysis and deeper reporting” via “an editorial engine” that will “make the most of our peerless journalism”.

We’ll be “mobilising” joint teams, “moving more markets, providing extra time for textured reporting”. And another team will be “reaching out to many of you”, “distilling your wisdom” so we can “take advantage of the manifold opportunities that await the world’s classiest journalists and the globe’s pre-eminent organisation”.

Thank you and goodnight, then. Pick up your cards at the door. And don’t forget to take Planet Earth’s most peerless sickbag home for Aunt Alice.

■ Define pluralism. FT plus Dow Jones? No. FT plus ThomsonReuters? No. FT plus Bloomberg? This would still be the burying of an independent business voice in some US corporate graveyard. The Financial Times shouldn’t be sold. It should be left to think and speak for itself. It’s a heritage, not a commodity. Marjorie Scardino battled to save it because she understood its value. Has her successor an idea of what such value means?