Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

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JD Sports slammed back against weekend reports of a parking lot meeting between its executive chairman, Peter Cowgill, and the boss of Footasylum, a competitor who bought JD Sports in 2019 but was prevented from integrating by the competition watchdog. The Sunday Times reported the meeting.

JD said it was “not uncommon, or in any way suspicious or illegal, for them to meet from time to time”, adding that the Competition and Market Authority “is already fully informed about the content of the meeting” ( no word on whether the CMA was also informed of its location).

JD “totally refuted” any proposal of management violations, although he had already committed to take a number of management measures, including the division of the roles of chairman and CEO by the time of his next annual shareholders’ meeting. And it hit with the “highly irregular” oversight of its drivers’ parking lot conference, after the Sunday Times posted a video of the meeting that also included the dealer’s general advice.


BHP sells its stake in two Australian coal mines for up to $ 1.35 billion, the latest move in the miner’s withdrawal of fossil fuels. The group sells its 80 percent stake in BHP Mitsui Coal to Stanmore Resources, with the remaining 20 percent owned by Mitsui of Japan. But even after the sale, BHP will remain the world’s largest exporter of coal through an alliance with Mitsubishi Corp, our natural resources editor explains here.

Playtech said on Sunday there could be a gatecrasher after his agreed takeover by Aristocrat Leisure, announced last month. Days after Playtech announced the deal, Playtech says Gopher Investments approached him about a possible offer. There is no certainty that Gopher will make a formal offer, Playtech said.

French authorities investigate Sanjeev Gupta’s business empire, the latest trouble for the man who was once called the “savior of steel”. The Paris prosecutor’s office is investigating Gupta’s French operations over allegations of “misappropriation of corporate assets” and “money laundering”, our correspondents report.

UK-South African banking group Investec has upgraded earnings per share guidance. Further details on the upgrade are available later this month. And also today are updates from defense contractor BAE systems and transport group Go ahead.

Beyond the square mile

One US Hedge Fund profit of more than $ 400m made from natural gas price volatility in October alone, we hedge funds correspondent reports. Statar Capital, which has about $ 2 billion in assets under management and is headed by former Citadel and DE Shaw trader Ron Ozer, won 23.5 percent last month. That beats the $ 130 million loss he made in the first half of September.

Ask and you will receive. Elon Musk asked Twitter if he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla worth more than $ 20 billion. Twitter told him yes. That could put him at a tax bill of more than $ 4 billion, Richard Waters reported.

Last month it was Shell, this month luxury group Richemont is to be targeted by activist fund Third point. But at Richemont, Dan Loeb’s hedge fund will face powerful chairman Johann Rupert, who controls 50 percent of the voting rights through a dual-share structure.

Essential comment before you go

Strange to Facebook, a business built on advertising, its simulations of the metaverse seemed largely free of the thing notes Andrew Hill. But Andrew has some suggestions for companies that want to compete in the online world of the future – from now on largely forgotten Second Life, once populated by IBM Land and General Motors’ Motorati Island.

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