This week’s business round up: Cazenove set to float

and retaining staff was the motivation behind stockbroker Cazenove’s decision
to be floated on the stock market in 2002. The firm, due to be valued at about
£1.5bn, announced plans to ditch its 177-year partnership last week and will focus
on preserving and attracting staff by offering employees equity.


Halifax goes live

Finance, Halifax’s new telenet banking operation, has created 1,400 jobs in
Scotland. The company, which went live last week, has been recruiting staff since
the summer to fill vacancies at call centres in Edinburgh Park and Livingston.
IF’s chief executive, Jim Spowart, said: “We’ve got off to a really good start.
Customers are switching banks to get the value from our unique offering.”


Richmond profit surge

Ice cream
maker Richmond Foods announced a 25 per cent increase in underlying profits to
£3.77m last week, thanks to its £19m acquisition of the Allied Frozen Food ice
cream business in May. Chairman Brian Fidler says the wider portfolio of ice
cream products should double the organisation’s annual turnover.


Baird menswear sale

Baird, the textile firm that is suing Marks & Spencer for breach of
contract, is to sell off its formal menswear brands. The division is to be
bought for £19m by a management team. The company has also confirmed takeover
discussions with venture capitalist Alchemy. As a result of losing the M&S
contract, Baird was forced to lay off around 4,000 workers and reported a
pre-tax loss of £91.7m last year, compared with a profit of £25.9m in 1998.

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