Taghmen Energy, an oil and gas company that floated on Aim 18 months ago, had a central Asian ring to its name that belied its focus on Latin America.

Taghmen, created from the initials of chairman Gregory Smith’s children, nieces and nephews, has given way to PetroLatina Energy, more apt for a company with operations in Colombia and Guatemala.

On their first day after renaming, the shares rose yesterday by 9.4p to 38.4p.

The new ticker symbol – devised by chief executive Nicholas Gay – may have been a charm. It’s PELE, a rare commercial use of that word without a licence.

Prevailing wind

There’s never a bad time for a contract that sends your share price soaring by 50 per cent, but Lord Moynihan, chairman of Clipper Windpower, wishes negotiations on its recent deal with BP had finished just a little sooner.

The deal, to sell turbines to BP and to develop wind farms jointly with it, is the biggest agreement in the renewable energy sector to date, according to Clipper.

The finishing touches required many late nights, including July 9, the day of the World Cup final. As a result, Lord Moynihan, a former Olympic cox and Conservative sports minister, was forced to give away his tickets.

The lucky recipient was one Paul Deighton, formerly of Goldman Sachs. It’s only surprising that Deighton wasn’t already well supplied with tickets himself, in his new exalted position as chief executive of the London Olympic Games Organising Committee.

Interests collide

Before the World Cup is finally headbutted into history, here’s another example of “blame it on football”. Carl-Peter Forster, head of General Motors Europe, claims that Opel was worse hit than other carmakers because its German customers were particularly prone to plonk themselves in front of the television with a cold beer.

Opel’s western European sales plummeted in June as the World Cup got under way, falling 9.4 per cent, as the German market for new cars fell 4.6 per cent.

“People spent their time with a glass of beer instead of shopping,” Forster said.

“Our customers were affected more than others, he said, “they are more soccer-aware”. There is evidence to back his claim. Hyundai, the South Korean carmaker that was a World Cup sponsor, saw its sales fall 10.3 per cent in June.

Still, none experienced the bittersweet joy of football as much as Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat.

He said at the end of June that the sooner Italy was kicked out of the world cup the better it would be for sales, even though the carmaker continues to recapture market share it lost during its long crisis.

It remains to be seen whether Italy’s triumph boosted sales or left Marchionne, who continued to support the national team, mourning its victory.

Out of the money

The Sportsman Newspaper Handicap at Epsom Downs last Thursday evening had particular resonance since administrators had just been appointed to the four- month-old sports betting newspaper that sponsored the race. The two horses tipped by The Sportsman that morning – favourite Pagan Crest and Always Baileys – were also rans in a five-horse race. There was some consolation for Ben and Zac Goldsmith, who put up much of the money to launch The Sportsman. A horse they own, Ned Ludd, finished second.

Brand extension

Just as blogs don’t become reality until validated by a plug in the mainstream media, any online marketing promoted in an established organ can’t really be considered “viral”. Still, Virgin Money appears to have found a clever way to get across its important words of advice. www.dont-over-extend-yourself.com


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