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At long last, here they are: details of the RBS-consortium’s bid for ABN Amro. Except not quite. There are 34 pages on the merits of the deal, including the projected return on investment, but nowhere does the consortium give the terms of the rights issues that will be used to fund much of the purchase. Our banking editor, Peter Thal Larsen, who has been through the documents and listened to the call also points out that some of the Fortis financing depends on up to €8bn of disposals, but it isn’t clear which. RBS shares are off again and have now lost 8 per cent since its interest first became clear.
Vodafone is our other big story today. As we predicted on Saturday, profit margins from continuing businesses fell last year. The market seemed pleased the with general thrust of the results, though, sending the shares up 4 per cent, which is slightly puzzling after last week’s run.
Lovely story from Associated British Foods. It is buying Patak’s, the curry sauce, ready meal and Indian bread maker for – we think – around £100m. The business was founded in 1957 by LG Pathak, father of the current boss, Kirit Pathak, who arrived in the UK from Kenya with his wife and six children, £5 and a life insurance policy. Having difficulty finding work he started the business by making samosas in his kitchen.
There is quite a lot of noise today around the formal re-opening of the MG Rover plant at Longbridge. We’ve done a bit about this already and are quite sceptical about how significant this operation will be, so we’ll keep it short and sweet.
Dog of the day: Dog of the year, more like. Biofuels Corporation is off 35 per cent after it said it was in restructuring talks and laced its statement with hints of a debt-for-equity swap. The shares are 10½p, down from 178½p a year ago. It now has a market cap of £5m and debt of £100m - yes, one hundred million pounds.
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