Rurelec, the Aim-listed investor in South American electricity projects, was glowing earlier this week about the accelerated opening of a power plant in Bolivia, just in time for the opening of a constituent assembly that will consider constitutional revisions.
Peter Earl, Rurelec’s chief executive, now reveals, however, that the day nearly did not go well.
After the assembly was opened in Sucre, there was a football friendly between former Bolivian national players and another team.
The match was nationally televised, no doubt influenced by the presence on the stars’ team of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s president.
Near the end of the first half, however, the stadium suddenly went dark.
Morales was whisked away by security men. It was potentially a moment of huge embarrassment for Guaracachi, Rurelec’s Bolivian subsidiary.
Earl said: “We were super-sensitive since when the lights went out at the stadium, the commentators said ‘blame the power company!’ Or ‘It’s a coup!’”
The problem was soon traced to a truck that had crashed into a transmission tower close to the stadium, bringing down a line.
Within 10 minutes, power was restored and the players took the field again. Morales, 46, played the full match, scoring a penalty and setting up another goal in a 5-0 win. Even so, said Jaime Aliaga, Guaracachi’s general manager: “It was a scary afternoon.”
Left at the door
Enodis’s rebuffing of suitor Middleby’s request for an extension to a put-up-or- shut-up deadline may be greeted with some unofficial relief by the latter’s advisers. Selim Bassoul, Middleby’s chief executive, insists on flying economy, a foreign state to bankers.
Steven Joseph (below), chairman of Tangerine, the Blackpool-based maker of sweets such as Mojo chews and Princess marshmallows, is a man with good timing.
On Wednesday, he completed the purchase of the confectionery arm of Burton’s Foods and immediately flew away on holiday, luckily avoiding yesterday’s disruption.
Tangerine was created in January through a management buy-in of the UK arm of Toms of Denmark. The lines bought from Burton’s include liquorice allsorts, wine gums and dolly mixtures – perfect for a long flight, if only you were allowed to carry them.
Transparent carry-on bags inevitably were the talk of the day yesterday. Mudlark recalls that we’ve been here before, after last year’s July 7 bombs in London and the attempts two weeks later.
The bright idea then was the see-through rucksack and one was launched not long afterwards. Less than a year later, though, its website is defunct and as many ordinary rucksacks as ever are seen on London’s public transport.
Mudlark suspects it will be much the same this time and despite the stripped-down nature of what passengers can carry in a cabin, the day has not yet come for NudeAir.
Cheques in balance
Royal Bank of Scotland is investigating claims that a number of cheques issued by Soho Artistes, an agency for actors, models and singers, have been sent back as invalid. Soho which banks with NatWest, owned by RBS, issued 450 cheques to actors as payment for their appearance in an insurance advert.
It used customised cheques, printed in-house, that it says were designed to industry standards. RBS, however, is understood to have rejected some of the cheques, claiming they did not meet guidelines.
The advert for which the actors were being paid was for Churchill Insurance, also owned by RBS.
Hey, Dapper Dan
With recent talk of £10,000 suits and £17,500 suits and whether it’s non-U to wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt, Mudlark found sartorial guidance in Annie: “Your clothes may be Beau Brummelly, they stand out a mile, but brother, you’re never fully dressed without a smile . . . who cares what they’re wearing on Main Street or Savile Row? It’s what you wear from ear to ear and not from head to toe that matters.”
That would be even more important on NudeAir.