Morgan Stanley is making its third investment in a hedge fund in as many days by buying a 19 per cent stake in Lansdowne Partners, the large London-based hedge fund. The move raises a number of interesting questions: why is Morgan Stanley buying into existing hedge funds instead of building its own? Why is it only taking minority stakes? Is there not a risk that the partners they have bought in to will soon be inclined to spend more time on their yachts or heli-skiing? Are other banks prevented from investing in the same funds? We’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s paper and the story is discussed on FT Alphaville.
We got off ot a cracking start this morning with an overnight scoop from Edge, our media editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, who writes that Google will make more advertising revenues in the UK this year than Channel 4. He cites the broadcaster’s chief executive, Andy Duncan, who said the US search engine group would “extract” about £900m in advertising from the UK market in 2006 compared with Channel 4’s annual advertising income of about £800m. The story highlightes brilliantly the threat to traditional media models from rapidly-growing online rivals. Tell us if you think traditional broadcasters survive in the digital age in our online poll.
BP seems to have found its Alaskan fall guy. Steve Marshall, president of BP Exploration (Alaska), who had been in the role for five years and is a BP veteran of 29 years, will be replaced by Doug Suttles, president of BP’s Sakhalin operations in Russia’s far east. BP said Mr Marshall’s move was “not directly linked” to the problems in Alaska. “It was time to move to his next role,” it said. “He had been in the job for five years.”
Cairn Energy says it expects to receive gross cash proceeds of at least £618m from the sale of 30.5 per cent of its Indian operations when they are floated on the Bombay Stock Exchange in December.
MyTravel, the UK-based package tour operator, warned this morning that the UK holiday market had not bounced back after a difficult summer and it said it might not hit its target of a 3.5 per cent operating margin in the UK next year.
I’m keen to do more on our story this morning about the takeover of Rambler Media – particularly the fact that Vladimir Potanin is able to take a stake of more than 30 per cent without being forced by the Takeover Panel to bid for the rest. The panel seems to have decided that because the heart and soul of Rambler’s business is outside the UK it is not subject to the panel’s rules. But surely the code is there to protect investors, and Rambler’s shares are listed on Aim. How many of the numerous other foreign companies listed in London are not covered by the panels’ rules? And are investors aware of this regulatory gap? Lina Saigol is working on the answers.
Tate & Lyle, the maker of Splenda sweetener, said on Wednesday that rising cereal costs and the fall-out of European Union sugar reforms would weigh on profit growth in the second half, as the sugar and sweetener maker reported solid interim results.
Rumour of the Day:
Amec shares are up on rumours that it may become a bid target again. This follows word overnight from Australia that Downer EDI, an mining engineering group there, told shareholders it had attempted to combine with Amec but talks broke down over price.