TWO OF BRITAIN'S leading entrepreneurs are preparing to announce plans to float on the London Stock Exchange a hotel property group worth an estimated £2.5bn, says the Times.
Richard Balfour-Lynn, the head of Marylebone Warwick Balfour, and Sir David Michels, former chief executive of Hilton Group, are working with Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland to pool between 60 and 80 hotels under the De Vere, Hilton and Marriott brands – to be branded together as Vector - to create the real estate investment trust (Reit).
The flotation, in next two weeks, will be the first of its kind in Europe to use the Reit vehicle for hotel assets.
PRESIDENT OF THE World Bank Paul Wolfowitz is said to be under pressure to resign, according to the FT and the Guardian, after admitting he was personally involved in requesting a large pay rise and promotion for a Bank official with whom he was romantically involved.
He has publicly apologised to staff – but his position is thought to be untenable after staff booed him – for securing her a secondment deal which he claims was sought to prevent a legal action by Shaha Riza as company rules prevent colleagues from becoming involved.
The original deal request apparently included a promotion, a pay rise above that normally associated with the promotion, and arrangements to ensure Ms Riza received exceptional annual pay increases but only the promotion had been recommended by the board’s ethics committee, says the FT.
AND GOOGLE IS TODAY launching a rival to E-Bay-owned online payment system PayPal for UK shoppers to pay over the internet, says The Daily Telegraph.
Called Google Checkout, shoppers can register their account and shipping details and then use the service to pay for goods at any participating retailers.
Google has apparently said it has thousands of retailers and millions of buyers in the US who may be ready to sign up.IFAonline
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