Business Week

The Birmingham Post (England), June 3, 2000 | Go to article overview

Business Week


Monday

May 29

Three former directors of a high-tech Midland company claim they gave up pounds 18 million worth of shares 'to protect shareholders and staff'. Mr Steve Salmon, ex-managing director of Dudley-based Oneview, said the former directors were forced to make the deal after being acquired by Freecom.net, headed by Warwickshire businessman Mr Bob Morton. He said following a row over the number of customers Oneview was supposed to have, the firm's directors were faced with giving up ten million shares and resigning without any notice.

A Kidderminster carpet manufacturer is making 57 employees redundant as it runs down its Stourport-on-Severn factory. Carpets of Worth is moving from its site in the centre of the town and will concentrate production on its Kidderminster operation. The redundancies are across technical, managerial and clerical levels and reflect the steep decline in the number of employs in the industry.

Shares in Internet company Freeserve are set to bounce back this week after suggestions that German Internet company T-Online is planning a pounds 6 billion takeover bid. The German company is thought to be poised to bid for Freeserve, 80 per cent-owned by electrical retailer Dixons.

Nearly 250,000 passengers have travelled from Birmingham International Airport with American Airlines since 1995, when the carrier became the first US airline to operate a daily service to Chicago. American is celebrating five years as Birmingham's longest-serving daily non-stop carrier to the US. The company is planning a pounds 45 million programme to improve comfort for its passengers. It is removing thousands of economy-class seats on its entire fleet of 700 aircraft and will use the space this creates to provide more room for customers throughout its economy cabins.

Tuesday

May 30

Two specialist outsourcing companies - working in the newspaper publishing industry and the automotive sector - have been combined into a major new group. The pounds 22 million merger deal is the first by private equity provider Bridgepoint Capital, the former NatWest Equity Partners. The acquisitions of Meta Management Services and QE Ltd by Bridgepoint's Birmingham office follows the company's own management buy-out earlier this month.

A Midlands-based family firm is taking the headache out of delivery problems for dot coms by launching a new national warehousing and distribution service for internet companies. iNet-distribution.com, which is based just off the M40 in Leamington Spa, is the brainchild of Midlands businessman Mr Gordon Bott.

German group CCR Logistics Systems has opened its UK headquarters in Leamington Spa. And the Munich-based waste company says it is looking to establish a network of partners across the UK and Ireland. CCR operates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain where it has blue chip customers including BMW, Esso and Bosch.

Confidence among West Midlands exporters has fallen for the first time in 18 months, according to the latest quarterly survey from express carrier DHL. Some 53 per cent of West Midlands exporters predicted that their orders will increase in the coming 12 months, compared with 60 per cent in the previous quarter.

Wednesday

May 31

The Government shows the first signs of backing down on its scheme to stop multinational companies evading the tax man after mobile phone giant Vodafone AirTouch threatened to quit Britain. The attack on Chancellor Mr Gordon Brown's tax plan by the world's largest cellphone operator coincided with a report showing inward investment into the country was slowing - a major threat to the West Midlands which has greatly benefited from an influx of US and European companies over the last decade.

The OECD warns the Bank of England is likely to have to jack up interest rates further to prevent inflation overshooting its target. …

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