Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Article excerpt

JUST who were the journalists invited to Philip Green's "thank you" party at the Dorchester? The bash (drinks followed by a select dinner) was for the advisers on his proposed bid for Marks & Spencer. Also in attendance, so it would seem, were his supporters in the Press. Most journalists, you might think, would regard themselves as neutral on the takeover, regarding it as their job to ask equally searching questions of both sides. Clearly, though, billionaire Phil didn't see them all that way and it would appear that, by accepting his invitation, neither did they.

We'd like to know who they were - if only for future reference in case Green has another tilt at M&S, so we can treat their articles and broadcasts with caution.

SAME old Shell, still not getting it. Cairn Energy is the stock market star of the year so far, and a new entrant to the FTSE 100. While Cairn's stock has risen, Shell's has plunged.

Nevertheless, Shell's new exploration chief, Malcolm Brinded, used yesterday's strategy presentation to play down the dismal error in selling Cairn the rights to pore over part of the Indian desert (where Cairn believes it has found two billion barrels of oil, with at least a billion in just one field) for little more than [pounds sterling]10 million. Brinded said whatever Cairn's success, the oil it has found would not be "material" to a group like Shell.

So what is?

"'Big Cat' wells." What are they? "Prospects offering anything above 100 million barrels."

Like Cairn's India finds, then- CAN commitment be measured in whether directors don the corporate tie? Jeroen van der Veer, the unlikely saviour of Shell, was sporting his as he unveiled his "makeor-break" plan for the troubled oil major.

And the neck of Brinded was also adorned with the famous seashell logo as he sat alongside van der Veer on the platform. …

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