Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Extra Topping Needed to Get Osborne's Teeth into Debs; @City_Spy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Extra Topping Needed to Get Osborne's Teeth into Debs; @City_Spy

Article excerpt

DEPARTMENT stores chain Debenhams has a new finance chief in Rachel Osborne, but whispers from head-hunters reach Spy saying it was tough to recruit for a full-time position. Most candidates apparently thought it was a "poisoned chalice" and only wanted to say yes to the job on an interim basis.

Although Debenhams denies everything, our mole says former House of Fraser chief financial officer, Mark Gifford, as well as Harrods' ex-finance boss John Edgar were also mooted as the successor to Matt Smith, who is off to rival department stores chain Selfridges.

Osborne is on PS439,000 plus bonuses and options which could add PS1.3 million to that, a big advance on her Domino's deal. And she doesn't have to work with Domino's boss David Wild, who goes through finance directors faster than fatties through a Meat Feast.

ACTIVIST investor Teleios Capital cashed in on SodaStream's $3.2 billion (PS2.5 billion) sale to Pepsi -- it has a 5.7% stake -- and wasted no time in gushing about it. Adam Epstein, cofounder of Teleios, said the deal "represents an excellent outcome for all shareholders". But what of its stake in children's social care provider Cambian, soon to be gobbled up by rival CareTech? Farouq Sheikh, executive chairman of CareTech, cut its original offer after completing due diligence on Cambian and taking a "more conservative view" of its prospects. No boasting from Epstein about that one...

SAINSBURY'S is getting that sinking feeling, and it isn't just because of this week's Kantar figures, which showed it lagging its big four rivals. Its supermarket in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was evacuated when the ground gave way in an alley behind the building. Boss Mike Coupe will be hoping his Asda megamerger won't be going the same way.

BUILDERS will be eyeing a slice of a lucrative deal on offer for a major refurbishment of the British Embassy in Washington. …

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