Digital Transformation » 5 things FDs need to know this week

5 things FDs need to know this week

As the week comes to an end, we pick out five key things that happened.

1. British American Tobacco under investigation

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a formal investigation over claims that the second-largest listed tobacco company bribed officials in east Africa, to get around anti-smoking laws.

The SFO said it was “investigating suspicions of corruption in the conduct of business by BAT” but did not give any more details.

The company’s shares were down 3.9% on Tuesday, with the investigation coming just a week after BAT acquired the remaining 58% of Reynolds that it did not own.

 2. Former Kids Company Directors to be disqualified

The Insolvency Service is to bring proceedings against the former Kids Company directors, to ban them from running or controlling companies for periods of between two and a six years.

The proceedings will be brought against all nine former directors: Sunetra Atkinson, Erica Bolton, Richard Handover, Vincent O’Brien, Francesca Robinson, Jane Tyler, Andrew Webster and Alan Yentob.

If successful, the disqualifications will impact the nine. Bolton runs an international PR company; Handover is a former chairman and CEO of W H Smith; O’Brien is a fund manager; Robinson is executive chair of the PSD Group; Tyler is a former partner at law firm Macfarlanes; and Webster was a former senior executive with AstraZeneca and is now head of HR for DFS Group.

The former chief executive, Camila Batmanghelidjh, was not formally a director at the time the charity collapsed. However the proceedings will allege that she acted as a de facto director and should therefore also be disqualified from running or controlling other companies.

3. Schroders acquires Adveq

Schroders has announced the completion of its acquisition of Adveq, an asset manager investing in private equity.

The acquisition will add to Schroders private assets business, which is now worth over $7 billion in client commitments.

Adveq, headquartered in Switzerland, will become Schroder Adveq and founder, Bruno Raschle, will remain on the board as non-executive vice chairman.

4. Toyota & Mazda plan $1.6 billion plant in joint electric car bid

Japanese carmakers Toyota Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp, have announced plans to construct an assembly plant in the US to develop electric vehicle technologies.

The plant will produce 3000,000 vehicles a year, when it begins production in 2021, and divide production between the two companies, with Toyota taking a 5% stake in its smaller rival, according to Reuters, and Mazda taking a 0.25% stake in Toyota.

5. British Gas in price hike blunder

The energy company is facing a backlash from customers after a post appeared on their site that said: “Why we’ve had to raise electricity prices – our first increase since November 2013.”

The rest of the post only said “blah blah,” indicating that the post was not intended to be published.

The hike comes after the company extended its price freeze this February, as the other ‘Big six’ energy companies increased their prices.


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