Business in brief: RBS | Glencore | Jessops

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THE Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is poised to sign a deal for 42 hotels managed by Marriott International and controlled by Royal Bank of Scotland.

The sovereign wealth fund has been a preferred bidder since last summer. The deal is understood to include the Dalmahoy hotel and country club near Edinburgh, as well as six establishments in London.

Reports have suggested the acquisition could be worth as much as £640 million. The deal, through which RBS would make an exit from the business, is part of the bank’s programme of non-core disposals.

Glencore to appoint a female director

COMMODITIES trading giant Glencore has pledged to hire a woman to sit on its board for the first time, as soon as its multi-billion-pound takeover of mining group Xstrata goes through.

Dr Susan Vinnicombe, co-author of the Cranfield School of Management’s annual female board representation report, said the enlarged group was “committed” to such a move.

Vinnicombe said when the merger goes through – expected to be in the first half of 2013 – only five FTSE 100 companies will not have a female director on the board.

Collapsed Jessops owed £81.4m

COLLAPSED camera retailer Jessops had debts of more than £80 million, including owing £43m to suppliers, when it went into administration.

A statement of affairs from Jessops’ directors at the weekend showed the firm had debts of £81.4m. The report estimates that creditors face a major shortfall from the administration, with only £3.4m likely to be raised for the payout pot from asset sales.

The debts include £28.8m to HSBC bank, £2.5m to the Pension Protection Fund, which owned a stake in Jessops, and £1.4m to Jessops employees.

Mittal’s pay dips as Arcelor posts loss

STEEL magnate Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man, saw his remuneration fall to $3.87 million (£2.49m) last year, down from $4m in the previous year.

Mittal, chairman and chief executive of Arcelor Mittal, saw his company plunge to a loss before tax of $5.8 billion last year, on an operating loss of $3.2bn, after taking major writedowns on the value of its European arm.

The steel industry has been hit by weak demand in austerity-hit Europe, a poor construction market, weak demand for household products and a slowing Chinese market.