Business news in brief: OFT | Digitonic | Insurance Australia Group | Virgin Media

Share this article
Have your say

BRITAIN’S competition watchdog has cleared the London Stock Exchange’s planned purchase of clearing house LCH Clearnet as both parties hammer out new deal terms to reflect rising capital requirements.

The Office of Fair Trading yesterday gave its unconditional approval, clearing what was viewed as the biggest regulatory hurdle to the proposed €600 million (£486m) tie-up.

The timing of the deal is still unclear, however, as both parties are back in talks over terms to reflect higher capital requirements imposed on exchanges by regulators.

Digitonic in £730k mobile ad contract

Digitonic, the Glasgow-based marketing agency, has secured a £730,000 deal to target mobile phone users with “rich media text” advertising.

The firm, which already works with retailers such as video rental chain Blockbuster, has been tasked by direct marketing firm Data Locator Group to develop messages that can deliver television commercials, images and audio straight to mobiles.

Australian insurer to sell its UK arm

Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is set to book a net loss of A$240 million (£157m) after agreeing to dispose of all its operations in the UK.

US private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners is buying the group’s specialist car insurer Equity Red Star for £87m, and a separate deal has been struck to sell its commercial broking arm to management.

Virgin Media plans £1.1bn buy–back

Virgin Media has announced plans to return more than

£1.1 billion to shareholders by the end of 2014, having already bought back a similar value of shares since July 2010.

The firm, which provides cable television as well as fixed-line and mobile phone services, is listed in New York and has a secondary listing on the London market.