City Spy: Share Centre hedges its LSE merger bets

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Hardly a vote of confidence in the London Stock Exchange.

Share Plc — owner of The Share Centre, which trades for thousands of retail investors — has slashed its stake in the LSE ahead of the planned merger with Deutsche Börse. 

Share netted £700,000 selling 25,727 shares. Perhaps it believes the controversial £22 billion deal can still be derailed by Brexit and angry German investors. But just in case, it is still holding on to another 120,000 shares. 

Inspirational beardy 

Sir Richard Branson is an inspiration to a generation of entrepreneurs, young and old. So what advice did he give Caroline Plumb, now executive chairman of FreshMinds, when she spotted him at a restaurant in her youth? Plumb (pictured) tells Management Today that she was trying to work out whether to be an entrepreneur or take up a job with the big consultancy that had made an offer. “Er… I’d probably take the job, to be honest,” Branson responded. Inspirational stuff.

Bitter downgrades 

A bitter Howard Archer strikes the right note on the Three Lions’ Euro 2016 exit. Spy’s favourite typo-ridden economist says that, as the UK’s credit rating has been downgraded, “the football team deserves to be cut to junk status”. Amen.

Smashing: reigning men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

Award for most tenuous press release of the day goes to Investec:

“As Wimbledon gets into full swing and Novak Djokovic attempts to win his 13th major title, we believe that investment managers looking to generate attractive long-term risk-adjusted returns can use many of the same techniques that have contributed to Djokovic’s success…” It goes on: “capital growth with attractive and sustainable income requires a focus on accumulating accretive returns and income from a diverse range of sources, or in the case of Djokovic, relying on more than just aces.” 

Press releases need interesting, novel content — and they need to rely on more than just the odd pun.

City spinner does swift about-turn

Italian PR group SEC is ploughing ahead with its £20 million AIM float amid the Brexit-fuelled market mayhem, much to the delight of its PR consultants IFC Advisory. 

Fledgling IFC was set up by former Zeus Capital chief Tim Metcalfe and Graham Herring, founder of Threadneedle Communications, which was bought by David Wright’s Porta for £3.8 million in 2011. 

Spy’s mole says that when Herring quit AIM-quoted Porta to set up IFC, he claimed he didn’t believe PR companies should be listed on the stock market. He  now finds himself spinning for one. Spy is sure the irony is not lost on Wright.

Who needs Paul the Octopus?

Gourmet pie-maker Square Pie knew a shock Brexit result was coming, based on the result of its sales of the “European sausage union pie” — with bratwurst, chorizo and salami — or the Outers’ British beef, wonky veg and ale pie. The British beef took the plaudits 55% to 45%.

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June 29, 2016 |
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