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Jobs lost as Newcastle advertising firm collapses
December 1st 2010, by Iain Laing, The Journal


THE largest advertising agency in the North East has collapsed, with the loss of more than 120 jobs, less than a year after it was bought by an American company which promised to turn it into a big international business.

Newcastle-based Round 2 International-UK has appointed administrators after it hit cash-flow problems following an ambitious acquisition spree.

Administrators Zolfo Cooper yesterday went into the firm which had been formed with the takeover of profitable and established Tyneside firm Robson Brown by Los Angeles ad firm Round 2 in March.

They said that the company is continuing to trade but have announced the redundancy of around 85 staff in Newcastle, 17 in Bath and 20 in London.

The US firm had been keen to quickly build an international name for the Newcastle firm it had bought from founders Stuart Robson and Alan Brown and had doubled its size by buying well-known firms in London’s West End and in Bath.

A spokesperson for the Newcastle firm said: “Round 2 leveraged too much debt into three good solid stable businesses that have been going for years to a level which was unsustainable for our industry


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-...-firm-collapses-51140-27746523/#ixzz16qqI03bP
awful news this is. I work with Robson Brown a lot. They have a very talented and creative team that works very well. It will be a real shame to break all of that up. I hope they can find a buyer, with such a big reputation Im sure they will.
 

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Newcastle company SAGE sales grow and profits rise 14%
December 2nd 2010, The Journal


ACCOUNTANCY software giant Sage has seen a 14% rise in annual profits after its sales returned to growth as small businesses started spending once again.

The Newcastle-based firm, which serves more than six million businesses worldwide, posted underlying profits of £355.7m for the year to September 30 as revenues remained flat at £1.4bn.

Chief executive Guy Berruyer, who took over from long-time boss Paul Walker in October, said a return to confidence among its core small business client base was helping sales at the company, which employs around 13,000 people worldwide including 1,200 in Newcastle.

"There has been quite a severe recession and the fact that we only contracted 5% was not that bad compared to many other industries," he said.

"Our performance in the early part of the year was linked to the recession but we have seen a return to organic revenue growth in the second half of the financial year as companies have started to regain confidence and start spending again."


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/busines...s-grow-and-profits-rise-by-14-51140-27752492/
 

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Urban Myth
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BCSC crowns three joint winners in major shopping centre category

Annabel Dixon 02/12/2010 09:21




Eldon Square South in Newcastle, St David’s in Cardiff, and SouthGate in Bath were all crowned joint winners of the British Council of Shopping Centre’s in-town retail scheme of more than 300,000 sq ft last night.



The three winners left Union Square in Aberdeen as the only shortlisted scheme in the category not to be awarded.



At the BCSC Annual Dinner and Presentation of the Gold Awards 2010, which was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff was given the supreme gold award. The site is a joint-venture between Land Securities and Capital Shopping Centres.



Waitrose was crowned retailer of the year; Costa Coffee was awarded shop fit / design of the year for its café at Great Portland Street, W1; thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes won established centre award; the Arc in Bury St Edmunds won the award for in-town scheme under 300,000 sq ft; Peterborough Garden Park collected the out-of-town retail scheme award; and the Virgin Media Speedweek 50 at Bluewater in Kent was named winner of the income generation project of the year.



The evening also saw Richard Akers, managing director for retail at Land Securities take over as BCSC president from Neil Varnham, fund manager at Pradera.

http://www.egi.co.uk/articles/2010/...s-in-major-shopping-centre.htm?cp=ILC-EGI-RSS
 

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Urban Myth
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Rob Noel: higher fees would speed up planning
24 November 2010 | By Nick Johnstone


Westminster Property Association and a group of eight local authorities have called on decentralisation minister Greg Clark to allow town halls to raise fees in order to accelerate the planning process.


Speaking at today’s annual WPA lunch, the association’s chairman Rob Noel said it was concerned that Westminster’s handling of planning applications would slow down in the wake of spending cuts.

Noel said councils needed a “more appropriate charging matrix” for planning and voiced agreement with Westminster leader Colin Barrow, who recently called for less bureaucracy and a more entrepreneurial approach to running the council.

“The WPA is reaching out to the City Council,” he said. “ We are working with officers and members to try and make the processes more efficient and introduce a charging matrix that recovers their cost.”

In a separate development, Westminster council has this week written to Clark alongside seven other councils to ask for more autonomy over the fees they set.

Currently, Westminster subsidises around 50% of the planning applications it processes because centrally-imposed rules prevent it from charging for applications that relate to listed building consents, conservation area consents and tree preservation areas. This costs the council £5m a year – a cost that Noel said the property industry would be happy to cover.

“We are already lobbying the minister to allow a more appropriate charging matrix and have a workshop with Department for the Communities and Local Government this Friday.”

Local authorities in Westminster, Stratford-upon-Avon, York, Kensington and Chelsea, Birmingham, Camden, Wiltshire, and Newcastle all signed the letter to Clark, who last week launched a consultation proposing to give councils more flexibility over fee-setting
 

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Urban Myth
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Q+A: Kuwait’s monumental sale for Newcastle
01 October 2010

St Martins Property Group has put Newcastle’s Monument Mall up for sale


What is it?
The shopping centre was founded 20 years ago and is next to the railway station in Newcastle city centre, from which it takes its name. It runs from an entrance on Northumberland Street to a parallel street behind it, Grey Street. Its 80,000 sq ft of retail space is anchored by TK Maxx and Evans.

Why is it for sale?
Owner St Martins Property Group, the Kuwait Investment Authority’s property investment division, is selling the mall as part of a £900m portfolio, put up for sale this summer (analysis, 17.09.10). The assets have not been individually priced as yet.

Is it a good buy?
The centre faces competition from the recently renovated Eldon Square and it depends how much the buyer wants to invest in the property.

Bob Fletcher, retail director at Sanderson Weatherall, says: “It is an asset that needs a lot of management. Its location, however, is very good and the obvious thing for any buyer to do would be to extend the depth of some of the units to create more space.”

Does it have further potential?
Fletcher adds: “The alternative would be to create smaller units out of its existing units, as anchor tenants in a shopping centre of that size are not really needed.

“It is anchored very successfully by retailers in Eldon Square and Northumberland Street.”


Source: Propertyweek


P.S. -

Well, I didn't know Kuwait owned Monument Mall!!!
Learn something new every day...
 

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Jobs lost as Newcastle advertising firm collapses
December 1st 2010, by Iain Laing, The Journal


THE largest advertising agency in the North East has collapsed, with the loss of more than 120 jobs, less than a year after it was bought by an American company which promised to turn it into a big international business.

Newcastle-based Round 2 International-UK has appointed administrators after it hit cash-flow problems following an ambitious acquisition spree.

Administrators Zolfo Cooper yesterday went into the firm which had been formed with the takeover of profitable and established Tyneside firm Robson Brown by Los Angeles ad firm Round 2 in March.

They said that the company is continuing to trade but have announced the redundancy of around 85 staff in Newcastle, 17 in Bath and 20 in London.

The US firm had been keen to quickly build an international name for the Newcastle firm it had bought from founders Stuart Robson and Alan Brown and had doubled its size by buying well-known firms in London’s West End and in Bath.

A spokesperson for the Newcastle firm said: “Round 2 leveraged too much debt into three good solid stable businesses that have been going for years to a level which was unsustainable for our industry


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-...-firm-collapses-51140-27746523/#ixzz16qqI03bP

Media agency Robson Brown ceases trading
December 3rd 2010, by Peter McCusker, The Journal


NEWCASTLE advertising and media agency Robson Brown has ceased trading with the loss of more than 90 jobs after administrators failed to find a buyer.

Staff were last night left devastated by the decision as they left the business, in Clavering Place in the city centre, for the last time.

Robson Brown (RB) had been a feature of the Newcastle media scene for more than 25 years and had grown into a leading national agency with annual revenues of £37m.

Administrators Zolfo Cooper said it has made 74 RB staff in Newcastle redundant with a further 19 being retained to help wind up its affairs.

Zolfo Cooper director Kevin Coates said: “Despite examining all possible avenues for Robson Brown Ltd, we have regrettably been left with no other option than to cease trading.”

Earlier this year RB was bought by Los Angeles-based Round2 Communications which said it wanted to use it as a platform for growth across the UK and Europe.

This subsequently saw it acquire two further businesses in the UK. But it has been unable to sustain payments on the money it borrowed to make its three UK purchases which led to the administrators being appointed earlier this week.

It is also understood that the loss of the media-buying account for bed manufacturer Dreams in the last month, which amounted to almost £10m a year in revenues for RB, hastened its demise.

In recent months Round2 had bought London-based AW Communications and Bath-based Attinger Jack Advertising.

Round2 chairman Garfield Ricketts said at the time that he wanted to make Robson Brown the centre of an international media operation.

The administrators have found a buyer for Attinger Jack Advertising, saving the jobs of all 17 staff, and talks are still taking place about the possible sale of the London-based business.


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/busines...y-robson-brown-ceases-trading-51140-27758668/
 

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Investment firm buys Wallsend shopping centre
December 8th 2010, by Peter McCusker, The Journal


A SHOPPING CENTRE in Wallsend has been bought by a Channel Islands' investment company and the group says it is looking to attract more retailers.

NewRiver Retail, a specialist REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) focused on the retail sector, completed the acquisition of The Forum in Wallsend as part of a portfolio of five UK shopping centres from the CPI Retail Active Management fund.

The portfolio, over which receivers had been appointed in July this year, was acquired off market by NewRiver.

Allan Lockhart, executive property director of NewRiver, said: “We are delighted to have been able to complete the acquisition of this major portfolio of shopping centres including The Forum which is exactly consistent with the company’s investment strategy of targeting food anchored and value retail centres with stable income profiles and low occupational costs.

“We are confident we can improve the quality and profile of The Forum by investing in the centre and bringing new retailers to the town. We look forward to working with North Tyneside Council to improve and regenerate the centre to ensure it remains at the very heart of the Wallsend community.”

North Tyneside Mayor Linda Arkley said: “This is really positive news for residents and traders in Wallsend. The regeneration of the town centre is one of our top priorities and I was determined it would not be adversely affected by the situation relating to The Forum shopping centre.

“Our regeneration team has already been in contact with NewRiver and will be meeting them within the next few weeks to discuss their investment plans. As soon as we have a clearer understanding, we will be encouraging NewRiver to share their vision for the centre with the Wallsend community through our Area Forums.


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/commerc...buys-wallsend-shopping-centre-51140-27783771/
 

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MetroCentre and Eldon Square owner
in row with shareholder

December 9th 2010, by Peter McCusker, The Journal


THE row between MetroCentre and Eldon Square owner Capital Shopping Centres, and a US shareholder has escalated over a £1.6 billion bid for one of Britain’s biggest malls.

US group Simon Property accused Capital of overpaying for the Trafford Centre in Manchester and said the deal would destroy the value of the company.

It emerged last month that Simon Property, which owns a 5% stake in Capital, wanted the Trafford acquisition to be put on hold while it looked at a possible takeover bid for Capital.

Capital has so far given its pursuer short shrift in the absence of any firm offer and said it would proceed with the Trafford acquisition.

Simon today said it would drop its takeover plans unless it was allowed to go through Capital’s books and confirmed it would vote against the Trafford move.

In an open letter, Simon chief executive and chairman David Simon said it was “disturbed and disappointed” by Capital’s bid for the Trafford Centre.

He added his firm had not received information requested from Capital, which is required for it to prepare its approach for the FTSE-100 firm.

Capital responded by saying it was “not appropriate” to provide Simon Property with due diligence information in the absence of an indicative offer and reiterated plans to plough on with its Trafford deal.

The acquisition would cement Capital’s position as the leading UK shopping centre group.


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/busines...owner-in-row-with-shareholder-51140-27792702/
 

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Former staff breathe life back into Robson Brown
December 9th 2010, by Peter McCusker, The Journal


THREE directors of media and advertising firm Robson Brown have bought the business from administrators, re-employing 30 of its staff with the aim of returning it to its former glory.

Andrew Marwick, Tom Hedley and Duncan McEwan secured its future last night – just days after administrators failed to find a buyer and closed it down.

All three have an equal stake in the business and have been supported with a loan from a wealthy private investor.

While original founders Alan Brown and Stuart Robson have offered advice and support, they have not taken a stake in the new venture.

CEO Andrew Marwick, who has been with Robson Brown (RB) for over 25 years, said: “It has been a very difficult and worrying time, with many dark and upsetting hours for all involved.

“The messages of support and encouragement which we have received from a vast range of businesses, organisations and individuals has been truly overwhelming.

“We are a people business and very much value our relationships and we would like to thank our clients, the North East business community and all those individuals who have offered help and encouragement and their continued support.

“We are doing all we can to get back to normal as quickly as possible.”


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/busines...e-life-back-into-robson-brown-51140-27793153/
 

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Buy.at staff may have to relocate to London
December 10th 2010, by John Hill, The Journal


AFFILIATE marketing company Digital Window is pressing ahead with plans to close the Newcastle office of Buy.at, the rival firm it purchased early this year.

Digital Window conducted a strategic review of its business after it bought Buy.at from AOL in March, and decided all of its UK operations should be based in London.

Since staff were informed in September, talks have been carried out with those willing to relocate from Newcastle to the capital.

Digital Window argued the move would “further strengthen the working relationships” the firm has built. The company has already secured additional office space in London to accommodate Buy.at and closure is scheduled no sooner than March 31.

Speaking earlier this winter, managing director Mark Walters said: “The Newcastle office staff have operated remotely from the core of the Digital Window business since the acquisition and whilst I applaud their efforts to date, the business benefits of relocating are numerous".


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/busines...-staff-may-relocate-to-london-51140-27800133/
 

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General Electric reveals Wellstream deal
December 13th 2010, By John Hill, The Journal



NEWCASTLE'S Wellstream is to be bought by General Electric in a deal worth nearly £800m.

The North East oil and gas services firm said it had agreed a deal with the American company at 780p cash per share, which values the company at around £785m. Wellstream turned down a £755m takeover bid from GE in September of 750p per share. Shareholders will also receive a special dividend of around £6m.

In a statement confirming the deal, Wellstream said it considered the deal to be "fair and reasonable" to shareholders, and recommended unanimously that they approve the deal.

Wellstream employs 400 people at its headquarters in Walker and has around 550 staff in Brazil. If the move is completed, it will operate as part of GE Oil and Gas. The deal announced today is said to be GE's largest in Britain since it signed up Amersham in 2003.

Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/busines...objectid=27816485&siteid=51140-name_page.html
 

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The Gate, Newcastle, sold in £900m deal
December 22nd 2010, by Peter McCusker, The Journal



THE Gate in Newcastle has new owners following a £900m property deal.

London-based property company Delancey, owned by real estate high flyer Jamie Ritblat, acquired The Gate Leisure Centre as part of its acquisition of the Blade portfolio from Propinvest Group.


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/busines...gate-centre-sold-in-900m-deal-51140-27866026/
 

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Property giants step up malls war
December 30th 2010, by Iain Laing, The Journal



A US property giant has stepped up the pressure on Britain’s biggest shopping mall owner as it seeks to garner support for a £3bn takeover approach.

Simon Property Group said its board had given the go-ahead to make a full offer at 425p a share for Capital Shopping Centres, which has a majority stake in Eldon Square in Newcastle and the Metrocentre in Gateshead, and confirmed it had pulled together a loan to enable it to fund the purchase.

But Simon, which already owns a 5% stake in Capital, claims the company it is circling refuses to speak to it or give it the financial information it needs to make a full offer.

The bitter row has been complicated because Simon wants Capital to drop a £1.6bn bid for the Trafford Centre in Manchester, which it says is overpriced. The US giant believes the bid for the Trafford Centre undervalues Capital by giving away up to 20% of shares to the mall’s owner Peel Holdings, which is controlled by billionaire John Whittaker.


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/busines...erty-giants-step-up-malls-war-51140-27905462/
 

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Mayor Linda Arkley defends oil rig contract
December 30th 2010, Evening Chronicle


TOWN hall bosses criticised over the creation of just 35 jobs at a former Tyneside shipyard have hit back.

Linda Arkley, North Tyneside mayor, has said that the long-term aim to create a renewable energy hub on the site remains but that the new contract to dismantle oil rigs would create jobs and save the council money.

The Swan Hunter yard was bought with £9m of taxpayers’ money in September last year with the aim of bringing it back into use and creating jobs.

But politicians reacted with fury last week that just 35 jobs had been created with the award of the contract to Veolia Environmental Services.

Newcastle East MP Nick Brown, who played a central role in coming up with a masterplan for that stretch of the Tyne in his role as North East minister, last week branded the move “outrageous”.

North Tyneside Council and regional development agency One North East bought the former Swans yard for more than £9m with the aim of bringing it back into use and creating jobs.

The vision was to set the foundations for generating up to 6,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector.


Read More - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/nort...il-rig-contract-72703-27908264/#ixzz19boCWE9o
 

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The Legend
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Linda Arkley shouldn't have to defend that contract. All this high price for jobs information is scaremongering, the price for the land etc was for jobs in the future, these 35 jobs took none of that money and are only going to be there in the gap in time until those jobs the £9m was used for can actually happen.

Labour and the local press want to take a long hard look at themselves, because they are basically condemning 35 worthwhile jobs. Nothing bad should ever had been said about these jobs, and therefor their is no reason why Linda should have had to have defended them.
 

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The Northumbrian
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Linda Arkley shouldn't have to defend that contract. All this high price for jobs information is scaremongering, the price for the land etc was for jobs in the future, these 35 jobs took none of that money and are only going to be there in the gap in time until those jobs the £9m was used for can actually happen.

Labour and the local press want to take a long hard look at themselves, because they are basically condemning 35 worthwhile jobs. Nothing bad should ever had been said about these jobs, and therefor their is no reason why Linda should have had to have defended them.
Do you believe that people shouldn't be allowed free speech in being critical of elected represenatives ?
But politics is a knockabout business and not something to get in a tizzy about.
By the way I agree with the decision to bring these oil rigs to the Tyne for recycling as long as it is a temporary measure.
 

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Architect
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I doubt Chris is arguing against free speech - as he says, Labour should simply "take a long hard look at themselves", which in this case they certainly should. It's childish rubbish like this that makes people sick of politics.
 

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The Northumbrian
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I doubt Chris is arguing against free speech - as he says, Labour should simply "take a long hard look at themselves", which in this case they certainly should. It's childish rubbish like this that makes people sick of politics.
What makes me sick is the unfair treatment of the North East by this coaliton government.

North East efforts to create work crippled by £33m cuts

Read More http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-...led-by-33m-cuts-61634-27338786/#ixzz19oLXz3WF
 
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