MarketLine Blog

Posts about News

The Independent: Independent No More


On March 25, 2010 the failing Independent newspaper was bought for £1 ($1.30) by the Russian Lebedev family. Since then, father-and-son team Alexander and Evgeny have invested over $140m and the newspaper – now an online-only publication – has been revitalized while maintaining its traditional pro-free speech, left-wing approach to reporting. The recent politicization of young people in the UK – driven by their defeat in the EU membership referendum when young people voted overwhelmingly in favor of remaining a member – is one of the driving forces behind the… Read more

Where all the Cash is


US corporates, especially tech corporations, represent the most liquid corporations in the world. Moody’s has estimated that the US tech sector holds $550bn in cash reserves, a vast proportion of 38% of all corporate cash reserves in the US. To further narrow this insight, Apple alone held $137bn in cash at the end of 2012. For context, any prospective Cyprian bailout is estimated to cost under €20bn; the British government’s immediate bailout of the banking sector in 2008 was £50bn; and the entire EU budget in 2007 equated to €120.7bn…. Read more

Prada: From Family-Owned Business to Global Luxury Goods Powerhouse


Prada Group (Prada) is one of the world’s leading players in the design, production and distribution of luxury leather goods (including handbags), footwear, apparel, accessories, eyewear and fragrances. The company owns and operates four brands: Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe. Prada retails its goods through a network of 345 directly operated outlets, 30 franchise stores, and concessions in upscale department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue (New York), KaDeWe (Berlin) and Harrods (London). The company undertook an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in June 2011 and is now listed… Read more

G4S Olympic Fine Stands at £70m


G4S is the world’s leading security firm and remains dominant in its market despite some recent turbulent public image issues. At the London 2012 Olympic Games the company was originally awarded the huge security contract, but couldn’t fulfil its promise of 10,000 security personnel and subsequently the UK’s military was drafted in as a replacement. The resulting furore in the media and fines and costs incurred by failing to complete its contract should have affected the company adversely, however this doesn’t seem to have been the case. G4S controls some… Read more

Benecol Case Study: A Leader in Cholesterol-Reducing Food


Benecol is a brand licensed by Finnish company, Raisio Group. Branded products include a range of cholesterol-lowering food goods such as fat spreads, yogurts, milk, bread, and soy drinks. Benecol has become one of the market leaders in cholesterol-reducing foods. Benecol was developed after Raisio Group was approached by a Finnish university, which was looking into the use of plant stanols, a class of compounds derived from the phytosterols found in many plants, as a way to combat high cholesterol levels amongst the Finnish population. Benecol margarine was introduced to… Read more

Natura Cosmeticos – Latin American cosmetics giant


Natura Cosmeticos, a Brazilian company, that develops, produces, and sells cosmetics, fragrances, and hygiene products, is emerging as the Latin American cosmetics giant. Established in 1969, by 2009, the company had overtaken global incumbents like Unilever and Avon in the Brazilian market and is growing its presence in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru. Natura’s products are also marketed in Bolivia and Uruguay through local distributors. Natura operates a door-to-door sales model and through a network of 1,418,400 consultants reaches a potential client base of 100 million consumers. The company’s operations… Read more

L’Oreal’s acquisition of Urban Decay expands a strategy of premium product acquisiton


L’Oreal has announced its plans to acquire cosmetic brand Urban Decay, demonstrating further signs of a new strategy exploiting specialist brands in emerging markets. Urban Decay, owned by private equity firm Castanea Partners, is believed to have been sold for between $300-400m to L’Oreal, although the financial details were not fully disclosed. Urban Decay’s specialist, high end brands have enjoyed success since its creation in the 1990s. It is considered more edgy and fashionable, making it appealing to a younger demographic. These types of premium brands represent a significant proportion… Read more

Tax avoidance by large multinational companies in the UK is unfair to small businesses

  Starbucks has recently been in the news after it came to light that they have reportedly paid no tax in the UK for the last three years. Reuters has suggested that the company is making use of offshore licensing, steering profits to Switzerland, and intra-group funding to reduce the profits they earn in the UK. This has resulted in the company reporting losses, whilst expressing to investors how successful the UK arm of the business is. This contradiction is the result of tax avoidance through the use of an… Read more

UK car insurance industry to face Competition Commission probe

  The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced on Friday (28th September) that it has referred the UK car insurance industry to the Competition Commission and recommended that a full investigation be undertaken. Following its own lengthy investigation into practices in the industry, the OFT concluded that insurers have inflated the cost of repairs and hire vehicles by £225m ($360.9m) and that this is negatively impacting the country’s motorists. The OFT’s Chief Executive succinctly summed up the issue: “Competition appears not to be working effectively in the private motor insurance… Read more

Facebook’s flotation: better late than never

  Last Friday (May 18th) saw the most highly-anticipated flotation in recent memory as the world’s most popular social network debuted on the NASDAQ stock exchange. But not before an embarrassing delay. The most talked about IPO in the history of Silicon Valley did not get underway until two hours after Mark Zuckerberg had sounded the opening bell at 9 a.m. EDT due to a technical error on the part of NASDAQ, a mistake which has left the stock exchange very much red faced. This did little to dampen the… Read more

PepsiCo unveils one-liter bottle of Brisk Iced Tea for limited time


PepsiCo, announced the launch of a one-liter bottle of Brisk Iced Tea for a limited-time with the Kinect scannable Microsoft tag, or M-Tag, printed on a bottle that unlocks content in an Xbox game. The special M-Tag on the label will allow gamers to unlock an exclusive Anakin Podracer experience in the new ‘Kinect Star Wars’ game, available now, along with the limited edition ‘Kinect Star Wars’ Xbox 360 bundle. The new bottle will feature a gold cap and artist graphics of Star Wars characters R2-D2 and C-3PO. It is… Read more

Kimberly-Clark announces management changes


  Kimberly-Clark Corporation announced executive changes that are expected to further enhance its focus to deliver its global business plan commitments and drive global expansion. Christian Brickman, currently president of Kimberly-Clark Professional, has been elected president, Kimberly-Clark International, and is succeeding Bob Black, who is leaving to pursue opportunities outside the organization. Elane Stock, 47, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for Kimberly-Clark, has been elected president, Kimberly-Clark Professional, succeeding Brickman. These changes are effective May 1, 2012. “We have a great team in place to drive our business… Read more