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Archive for December, 2011

The Economist and the year ahead

I am not a great one for reading predictions for the year ahead, especially if they are dire attempts at being satirical, but the Economist has some interesting views on 2012.
http://www.economist.com/theworldin/2012

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IPs to charge less?

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Is this the Last Christmas for HMV?

I will resist the temptation to link to the old Wham hit but the question does hang in the air. My local HMV is now in Kingston (Richmond having closed abruptly and surprisingly a couple of months ago) and the queues there last Sunday were massive. Must have been 100 metres at least. Hardly the sign of a disappearing chain one would have thought. But this analysis is sad but probably true

Neil Saunders, retail analyst at Conlumino, summed up HMV’s perilous future: “HMV no longer has a viable business model. Well over half of all music and film sales are now made via digital downloads and with each passing year sales through physical stores dwindle still further. It is a tide that HMV can’t stem and it means that the economics of its store-based model increasingly fail to stack up.”

Link is here

Hard to argue and as a sometime visitor to their Oxford street flagship store, it is certainly noticeable that it is a lot less crowded than in years gone by

So what next? Ipods and downloads are killing the retail chains. Kindle is the next predator perhaps? I can hardly complain if so, given that i’m getting one for xmas

Have a great break

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Trouble at Media Square

I know Media Square quite well. They purchased a mixed bag of media companies from my previous employers after they themselves had conducted a reverse takeover of a fading media group (Incepta PLC).

Thats in the past but it was interesting to see that a huge bad debt (MF Global) was cited as partly responsible for the crash. Having briefly been credit manager for teh self same companies, this certainly resonated

However they had been struggling for years and the more interesting current story is this;

http://thedrum.co.uk/news/2011/12/12/media-square-investor-challenges-firms-“sweetheart”-sale

PWC under some fire here for a “sweetheart” sale of the assets to a management team. This could run and run and could be quite significant in terms of the outcome. Knowing a little about that industry, I can perhaps see a point here. How much opportunity was there to sell to another buyer? How hard was this solution sought? Could selling the individual (and diverse) group companies been more lucrative?

Interesting and a story we will follow

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Twickenham at last

I have seem matches at a good number of the nations famous football grounds as well as the Bernebau, Nou Camp and Olympic stadium (Real Madrid, Barcelona and Roma for those not aware). I have been to around 25 racecourses in the uk as well as Chantilly and Longchamp in France and Happy Valley in Hong kong

Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Trent bridge, lords and of course my second summer home the Oval are just some of the cricket venues i have experienced

But I have never been to Twickenham…

Ok. I quite like Rugby rather than being much of a fan but why is this strange?

Because i live a three minute walk from the South Stand…

This week, courtesy of my friends at Bank Leumi, this will change. The Varisty match might be a useless fixture but its sure to be a good day out

And about time too…

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Should American Airlines have filed for chapter 11?

December 3, 2011 1 comment

Maybe they were feeling a little lonely being the only major american airline not to have filed over the past ten years, but heres an interesting line of analysis

American’s cash reserves, not to mention its hefty executive compensation and recent purchase of 460 new planes from Boeing and Airbus for $38bn, show how much this filing is a matter of careful strategy and not sudden financial calamity

From this article http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/nov/30/how-american-airlines-use-bankruptcy-cut-costs

It would certainly appear that AA were far from on their knees and whilst the above piece concentrates a little too much on the employees rights rather the the unsecured creditors, it does beg the question of how chapter 11 is being and has been used.

And then we had this fascinating development…

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/opinion/at-american-airlines-a-departing-ceos-moral-stand.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=amercian%20airlines&st=cse

A CEO who takes a moral stand regardless of his personal reward? Very very refreshing and certainly I would urge you to read what he has to say

And if Fred Goodwin reads this blog….

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