Footasylum shares soar as JD Sports buys stake. Britain’s biggest sports retailer acquires 8.3% in struggling smaller rival. JD Sports Fashion (JD.), Britain’s biggest sports retailer, has acquired an 8.3% stake in Footasylum (FOOT), sending shares in its struggling smaller rival surging by more than 80%. JD Sports said it had bought the stake in the footwear and hoodie chain for investment purposes and was prepared to increase its holding to 29.9% – the maximum level permitted without triggering a bid – but that it had no intention of making an offer. The stake was acquired from one major institutional shareholder at a price of 50p a share. Footasylum responded by saying that it “continues to operate its business as usual and remains focused on delivering its differentiated, product-led, multi-channel proposition”.
Petrofac co-founder accused posthumously of paying bribes. SFO alleges Maroun Semaan was complicit in six counts concerning multi-million-dollar scheme. The co-founder of the oil company Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) has been posthumously accused of taking part in a scheme to pay multi-million-dollar bribes to secure contracts. The Serious Fraud Office’s allegations against Maroun Semaan, who died two years ago, have been revealed in charges laid before a court. The multinational’s other co-founder is Ayman Asfari, a major financial backer of the Conservatives. Together with his wife, Asfari has donated almost £800,000 to the party since 2009. Currently the firm’s owner and chief executive, he was arrested and interviewed under caution in May 2017 by the SFO and released without charge.
Campaigners protest against BP sponsorship of British Museum. Activist says sponsorship allows oil group to appear a ‘good corporate citizen’. Hundreds of people have occupied the British Museum in protest against its relationship with longstanding sponsor BP (BP.) and to highlight that the multinational lobbied the UK government to help it gain access to Iraq’s oil reserves prior to the war in the country. I am Ashurbanipal, the museum’s current main exhibition, features artefacts that protesters said had been removed from modern day Iraq during the Ottoman era, while BP’s impact on climate change was also a central cause for concern.
Ryanair passengers get double the time to alter bookings for free. Airline extends limit for free changes to 48 hours, with hefty fees for last-minute switches. Ryanair Holdings (RYA) passengers will now have 48 hours to make changes to bookings for free after the airline announced a series of “customer care improvements”. Customers currently have a 24-hour grace period to correct any minor errors – for example, a misspelled name – free of charge, but this is being doubled. Ryanair’s fees in this area can be hefty – for example, its name change fee is £115 per passenger, rising to £160 at the airport. Ryanair has also launched a £199/€199 annual frequent flyer programme called Ryanair Choice offering “free seats, fast-track and priority boarding”. EU261 is the EU directive that obliges airlines to pay compensation for flight delays of more than three hours, and Ryanair announced a customer care charter whereby it says claims will be processed “in 10 days”, with new 24/7 support.