Business Diary: August 3

Investor puts the record straight

AS remaining shareholders of fibres group Chapelthorpe mull over Peter Gyllenhammar's 25p-a-share bid for the Bradford-based group, they might have been distracted by a curious statement that appeared in the offer announcement.

Mr Gyllenhammar's acquisition company, Bronsstadet, made the mandatory offer late last month after buying out Chapelthorpe's second-biggest shareholder, Hanover Investments.

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The announcement referred throughout to Chapelthorpe, except for the incongruous line: "Bronsstadet does not propose to enter into any incentivisation arrangements with members of Cape's management who are interested in shares in Cape."

So, does the typo suggest Mr Gyllenhammar was behind a recently-aborted takeover approach for Cape, which has its UK operations in Wakefield?

The Swedish value investor, who made the 5.1m offer for Chapelthorpe from a yacht in the Baltics, is happy to set the record straight.

"That must have been a misprint... I was absolutely not the recent possible bidder for Cape."

Who was who?

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MEMORIES of business life in a lost era were evoked by a picture of Leeds stock exchange which we published in Business Thursday last week.

The picture, which was taken in the 1960s, dates from a time when some British provincial cities still had their own bourses.

But who were the men in the picture? Well, Diary can identify at least one of them. The gentleman sitting at the table, wearing a hat and reading the paper, is Gavin Loudon, the father of Keith Loudon, of Leeds-based stockbroker Redmayne Bentley.

Can anybody name the others? It would be nice to know what happened to them when the Leeds stock exchange closed for good in 1973.

A friend indeed

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A Leeds accountant is to cycle more than 4,000 miles across America to raise money for research into a disease which almost took the life of a close childhood friend.

Fred Parkes, 28, who works at Grant Thornton in the city, aims to raise more than 10,000 for the Meningitis Research Foundation by undertaking a gruelling eight-week bike ride which will see him travel from Oregon, on the west coast of the US – to Virginia, in the east.

Fred was inspired to take on the challenge in support of his schoolmate, Guy Humphreys, who was struck down with meningitis at the age of 16.

Guy survived the illness, but his experience spurred his friends into launching a fund-raising drive for the charity.

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The trip will begin on August 6, in the town of Astoria, Oregon, and will take Fred across the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. The final destination, which he hopes to reach within eight weeks, is Yorktown in Virginia – the site of the last major land battle in the American revolutionary war.

"The North Yorkshire Moors have been a helpful aid in our training rgime," admitted a saddle-sore Fred.

Hotel goes green

OVER the decades, the red carpet at the Queens Hotel in Leeds has welcomed a dazzling array of celebrities.

Passers-by must have been startled to discover that it had been temporarily replaced with lush green turf.

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QHotels, the hotel's owner, decided to celebrate in style after announcing that it had cut energy consumption year-on-year by 61 per cent across its 21 hotels.

So bosses at QHotels decided to roll out the green carpet.