Weekend Round-Up December 7, 2009

Last Updated Jan 19, 2010 10:56 AM EST

Observer
Habitat management buyout cushioned with £27m dowry
The Swedish owners of Habitat and heirs to the Ikea fortune, the Kamprad family, is set to seal a deal for a €30m (£27m) investment in the management team of the loss-making furniture and homewares company.

The Observer reports the new investors have agreed to back chief executive Mark Saunders and finance director Sébastien Drouillet to turn around the business, a process that will require a multimillion-pound commitment.

Mitchells & Butlers board blocked Laffin's first bid to be chairman
The new chairman of pub group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), installed last week after completing a dramatic boardroom purge, Simon Laffin had weeks earlier been passed over for the top board role after a major shareholder raised concerns about behavioural issues.

M&B accused major shareholders, headed up by billionaire investor Joe Lewis, of attempting to rail-road the board on key decisions such as selecting a chairman to succeed Drummond Hall. The company has complained to the takeover panel.

The future of other directors remains in doubt ahead of the annual shareholder meeting in January.

Private equity firms prepare to ride flotation wave
The private equity industry looks set for a come-back when well-known companies including Alliance Boots, fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger, and Merlin Entertainment, which runs the Madame Tussauds waxwork museum, could be listed on the stock market next year.

Ratings agency Standard & Poors (S&P) has identified 19 candidates that may seek a quote in 2010, which would bring some relief to the beleagured private equity industry.

Sunday Times
The great RBS exodus: 1,000 bankers quit over bonus row
MORE than 1,000 investment bankers have quit Royal Bank of Scotland in search of bonus deals in other banks.

The staff churn, which has heavily depleted the senior ranks of RBS, started when the government first ordered it to clamp down on bonuses this year and has been gathering pace since then.

Although they account for less than 5% of staff in RBS's investment division, the departing bankser are estimated to have earned the bank between £600m and £700m last year -- almost 8% of its 2008 income.

The news comes as signs are emerging that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is pushing for a windfall bonus tax to be levvied against the banks.

However, there are also signs of reconcilliation between the City and the government. The Independent on Sunday reports the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Government are close to patching up their differences over bonuses, with the state-owned bank conceding it will show restraint when deciding the size of the staff bonus pool.

While the banks and the UK government continue to wrangle, it has emerged another business leader attempting to enter the UK business world has enjoyed a few perks herself.

Irene Rosenfeld, chief executive of Kraft, enjoys the use of a corporate jet, a $10,000 (£6,000) annual financial counselling allowance and home security installation.

This is on top of a basic salary of $1.47m and equity awards of up to $8.85m restricted shares a year provided she meets performance targets.

She is also eligible for an annual incentive bonus equivalent to 150% of base salary and another bonus equivalent to 250% of base salary under a long-term incentive plan.

McKinsey jettisons troubled star Kumar
Anil Kumar, former star partner of management consultant McKinsey has left under a cloud after facing criminal charges over the alleged $20m (£12m) Galleon insider trading scandal.

One of McKinsey's most senior employees, Kumar was charged with securities fraud and conspiracy. According to the American authorities, Kumar, 51, passed secret information about the reorganisation plans of computer-chip maker AMD.