April 13, 2015

Most followed: Argos Resources, easyJet, Halfords, Hiscox, ICAP, IBEX Global, Spotify, Wincanton

Music streaming firm Spotify is in fund-raising talks that value the whole of the company at a staggering US$8bn.


It makes you wonder what the music streaming business of InternetQ (LON:INTQ) might be worth should it be demerged from the company.


Not that the company has any plans to demerge its Akazoo unit, so far as I know, but with the whole of InternetQ valued at just £117.5mln, it must be scratching its head over the lofty valuation accorded Spotify.


The last time Spotify did a round of funding, back in September, its indicated market capitalisation was US$5bn, so it has increased in value by 60% in just over six months.


The chief financial officer of Halfords (LON:HFD) is - wait for it, wait for it - on his bike and heading off to take up the same role at low-cost airline easyJet (LON:EZJ).


Andrew Findlay, for it is he, said: ""This is an exciting time to be joining Europe's leading airline."


His defection comes just three weeks after Halfords announced the appointment of Jill McDonald as chief executive officer; could these two events possibly be connected?


On the subject of airlines, London's Heathrow Airport set a record for March passenger traffic, which, depending on which side of the fence you sit on (or which flight path you live under), is either testament to the need to expand the airport or proof that the airport is doing fine as it is.


There has been quite a bit of toing-and-froing in the board rooms of publicly listed companies this morning; insurer Hiscox (LON:HSX) announced that chief financial officer Stuart Bridges is slinging his hook, and joining inter-dealer broker ICAP (LON:IAP), where he will be the chief bean counter.


Logistics firm Wincanton (LON:WIN) said that chief executive Eric Born has handed in his notice, as he is off to boss another company in a different sector to Wincanton.


It's not IBEX Global Solutions (LON:IBEX), the provider of contact centre services, where Robert "call me Bob" Dechant has slipped into the chief executive's chair.


Mohammed Khaishgi, who had been acting as interim chief executive, remains on the board as a non-executive director.


It's all getting a bit "interesting" in the Falkland Islands, where Britain's Special Boat Service carried out a raid on the island to test the island's security.


I am sure this had nothing to do with the decision by oil explorer Argos Resources (LON:ARG) to negotiate a farm–out out of 75% of its acreage in the North Falklands Basin.


Noble Energy and Edison International will take over ownership of the licence, PL001, in return for one exploration well plus a chunk of back costs already incurred.



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