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UACN to liquidate Warm Spring Waters Nigeria Limited

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United Africa Company Nigeria Plc (“UACN Plc”), a diversified conglomerate and one of Nigeria’s oldest companies announced on Thursday that it will wind up the assets of one of its subsidiary businesses, Warm Spring Waters Nigeria Limited, makers of ‘Gossy’ Table Water based in Ikogosi, Ekiti State. The company cites weak operational performance due to problems associated with the rural location of the plant at the source of the spring water, logistical challenges, 100% reliance on company-generated power and a difficult operating environment as reasons to shut the business. Warm Springs Waters commenced business in 2002 in Ikogosi, Ekiti State, in partnership with the Ekiti State Government and some private investors to produce premium quality spring water under the ‘Gossy’ brand. UACN ho

Heineken toasts full year 2017 results

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Heineken N.V cheered its full year results for 2017 as it reported a 5.37% (5% organic) rise in revenue to €21.9bn. Profits in the same period jumped 7.1% to €2.2bn from €2.09bn in 2016. Commenting on the results, Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, chief executive officer, Heineken NV said, “We delivered strong results in 2017, with all regions contributing to organic growth in volume, revenue and Operating Profit.” Beer volumes grew 3%, with the “Heineken” beer brand growing 4.5% per hectoliter. The company said that revenue per hectoliter in all regions improved except for Asia Pacific due to negative mix effects. The firm stressed that it continued to invest in key developing markets with expansion of production capacity in Mexico, Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Haiti, with the opening of a ne

7-UP receives regulatory approval to delist shares from NSE

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Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc has received approval from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to delist its shares from the Exchange following the submission of an application it made to the Exchange, seeking to delist its shares and end its 32 years on the big board. The company was first listed on the Exchange in 1986. A regulatory filing at the Stock Exchange suggest that the company which was incorporated in Nigeria in 1959 and became a publicly traded company in 1978 begun the process of delisting on 8th February 2018 similar to steps taking by its main rival, Nigerian bottling Company (NBC) to exit the Exchange in 2011. Seven-Up announced on 30th November that it had received an offer from Affelka S.A, its majority shareholder to acquire the remaining shares of minority shareholders it ...

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt opens stores in Nigeria

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Eat N’ Go Limited on Wednesday announced the launch of Pinkberry, a famous frozen yogurt brand with origins in Los Angeles, California into the Nigeria market. Presently located at Admiralty way Lekki Phase 1 and Aromire Street, Ikeja, Lagos, the new brand promised to bring light, refreshing and craveable frozen yogurt experience to Nigeria. “We are excited to finally serve a distinctly light and refreshing taste of frozen yogurt in Nigeria,” said Aaron Serruya, President and CEO of Pinkberry International. “We are happy to serve and become a local favorite of the sophisticated community in Lagos in partnership with Eat N’GO Limited, who shares our values and commitment on exceeding customer expectations day in and day out” Commenting on the new store at the Dominos Pizza Shop on Admiralty

Indian teaching startups make work for idle thumbs

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TO ANY outsider it looks as if the children have been hypnotised by yet another smartphone game. As the spying elders in a TV ad try to break the spell, the sprogs flash a grin at their screens. “It’s maths, dad,” giggles a fifth-grader to her father. The company behind the ad, Byju’s, sells an educational smartphone app which has been downloaded 14m times since its launch in 2015.Byju’s is one of many education technology (or “edtech”) startups that have emerged in India in the past few years. Their target is vast—some 260m pupils in schools and over 30m graduates who train in order to pass entrance tests for a seat in medical, engineering and elite management institutes. KPMG, a consultancy, reckons the industry will grow eightfold to be worth around $2bn by 2021.Much of the expected gro

The world’s largest-ever tech deal now depends on Qualcomm

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Hock Tan hones the art of the dealVALENTINE’S DAY might seem like a good time to discuss a proposal. But whether it brought luck to Broadcom’s attempt to woo its rival chipmaker, Qualcomm, is still unclear. As The Economist went to press, a meeting between the boards of both firms to discuss Broadcom’s bid of $146bn (including debt) proved inconclusive. Having rejected an initial approach in November, Qualcomm’s board will soon meet to discuss next steps.Should the board reject Broadcom’s offer, the fate of the largest-ever tech acquisition would then lie with Qualcomm’s shareholders. The deal could still proceed if they elect a majority of Broadcom’s nominees to the board at Qualcomm’s annual investor meeting on March 6th. But it would have a complicated course to run.Neither firm may be

Japanese businesses are struggling to keep up standards

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KUMIKO HIRANO has noticed a disquieting change when she goes to her neighbourhood konbini, one of Japan’s ubiquitous convenience stores. “No one is around and I have to use a loud voice to get someone to serve me,” says the 48-year-old worker in Tokyo. “It irritates me.”This might not seem a big problem, but Japan prides itself on the standard of customer service, which approaches the level of bespoke attention elsewhere. Taxi drivers, who often wear white gloves, sometimes get out to bow when they drop off a passenger. Staff in shops and restaurants are unfailingly polite. Shoppers can order on Amazon and take delivery reliably the same day. Now Japanese are having slowly to adapt to levels of service long suffered by the rest of the world.The human touch is becoming rarer. Lawson, anothe

Ten years on from Norway’s quota for women on corporate boards

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THE centrepiece of the opening-bell ritual at the London Stock Exchange on February 2nd was a roll call to honour 27 global investors. They were lauded for pledging allegiance to the “30% Club”, a group which campaigns for precisely that proportion of women on corporate boards globally. Membership is a hot ticket, judging by the club’s expansion. Behemoths including BlackRock, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Standard Life have joined, and are voting against boards that fail to appoint more women.In much of western Europe, such efforts follow a decade-long push by governments. In 2008 Norway obliged listed companies to reserve at least 40% of their director seats for women on pain of dissolution. In the following five years more than a dozen countries set similar quotas at 30% to 40%. In B

Will Comcast try to outbid Disney for Fox?

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WHEN Disney struck a deal just before Christmas to buy much of 21st Century Fox for $66bn, it was a career-defining moment for the two firms’ bosses, Bob Iger and Rupert Murdoch. A third media mogul, Brian Roberts of Comcast, was left out in the cold. Having tried and failed last autumn to get Mr Murdoch to take a higher offer, Mr Roberts may now be preparing a still richer bid to upend the deal.It is not hard to understand his motivation. Comcast is in an awkward position at a time when the media landscape is shifting. With millions of consumers dropping pay-TV for the likes of Netflix, media companies have suddenly become either buyers, to achieve scale, or sellers, to exit. Mr Roberts has always been a buyer, building the cable business his father started into a diversified empire throu

Opportunities are opening for electrified commercial vehicles

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Pulls a heavy weight of expectationELECTRIC commercial vehicles were once a common sight in Britain’s towns and cities. A fleet of 25,000 battery-powered milk floats roved the early-morning streets delivering a crucial part of the nation’s breakfast. Short ranges and low top speed were unimportant for a milk round but near-silent running meant customers could sleep. Their demise came as supermarkets expanded, but electrification of business vehicles is gathering pace anew.Just as better battery technology is bringing down the cost and boosting the range of passenger electric vehicles (EVs), those advances are making electrification of commercial vehicles more appealing. The purchase price is still far higher than a comparable vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE). But businesses