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UNITED KINGDOM FRANCHISE NEWS ARCHIVE

 
: : Jul/Aug 2001

Founders of Claims Direct may be sued. Class Law, the City Law firm, confirmed yesterday that it was considering launching a law suit against the founders of Claims Direct. .... 31 Aug, 2001
Claims Direct investors urged to take 10p offer. Claims Direct's independent directors yesterday advised investors in the ailing personal injury company to take the 10p offer for their shares made by the company's founders. .... [more] 31 Aug, 2001
McDonald's pledges low profile at Labour event. The controversial McDonald's reception at the Labour party's annual conference will not be a massive corporate branding exercise, the fast-food chain has promised. .... [more] 30 Aug, 2001
New Labour: out with the red rose and in with the Big Mac. Tony Blair last night triggered a potentially damaging row over Labour's increasingly close links with big corporations after it emerged that he is to attend a 15,000 reception at the party's annual conference paid for by the burger chain McDonald's. .... [more] 30 Aug, 2001
Madisons in the Arab world. Madisons Coffee has pulled off a franchise deal with the Al Attiyah Group for at least two restaurants in Qatar and six in the United Arab Emirates. .... [more] 30 Aug, 2001
Claims Direct founders set to make second fortune from Ware-Lane bid. The founders of Claims Direct have finally closed a deal to sell a large tranche of their shares in the beleaguered personal injury company to Simon Ware-Lane, for substantially more than they themselves offered for the business only last month. .... [more] 30 Aug, 2001
M&S move brings jobs boost. Fifty-three new jobs are to be created in County Londonderry as a result of a joint venture between Marks and Spencer and the local clothing company Desmonds. .... [more] 29 Aug, 2001
Franchising could prove to be a lucrative sideline. The prospect of farmers tripping down country lanes as cosmetic salesmen is not one that leaps readily to mind, but franchise selling could prove a lifeline to some hard-pressed farming units. .... 29 Aug, 2001
Clifford steps in to buff up Claims Direct image. Simon Ware-Lane, the wealthy investor attempting to take over Claims Direct, is ready to hire publicist Max Clifford to help turn around the fortunes of the ailing company. .... [more] 27 Aug, 2001
McDonald's tires of Aroma. The US fast-food group McDonald's appears to have turned up its nose at the smell of coffee in Britain and is thinking of selling Aroma, the coffee-bar chain it bought two and a half years ago. .... [more] 27 Aug, 2001
Non-execs resign at Claims Direct. The non-executive directors of Claims Direct, who bitterly opposed a rock-bottom bid by the company's founders to take the group private again, resigned yesterday after the offer went unconditional. .... 25 Aug, 2001
M&S stores to open in India. Marks & Spencer, the archetypal British retailer which has fallen on hard times, is to open two stores in India this year through franchisees. .... [more] 24 Aug, 2001
Roddick blasts Body Shop. The founder of the ethical beauty products chain Body Shop has said the company has lost its political edge following its stock market listing. .... [more] 24 Aug, 2001
Brief cause for celebration at M&S. Marks & Spencer's troubled top executives briefly had cause for cheer yesterday when it emerged that its shares, once downtrodden on the stock market, had outperformed all others in the FTSE 100 index so far this year. .... [more] 24 Aug, 2001
Countrywide Assured's profits up 32% Countrywide Assured - the company which owns the largest network of estate agents in the UK - has reported a 32% rise in profits. .... [more] 23 Aug, 2001
Claims Direct founders in talks to sell firm. The founders of Claims Direct looked set to profit from the sale of the personal injury specialist for the second time in 13 months yesterday, after Simon Ware-Lane, the property tycoon and owner of Claimline, confirmed he was in formal talks to acquire the company. .... [more] 21 Aug, 2001
Esso Dismisses Green Campaign Allegations. Esso dismissed a boycott campaign against it by Green campaigners including Body Shop founder Anita Roddick as "ridiculous" on Monday. .... 20 Aug, 2001
M&S bond issue out to raise 400m. Marks & Spencer is preparing to raise up to 400m in a bond issue secured against its property assets. .... 19 Aug, 2001
Inquiry into why Claims Direct letter was ignored. The Independent directors of Claims Direct have launched an investigation into why the firm's founders ignored an early warning from the Government concerning flaws in its business model. .... [more] 18 Aug, 2001
M&S confirms Brooks sell-off. Marks & Spencer this morning confirmed that it aims to complete the sale of its US-based clothing chain Brooks Brothers in October. .... [more] 18 Aug, 2001

Secretive suitor of Claims Direct prepares to go public. Simon Ware-Lane, the secretive suitor of Claims Direct, is expected to break his silence today by confirming his ambition to buy the ailing "no win, no fee" personal injury specialist and reverse a smaller, rival business into the group. .... [more] 17 Aug, 2001
Lord Chancellor warned strategy at Claims Direct was flawed before IPO. The Government's most senior law officer warned the founders of Claims Direct that their business model was seriously flawed a year before they floated it on the Stock Exchange. .... [more] 17 Aug, 2001
Poole says he could resurrect Claims Direct. Claims Direct co-founder Colin Poole said yesterday he could return the loss-making company to the black within two months and attacked the firm's financial advisers and its independent directors. .... [more] 16 Aug, 2001
Ladbrokes seeks something less grand to accompany Hilton. Hilton Group, formerly Ladbrokes, is taking the dramatic step of starting a second hotel brand to reflect its ambitions to expand further into the three star market and to possibly franchise the business. .... [more] 14 Aug, 2001
Victory for founders in Claims Direct fight. Tony Sullman and Colin Poole yesterday emerged victorious in their battle to take over Claims Direct, the loss-making company they founded and have now taken private for less than 95 per cent of its flotation value. .... [more] 15 Aug, 2001
Compass wins 120m Pentagon contract. Compass Group, the world's largest catering company, yesterday revealed it has won a 17-year contract worth more than 120m to provide cafeteria services for the 26,000 staff working at the Pentagon in Washington DC. .... [more] 14 Aug, 2001
Claims Direct franchisees prepare to take legal action against founders. A high-profile law firm is poised to unleash legal proceedings against the founders of Claims Direct on behalf of employees who allege they were misled about the business's prospects. .... [more] 14 Aug, 2001
British Land eyes 79 M&S stores. Property company British Land has emerged as the early frontrunner to buy a 350m portfolio of Marks & Spencer stores. .... [more] 12 Aug, 2001
Claims Direct poised to go private as founders' bid is reluctantly accepted. The hostile takeover battle for Claims Direct took an unexpected twist yesterday when its independent directors recommended a discounted offer from the personal injury company's two founders which the board previously damned as "deeply cynical". .... [more] 11 Aug, 2001
M&S chiefs sour on taxes for tea cakes. You've heard about a storm in a tea cup. Now Marks & Spencer is embroiled in a legal battle over the tax on a teacake. .... [more] 10 Aug, 2001
Claims Direct climb down. The battle for control over personal injury firm Claims Direct took another turn on Friday, after the company's independent directors were forced to recommend a hostile bid from its two founders Colin Poole and Tony Sullman. .... [more] 10 Aug, 2001
Store design chief Jaggard leaves in M&S shake-up. Marks & Spencer's long-serving head of store design, Charles Jaggard, has left the ailing group and been replaced by a former Habitat designer. .... [more] 10 Aug, 2001
New threat to Claims Direct. Embattled personal injury company Claims Direct faces a new threat with the news that a major insurance company is offering legal protection to its customers for free. .... [more] 9 Aug, 2001
The soaring cost of running a car. The cost of having a car in the UK has soared in recent years - especially if your vehicle is serviced at a franchised dealer, says a survey. .... [more] 8 Aug, 2001
Friends of the Earth survey condemns M&S pension over ethical investment. Marks and Spencer, the troubled high street retailer, has been condemned by the green pressure group Friends of the Earth because its pension fund has allegedly failed to adopt any ethical investment principles. .... [more] 6 Aug, 2001
Spilling the beans. It is one of Britain's biggest boom industries, with new shops springing up quicker than you can say cappuccino. Clearly, we're becoming a nation of coffee lovers - but is the cup that runneth over about to turn bitter? .... [more] 4 Aug, 2001
Unilever chief gets taste for expansion at Ben & Jerry's. Niall Fitzgerald, the co-chairman of Unilever, yesterday pledged to transform Ben & Jerry's, the ice cream once championed by hippies, into a global premium brand worth 1 billion (620 million). .... 4 Aug, 2001
Pret a Manger to move into Hong Kong. More than two centuries after colonial Britain first invented the sandwich, Pret a Manger, the UK company that revolutionised the sandwich bar 15 years ago, hopes to annex its second overseas market. .... [more] 1 Aug, 2001
Monsoon goes overseas as UK rents rise. Clothing retailer Monsoon is to use its Accessorize brand of sequinned bags and hair clips to aid its expansion overseas as rising rental costs restrict growth prospects in Britain. .... 31 Jul, 2001
McDonald's fined for under-age jobs. Burger chain McDonald's has said a "systems failure" was to blame for an under-age employment error which has resulted in a 12,400 fine. .... [more] 31 Jul, 2001
Boss Women boosts German fashion house. A popular new range of womens' clothing helped Hugo Boss, the German fashion brand, increase sales by 25pc in the opening half of the year. .... 28 Jul, 2001
Body Shop reviews anti-advertising policy. The Body Shop is considering dropping its opposition to advertising as it struggles to combat falling sales. .... [more] 26 Jul, 2001
Pizza bosses dispute who is the true capo. Britain's top two pizza delivery firms yesterday accused each other of lying about market share figures in an executive slanging match between Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut. .... [more] 26 Jul, 2001
Keenan to join M&S board as non-executive. Marks and Spencer, the UK retailer, began restocking its board with non-executive directors on Wednesday with the appointment of Jack Keenan, an executive at Diageo, the food and drink group. .... [more] 25 Jul, 2001
Domino's delivers record profits. Home delivery food chain Domino's Pizza toasted a surge in sales, helped by its first ever terrestrial TV advertising campaign. .... [more] 25 Jul, 2001
Claims Direct bid branded 'cynical'. Four directors of Claims Direct, the "no-win, no-fee" personal injury claims specialist, have urged shareholders to reject a "deeply cynical" management buyout offer and vowed to spare no effort in rebuilding the business. .... [more] 24 Jul, 2001
M&S French closures on hold. Marks & Spencer (M&S) said it has slowed moves to close its 18 French stores, preferring instead to seek a buyer. .... [more] 24 Jul, 2001
Marks & Spencer vows to use only free-range eggs. Animal welfare groups last night welcomed the decision by a leading supermarket chain to use only free range eggs in its food products. .... [more] 24 Jul, 2001
Burger King sale may net chief executive $20m. John Dasburg, the chairman and chief executive of Burger King, could receive a bonus of more than $20m if he secures a high price for the fast food chain through a sale or flotation. .... [more] 23 Jul, 2001
Claims Direct cash crunch. The 'ambulance chaser' is bruised and battered by hurtful publicity, court decisions and eager rivals. It may now be too late to heal its wounds. .... [more] 22 Jul, 2001
Body Shop trebles 'party' sales staff. Ethical cosmetics retail group Body Shop yesterday announced plans to treble the size of its door-to-door sales force. .... [more] 21 Jul, 2001
Thornton's sales melted by sunny weather spell. That classic excuse put forward by UK retailers - the British weather - was yesterday again cited as a factor as Thornton's reported a flat sales performance. .... 18 Jul, 2001
Body Shop told to chase profit. Body Shop International should put profits before passion, according to its US joint venture partner, who this week agreed to sell back his interest in the US business to founders Anita and Gordon Roddick. .... [more] 18 Jul, 2001
M&S to exit Belgium by year end - union. Retailer Marks and Spencer plans to close its four stores in Belgium at the cost of 315 jobs as part of its retreat from continental Europe, a union spokesman has said. .... 17 Jul, 2001
M&S hires new fashion director. Under-siege retailer Marks & Spencer has appointed the former director of a High Street clothing chain to become head of design for womenswear, a week after revealing a further slump in sales. .... [more] 17 Jul, 2001
Body Shop deal in US prompts voting rights row. Anita and Gordon Roddick, founders of the Body Shop, were accused of giving themselves preferential treatment over other investors yesterday after it was revealed that they will retain the voting rights of shares the company is issuing to pay for full control of its US stores. .... [more] 17 Jul, 2001
M&S set to decide fate of Belgian stores. Marks & Spencer is expected to make a final decision today whether to close its Belgian stores as part of a controversial European strategy that has sparked demonstrations in London and Paris. .... 16 Jul, 2001
Body Shop to buy U.S. partner. Ethical retailer the Body Shop International says it has conditionally agreed to buy Bellamy Retail Group, its joint venture partner in the United States, for 7.9 million pounds. .... 16 Jul, 2001
Foot and mouth makes Burger King float unlikely. Consumer fears about foot and mouth and mad cow disease have added to the woes of Burger King, said parent group Diageo, which yesterday put a 50m price tag on restructuring the fast-food chain. .... [more] 13 Jul, 2001
Diageo to revamp Burger King after plunge in sales. Burger King is to expand its range of products after a plunge in beefburger sales as a result of the foot-and-mouth crisis. .... [more] 13 Jul, 2001
M&S excuses wear thin. Vandevelde's pleas for patience - and more generous executive perks - fail to impress investors. .... [more] 12 Jul, 2001
M&S: What the experts say. The latest trading statement from Marks & Spencer has attracted yet more criticism of the retailer's efforts to revive its flagging fortunes. .... [more] 11 Jul, 2001
M&S woos Monro to revive non-food operations. Marks & Spencer is trying to recruit Angus Monro, the former Matalan chief executive, to help lead the struggling retailer's recovery. .... [more] 11 Jul, 2001
M&S clothes sales 'slump further'. Attempts to revive Marks & Spencer fortunes look likely to take a further knock on Wednesday, with crucial first-quarter figures expected to show that clothing sales have fallen even further. .... [more] 11 Jul, 2001
M&S opens first local food store. Shoppers with hectic lives got a helping hand today when Marks & Spencer opened the first in a series of metro food shops. M&S plans to attack Tesco Metro and small convenience stores by concentrating on food. .... [more] 10 Jul, 2001
Body Shop takes 'food bath' plunge. The Body Shop is launching a range of food-inspired bath and body products across Europe next month. .... [more] 9 Jul, 2001
Moody's deals fresh blow to M&S. Investors in Marks & Spencer suffered a fresh setback after top credit rating agency Moody's cut its rating for the High Street retailer. .... [more] 9 Jul, 2001
Marks and Spencer left facing gaps on its board. Marks and Spencer is expected to be left with gaps on its board this week when three non-executive directors step down, as the struggling retailer has not yet signed up replacements. .... [more] 8 Jul, 2001
City sees M&S as a retail no-hoper. The City is holding out no hope that Marks & Spencer's trading update next week at the company's AGM will show any upturn in the ailing retailer's fortunes. .... [more] 8 Jul, 2001
Budgens cashes in on top-up shoppers. Local grocer Budgens has announced big expansion plans along with better than expected profits and strong recent sales. .... [more] 6 Jul, 2001
Esso concern over Body Shop's boycott move. Esso has expressed dismay over the Body Shop's decision to back a UK boycott of Esso garages in protest at its parent company's stance on global warming and its past record on renewable energy spending. .... 4 Jul, 2001
Body Shop joins Esso boycott over Kyoto stance. The Body Shop has said it will become the first company to publicly back a boycott of Esso service stations in protest at its parent company's support for the U.S. withdrawal from the Kyoto climate change pact. .... 3 Jul, 2001
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