BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

July 16, 2016

Bellrock acquires Concerto Support Services

2 September 2016 | Martin Read FM service provider Bellrock has acquired Concerto, an FM, asset and project management software businesses.   Since 2004, Concerto has provided both public and private sector customers with its software products. Bellrock is calling Concerto’s software the platform for the next evolution

Read More »

Week in Review, August 27

A round-up of some of the week’s most significant corporate events and news stories. UBS leads dash to develop new form of digital cash Four of the world’s biggest banks this week announced that they had teamed up to develop a new form of digital cash that they believe will

Read More »

Willmott Dixon abandons Support Services sale

Willmott Dixon has failed to find a suitable buyer for its Support Services and called off the sale. Above: Rick Willmott In February Willmott Dixon invited expressions of interest in its Support Services division with the expectation that another company would be better placed to help the subsidiary grow and

Read More »

Southern Housing plans £631m build programme

Southern Housing Group wants to talk to construction companies about its plans to invest £631m in building 3,500 flats over the next four years. Southern Housing Group (SHG) is looking to put together a framework for approved contractors to deliver development projects. Projects will range in size between five and

Read More »

UK Property Prices by Train Stations

Hybrid estate agent, eMoov.co.uk, has published its latest study into the UK property market, comparing the cost of average house prices across each overground train station in England, Wales and Scotland. Previously, the website conducted the same study across each of the tube stations on the London Underground network and

Read More »

Drinking Water Failures Caused by Poor Plumbing

The failing standard of drinking water in many UK homes is being caused by poor plumbing, according to the annual report from the Drinking Water Inspectorate for England and Wales (DWI). The study has shown that almost a third of water that has failed the quality tests has come as

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

July 16, 2016

Bellrock acquires Concerto Support Services

2 September 2016 | Martin Read FM service provider Bellrock has acquired Concerto, an FM, asset and project management software businesses.   Since 2004, Concerto has provided both public and private sector customers with its software products. Bellrock is calling Concerto’s software the platform for the next evolution in its technology journey, adding additional asset and project management functionality.    Bellrock suggests that this acquisition makes it one of the few service providers capable of offering fully integrated software and services to both the in-house and outsourced facilities and property management sectors. Source link

Read More »

Week in Review, August 27

A round-up of some of the week’s most significant corporate events and news stories. UBS leads dash to develop new form of digital cash Four of the world’s biggest banks this week announced that they had teamed up to develop a new form of digital cash that they believe will become an industry standard to clear and settle financial trades over blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin, writes Martin Arnold. ©Dreamstime UBS, the Swiss bank, pioneered the “utility settlement coin” and has now joined with Deutsche Bank, Santander and BNY Mellon — as well as the broker ICAP — to pitch the idea to central banks, aiming for its commercial launch by 2018. The move is a concrete example of banks co-operating on a specific blockchain technology to harness the power of decentralised computer networks. “Today trading between banks and institutions is difficult, time-consuming and costly, which is why we all have big back offices,” said Julio Faura, head of R&D and innovation at Santander. “This is about making it more efficient.” Blockchain technology is a complex set of algorithms that allows so-called cryptocurrencies — including bitcoin — to be traded and verified electronically over a network of computers without a central ledger. Having initially been sceptical because of worries over fraud, banks are now exploring how they can exploit the technology to speed up back-office settlement systems and free billions in capital tied up supporting trades on global markets. The total cost to the fina­nce industry of clearing and settling trades is estimated at $65bn-$80bn a year, according to a report last year by consultants Oliver Wyman. Jawbone falls at legal hurdle in fight against rival Fitbit In the early days of the wearable-technology market — which is to say, three or four years ago — Fitbit and Jawbone were arch rivals, writes Tim Bradshaw. But while Fitbit has gone on to become the market leader in fitness trackers after listing on the New York Stock Exchange last year, Jawbone has struggled to keep up even as competition grew from Apple and Samsung as well as traditional watch makers such as Fossil. Jawbone, which saw its valuation cut in half in a financing round in January, argues that Fitbit’s success is ill-gotten. The maker of UP wristbands and Jambox wireless speakers sued Fitbit last year for poaching employees, who it alleges took Jawbone’s trade secrets with them when they left, and for infringing its patents. It has taken its case to both the US International Trade Commission, which has the power to ban offending products from sale, and to the California courts, where it hopes a jury might hand over “hundreds of millions of dollars” in damages. Jawbone’s offensive has not had a great start. First, the ITC threw out both Jawbone’s patent case and Fitbit’s countersuit. Then this week, an ITC judge ruled that “no party has been shown to have misappropriated any trade secret”. Fitbit chief James Park said the ruling showed the allegations were “nothing more than a desperate attempt by Jawbone to disrupt Fitbit’s momentum to compensate for their own lack of success in the market”. Jawbone said it would appeal for a review at the ITC and will press ahead with its California case. ● Related Lex note: Fitbit — bearable wearable VW pays CarTrim €13m after suppliers join forces Volkswagen has resolved a bitter dispute with two small suppliers that had brought production of Golfs and Passats to a halt by withholding deliveries of parts, writes Patrick McGee. ©Bloomberg The dispute comes as VW tries to slash costs and lift profitability following a €1.6bn net loss last year from the diesel emissions scandal. CarTrim and ES Automobilguss halted deliveries of seat parts and gearbox components this month over a cancelled project. In June VW pulled out of a €500m order for parts from CarTrim, which demanded €58m in compensation. After weeks of negotiations VW was still refusing to pay the desired amount, so CarTrim and its sister supplier stopped sending their products. Interruptions followed at six German plants and after intense negotiations, according to a person briefed on the issue, VW agreed to pay CarTrim €13m. On Thursday a US judge ordered VW’s lawyers to negotiate a “plan B” in case 85,000 3-litre cars in the US could not be brought up to environmental standards. Last month Judge Charles Breyer gave preliminary approval to a $15bn settlement involving 0.5m 2-litre cars, which VW agreed to buy back or fix. VW has always said fixing the bigger cars will be straightforward. Progress with environmental regulators has been slow, however, so the judge wants a contingency plan ready. VW also reached an agreement-in-principle — to be presented to the court next month — with US dealers that had sued it for fraud. Miners promote prudence as China’s economy slows The world’s biggest mining companies have embraced an age of austerity. That was the message from results this week, as executives lined up to renounce their debt-fuelled expansions of the previous decade and instead laud their ability to cut costs, raise funds and pay down loans, writes David Sheppard. With China’s economy slowing just as hundreds of billions of mining investments started churning out more copper, coal and iron ore it was not surprising Glencore, South 32 and Fortescue all wanted to present leaner, more disciplined companies. For Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg the conversion has been particularly stark. Mr Glasenberg said this week he did not even know what mines were up for sale, such was his dedication to reduce a debt pile that had swung Glencore close to the precipice last year. The miner was now trying to reduce net debt to as low as $16.5bn by the end of the year from almost $30bn 12 months ago, having sold assets, raised capital and cut dividends. Its underlying earnings slipped 13 per cent to $4bn for the first six months but it generated strong cash flows. Next year the dividend may be reinstated. For South32, the

Read More »

Willmott Dixon abandons Support Services sale

Willmott Dixon has failed to find a suitable buyer for its Support Services and called off the sale. Above: Rick Willmott In February Willmott Dixon invited expressions of interest in its Support Services division with the expectation that another company would be better placed to help the subsidiary grow and prosper. But despite weeks of talks, no satisfactory deal could be reached. Chief Executive Rick Willmott said: “While considerable interest was received, once properly tested, all the proposals either fell short of perceived value or would have resulted in the dismantling of the business and its culture and the redistribution of its assets, which would not have been fair to either customers or employees.  “We have therefore decided to withdraw from negotiations, to reinstate the business in its longer term plans, and have re-committed our full support and energy to capture the immense potential within the current team and the support services sector.”  He added: “This process has been very hard work and at times an unhelpful distraction for the team involved. It has also highlighted their immense ability, resilience, selflessness and professionalism – of which they can be very proud and for which we are extremely grateful.”  Willmott Dixon Support Services Ltd generated £151m turnover in 2015 and made a pre-tax profit of £2.2m. Its main operations are Willmott Dixon Partnerships and Willmott Dixon Energy Services.     This article was published on 27 Jun 2016 (last updated on 27 Jun 2016). Source link

Read More »

Southern Housing plans £631m build programme

Southern Housing Group wants to talk to construction companies about its plans to invest £631m in building 3,500 flats over the next four years. Southern Housing Group (SHG) is looking to put together a framework for approved contractors to deliver development projects. Projects will range in size between five and 300 units. SHG has published a prior information notice in the Official Journal of the EU to launch a soft market test exercise to find out from the market how best to deliver its constructor framework. Respondents interested in participating in this exercise should register their interest by completing the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SGH_Devpt_Constructors by 12 noon on 26th August 2016.     This article was published on 11 Aug 2016 (last updated on 11 Aug 2016). Source link

Read More »

UK Property Prices by Train Stations

Hybrid estate agent, eMoov.co.uk, has published its latest study into the UK property market, comparing the cost of average house prices across each overground train station in England, Wales and Scotland. Previously, the website conducted the same study across each of the tube stations on the London Underground network and has now applied the same research process to train stations throughout the UK. eMoov grouped all of the 14 major terminals in London to find the average price of £1,024,070, which as expected was the highest in the country. Outside of Central London, the average property price throughout all stations tipped just £221,000, some way of the prices seen in the capital. Away from London’s main terminals, the capital still accounted for the highest house price of all stations on the map, with Wimbledon house prices costing £736,000 on average. Outside of the capital, the most expensive place on the rail network to buy a property is Henley-on-Thames where the average property costs £731,000. Treherbert in Wales offers the lowest property price point on the whole UK rail network with an average cost of just £58,000, which equates to over 12 properties for the price of one in the Henley-on-Thames area. eMoov.co.uk Founder and CEO, Russell Quirk, said: “Although it is essentially a bit of fun, it’s always interesting to see which pockets of the nation are outperforming the rest from a property point of view, as well as the big jumps between stations.” For instance, a property around the area of Kirkham and Westham station costs an average of £200,000, whereas one stop down the line at Blackpool North sees property prices plummet to just £82,000. Meanwhile, the choice to commute one stop from Thornaby into Middlesbrough sees house prices rise by £40,000, meanwhile the difference from Swansea to Llanelli is £30,000.

Read More »

Drinking Water Failures Caused by Poor Plumbing

The failing standard of drinking water in many UK homes is being caused by poor plumbing, according to the annual report from the Drinking Water Inspectorate for England and Wales (DWI). The study has shown that almost a third of water that has failed the quality tests has come as a result of below standard fittings and poor plumbing practices in private pipes and properties after it has been transferred from the public water mains. The DWI annual report revealed that odour, taste, nickel and lead are among the problems with the deteriorating quality of drinking water in UK homes, primarily caused by incorrect fittings and materials or a lack of protection from water ‘flowing back’ into the internal pipework from household appliances. Marcus Rink, DWI Chief Inspector, commented: “A skilled and competent plumber using approved materials provides confidence in water remaining wholesome right up to the tap.” The national register for plumbers, WaterSafe, has urged homeowners to only use approved plumbers to make sure that their supply of drinking water remains safe. Julie Spinks, WaterSafe Director, said that UK water supplies are among the best in the world and the group will aim to maintain those standards by making sure that drinking water in homes is of the same standard as when it leaves the water treatment works at the water companies. She added: “The use of a nationally registered plumber such as the WaterSafe scheme goes towards securing safe clean water for all, delivering the high quality of water we have come to expect.” Every year, water samples are taken from customers’ taps, water mains, pumping stations, water treatment works and reservoirs to test for a number of substances which are then measured against the standards outlined by the World Health Organisation. In England and Wales, the overall pass rate for drinking water was 99.96%.

Read More »