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It’s the world’s largest mining company. But tucked inside Anglo-Australian giant BHP Billliton is also a $22 billion oil major that’s the fourth-largest producer in the Gulf of Mexico and eighth largest in U.S. shale fields. Now an activist investor wants BHP to spin off those assets. The company has refused, and hired Goldman Sachs to help defend itself. Expect drama in the weeks ahead. — Andy Reinhardt
Making the best of it. Xavier Rolet, CEO of the London Stock Exchange, was a Remainer who campaigned with David Cameron and warned of the economic risks of leaving the EU. Now refashioned as a Brexit supporter, he traveled last week with Prime Minister Theresa May to Saudi Arabia to pitch Aramco on listing its IPO in London. At stake for Rolet is the future sway of LSE.
Jobs on the line. Top executives at some of France’s most powerful companies have a lot riding on the upcoming presidential elections: Depending on who wins, they might get fired. The French state owns stakes in more than a dozen publicly traded companies that it deems strategic, including Electricite de France, airport operator ADP and phone company Orange.
Banking on Apple can be dangerous. For the second time in two weeks, a British chip supplier has been whacked by reports it could be dropped by the U.S. electronics giant. Shares in Reading-based Dialog Semiconductor, which gets more than two-thirds of its sales from Apple, fell 20 percent—the most in 16 years. Bloomberg Gadfly’s takeaway: “Don’t depend on Apple.”
A chilling prospect for homeowners. The housing crisis in Britain has gotten so bad—with many people locked out of the market by staggeringly high prices—that the only solution could be a property crash. So say researchers at University of Reading, who argue construction increases may never fill the gap.
Unmoved. Former Lone Star Funds executive Randy Work, who asked judges to weigh the value of his “genius” in a bid to win a bigger share of a $225 million fortune than his ex-wife, lost his divorce appeal at a London court on Tuesday. The couple will have to split an estimated $225 million fortune half-and-half, as normal.
Across Europe, spring is finally in the air. The trees are blooming, parks are bursting back to life and airfares are about to jump. But it’s not too late to plan your best summer trip ever. Check out our guide to some of Europe’s most fabulous hotels and nearby hot spots.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt