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Elan in pharma deal with German plant

IRISH pharma firm Elan has signed a development and manufacturing agreement with German firm Boehringer Ingelheim for Elan's antibody-based therapeutics.

The German company will perform technical development, clinical manufacturing and related regulatory filing support services for antibodies discovered by Elan.

Greencore given 46 days to counter bid

GREENCORE now has until St Patrick's Day to make a counter-offer for the UK's Northern Foods after businessman Ranjit Boparan posted his offer document detailing his bid to shareholders. The document, which confirms his 73p-a-share offer for Northern, gives Greencore 46 days to improve its original merger offer under takeover rules. Mr Boparan's offer gives Northern's shareholders until 1pm on March 2 to accept his offer. Greencore declined to comment on the matter.

'Mail' publisher axes 8pc of regional staff

THE PUBLISHER of the 'Daily Mail' and 'Mail on Sunday' said it had slashed its regional newspaper workforce by another 8pc as revenues and circulation continued to fall. Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) reported 332 consumer media job losses for the three months to January 2, mainly across Northcliffe Media, which includes around 100 regional titles. The blow came as Northcliffe suffered a 6pc drop in ad revenues and 3pc fall in circulation during a difficult three months for the newspaper sector. The fall was maintained in January, down 6pc year-on-year.

Battersea planning permission granted

UK SECRETARY of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles, has approved the planning application for the Battersea Power Station site in London. The power station is owned by Treasury Holdings' investment vehicle, Real Estate Opportunities. This marks the final decision in the planning application process, with development of the site now due to commence in 2012.

Sugar trade hit by 'parasitic' gamblers


LEADING sugar traders have blamed recent volatility in the price of sugar on "parasitic" speculators in a letter seen by the 'Financial Times'. Sugar recently rose to its highest price in 30 years. The World Sugar Committee, which represents big traders, told the ICE Futures US exchange that high-frequency traders "enrich themselves at the expense of traditional market users".

But ICE is said to believe such traders are not the cause of price volatility. Algorithmic, or high-frequency, traders use computers and advanced mathematics to buy and sell positions in the market, sometimes within seconds, taking advantage of small differences in price to make profits.

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