News in brief

Rolls-Royce D-day

The struggle between BMW and Volkswagen for control of Rolls-Royce comes to a head on June 4 at the Extraordinary General Meeting of Vickers shareholders. BMW has restated that it will neither withdraw, nor improve on its £340m offer. VW’s rival bid remains £90m higher at £430m.

A call to engineers

Engineers were this week called upon to help eradicate poverty around the world with the launch of the Telford Challenge, an initiative set up by the Royal Academy of Engineering and UK engineering institutions to help the transfer of engineering skills. The Department of International Development will match funds raised by the UK’s engineering bodies.

Courtaulds interest

A rival bid for UK chemicals group Courtaulds could be made this week. Dutch giant Akzo Nobel had offered £1.8bn for the group but a rival offer could emerge from US-based PPG and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, which revealed on Tuesday they had been in talks with Courtaulds.

UK’s right to dump

Environment minister Michael Meacher said this week that the UK would fight to retain the right to dump a ‘small number’ of North Sea platforms at sea at a meeting to sign an international treaty on the issue in July.

Turbine upgrade

Scottish Hydro-Electric has awarded Kvaerner Energy a contract worth about £20m to upgrade one of the gas turbines at its 750MW Keadby power station near Scunthorpe. Kvaerner will replace the GE 9F turbine that suffered a compressor failure in 1997.