Company updates

Majestic rebrands; HP sues Lynch; Apple TV; Wood sale

Majestic Wine storeShares in Majestic Wine fell  more than 7% in early trading after it announced that some branches will close.

The company, which is rebranding as Naked Wine, said it will give full details of branch closures and job losses in June along with its full-year results.

One of Britain’s biggest fraud trials gets on under way today. HP, formerly Hewlett-Packard, is suing one of Britain’s best known tech entrepreneurs, Mike Lynch.

HP bought Mr Lynch’s company Autonomy in 2011 for $10bn and suing him for half that sum, saying he and his chief financial officer inflated its value.

Apple announced its long-awaited video streaming service as an answer to Netflix, effectively relaunching itself as an entertainment and financial services company with a streaming television service, a credit card and an online gaming arcade.

The centrepiece of the launch was a television and movie subscription service called Apple TV+ that will stream original television shows and movies from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon. However, investors were unimpressed by the failure to reveal key details such as pricing, making it difficult to judge how it compares with rival services in a market already judged to be saturated. Investors sent Apple shares down 1.2%.

Oil group Wood has announced further progress with its non-core asset disposal programme having agreed the sale of its Terra Nova Technologies business, a conveying and material handling systems solutions business, to Cementation Americas, a business owned by Murray & Roberts Holdings. Cash proceeds in respect of the disposal will be $38m, representing a multiple of 5.2x 2018 EBITA of $7.3m.

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