Blithering nonsense

An American rival — Cincinnati-based Vantiv — has launched a £9 billion takeover bid. Although 5,000 UK jobs are at risk, it seems that Worldpay bosses, led by former CBI president Sir Mike Rake, have succumbed with barely a murmur.
This supine cave-in typifies the attitude of our political and business elite.
They seem totally unconcerned at the speed with which British high-tech firms — built by the scientific and engineering skills of some of Britain’s greatest brains — are falling into the ravenous maw of foreign firms.
With Brexit on the horizon, the timing could not be worse.
Instead of stopping our national assets and technological genius being stripped, employers’ groups such as the CBI — who were used as puppets for the Cameron government’s cynical Project Fear — should now be straining every sinew to protect Britain plc.
This is why the fate of Worldpay — Britain’s largest and most profitable financial technology (‘fintech’) group — is so vitally important.

Dunno who is paying for this but all the signs of a bit of financial PR.

The bit being missed is that the company does not belong to Britain it belongs to the shareholders. Who are getting 9 billion spondoolies for their troubles.

41 comments on “Blithering nonsense

  1. Selling out at the top of the market: excellent news. You’ll soon be able to buy US hi-tech giants for tuppence-ha’penny. For all anyone knows.

  2. Much foreign interest (especially US) in UK vehicles has been to access the single market you can see the effect of Brexit in tumbling levels of investment in car makers. High tech , faces a different threat.
    Why is it here? Is it the native British ingenuity which saw our industries race ahead in the post war period ( I jest) ? Nope, three reasons .
    1 The University / Research industry which has so vociferously screamed its warnings about Brexit
    2 The quick and convenient ability to swap skill within the EU ( unless you have seen this you have no idea how run of the mill it is, all on contract )
    3 The ability of the UK to maintain its Anglo Saxon model venture finance within the EU
    Good deal we had wasn`t it !
    The buyers of manufacturing are buying assets skills and goodwill. A of high tech buys only intellectual assets skills and goodwill. Intellectual assets have no geographical location , skills depend on the EU and good will in this sort of industry is a minor issue . It has buyers, not clients
    Nothing pleases US buyers more than to take a Company, break down its value , make the obvious changes ( move it ) pump up the share price and make a shed load of cash. Aggressive cooperate buyers exist to do this and only this , lots of them.
    This is why the fact that the UK still has a lot of good things to offer will do little good in the long term . Most of it will be worth more in Dublin or Paris and especially the new industries.
    In short We a country that relies on moveable skill and being an intellectual centre which has just followed the instructions of the fat morons outside the Kebab shop blowing E-fags into eachothers faces
    Nice work ..and the inevitable rise of protecionism will follow ans night follows day ……..

  3. I commented thusly on this article intotal in CIF btw

    This is not the first time …(hem hem) that a comedy Marxist has predicted a crisis in global capitalism, portending a Communist utopia, and I am not surprised that intellectual opposition is being threatened with Siberia ; twas ever thus . Mason (whose documentary on Northern Soul was annoyingly good ) is a re-run of the polo necked Jumper wearing Poly activists of the 70s but it was a stick then, now it’s a shtick.
    The Labour Party is already split, it’s just that the voting system we have obliges the divorced couple to share the house , god knows the Social Democrats tried to leave , but you know how it goes it cases of domestic abuse …..
    Conservatives are indeed at each others throats just look at Conservative home , but there is one thing that guarantees unity .Corbyn, well done again , another stunning accomplishment for Tony Benn without the brains

    A new centrist initiative is required and in a functioning democracy it would command immediate and wide support . It will not but , as we know 4,000,000 votes are enough to set the agenda, just ask Nigel ( Jezzers best mate )

  4. Anyone read the two posts by newmaniac?

    I got as far as “The University / Research industry which has so vociferously screamed its warnings about Brexit” and thought of babies screaming for the teat, then saw he’d followed up “thusly” pasting his warbling from elsewhere and moved straight on. Glad to see I’m not the only one to do so.

  5. Anyone read the two posts by newmaniac?

    My browser automatically strips them out (and every post by several others too)

  6. Newmaniac?, no. — if only blogs had kill-files. Tim reads stuff like this so I don’t have to, much of the point of reading here really.

  7. Newmania – Mason’s documentary on northern soul was utter cack, by near universal agreement among soulies. I speak as a thirty year veteran of the scene, who attended nighters from the 100 Club to Stafford to Shotts, other commitments allowing. The man is a plastic soulie – no one involved has ever even seen the cunt at a nighter as far as I know.

  8. To backup Dearieme – there’s tons of companies in this space. Worldpay are the best known brand, well done for building it up and all and then, yes, sell for crazy money to idiots. That’s the way to do it.

  9. Technically the country did own it.
    It was a part of RBS when it was nationalised – The amount of money it’s directors trousered when it was probably flogged off for a song in the asset sale that followed means that the fact it has been sold on for even more money means the country has lost out.

    A company sale like that of ARM to Softbank is also an issue for government in that that company was started with a considerable sum of public money in the form of it’s origin in Acorn computers – The creator of the BBC micro that was bought for every UK school for computer education, through well, tax money.

  10. Caught something about cars before quitting Newmania’s shite.

    Pointless trying to sell much automtive into europe though, for the same reasons it’s largely pointless learning German – you can always tell a German made machine, it has Siemens control gear throughout, a British panel likely has Japanese controller, French switchgear, German case.
    If you want to sell to Germans you must speak their language, but you can waste your time doing that and they still buy local only.

    Try running a company and see just how much the government ‘helps’, then you’ll realise that the company owners have no duty to keep the company British at all.

    Some days the gov helps so much I consider early retirement…

  11. Don’t really care about Worldpay, but I’m fascinated by blokes like Sir Mike Rake, who seem to glide between hugely well-paid chairmanships on a magic carpet of cash.

    How come it always seems to be the same handful of people helming top British firms, and how do you get that job?

  12. Interested
    I only picked up “Northern Soul ” when the film came out( he said humbly ).On the other hand I was into Disco when it was “The Love I lost” and “Hold Back The Night “( a record I still love ) and I still dance,
    If anyone is wondering what all the fuss is about consider the joy of …..

    Baby Do The Philly Dog
    https://wyoutube.com/watch?vww.=aaQxa7r_O_o
    Fred Hughes I keep Trying
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHiEsjquTMM

    Got any top tunes to suggest

    PS Sorry to wander off your topic Tim I did respond to your latest Brexit bollocks in full but there is more to life than politics

  13. Apparently it’s a paying job to de-rail comment threads.

    What kind of control freak concerns himself with blog comment conversations?

  14. Gareth about half our auto exports go to the EU and we will still buy BMWs bolted together in Swindon to get round the tariffs .
    The problem the UK car industry has it that most of it is only here to access the single market in the first place.

    The Daily Nazi piece is on about economic Nationalism and Tim is on firm ground , the problem is that when you have just tossed away the reason the industry is actually here a foreign owner is a rather more serious matter . It is people like Tim who have provided cover for the tidal wave of ignorant bigotry that gave us Brexit / poverty which undermines his position .

  15. “A company sale like that of ARM to Softbank is also an issue for government in that that company was started with a considerable sum of public money in the form of it’s origin in Acorn computers – The creator of the BBC micro that was bought for every UK school for computer education, through well, tax money.”

    Bollocks. The BBC initially chose a suitably State created computer as its chosen educational tool, the Newbury Labs NewBrain computer (Newbury Labs was entirely owned by the National Enterprise Board), but they failed totally to develop and produce it in time, leading to the BBC having to look for another computer firm to work with. Acorn had already developed the computer that became known as the BBC Micro (they called it the Proton, their first computer having been the Atom), and demonstrated it to the BBC, and were awarded the contract for the BBC computer literacy project.

    The only reason that Acorn got the BBC gig was because they already had a computer ready to go off the shelf, designed and paid for out of their own pockets. The State funded computer was a failure, for the usual reasons State funded anything is a failure.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Computers#BBC_Micro_and_the_Electron

  16. If mainland Europe were the best place to build cars the foreign owned factories would be there.

    I can’t wait for the revitalised economy we’ll have with the rest of Europe off our backs. A raft of countries are going to become contributors when we’re gone, the Dutch used to think the EU was great when they were recipients.

  17. @ Newmania
    The reason why the automotive industry was here was tossed away 40 years ago. Hugh Scanlon, Red Robbo, Jack Scamp jointly destroyed attempts by real workers to build good cars.
    Probably history to you but look it up *before* you next choose to demonstraste your ignorance.

  18. A company sale like that of ARM to Softbank is also an issue for government in that that company was started with a considerable sum of public money in the form of it’s origin in Acorn computers – the creator of the BBC micro that was bought for every UK school for computer education, through well, tax money.

    Yet another example of the government backing a loser. Acorn went bust several times: first in 1985, then in 1999.

    Besides, Acorn sold off ARM. When you sell something, you get what it’s worth at the time. You can’t claim ownership over it years later. If I sell off my losing racehorse today, and the next owner trains it better and it wins lots of races, I don’t get to claim those winnings.

  19. Don’t really care about Worldpay, but I’m fascinated by blokes like Sir Mike Rake, who seem to glide between hugely well-paid chairmanships on a magic carpet of cash.

    It’s gotta help to have an awesome name like Sir Mike Rake.

  20. SIr Mike Rake is one of the signatories on Roland Rudd’s many copy and paste ‘letters from top businessmen” begging for the UK to remain in the EU. He is of course on the advisory council of RR’s lobbying think tank (never mentioned by the FT et al when they publish said letters) and is as establishment a remainic as you could wish for

  21. NewRemainiac–If you must smear shite around as a protest why not save money on your expensive Union Jack faux-sports patriot facepaint and smear it on your own mug. It would save you stinking Tim’s blog up and a photo of your traitors phizzog with a Union Jack design in shite decorating it would be an iconic image for the future.At once and forever summing up the evil contempt, buzzing hatred, insanity, stupidity and treason of remainiac scum like yourself and the rest of your MC/CM London Bubble pals.

  22. “Union Jack faux-sports patriot facepaint”

    The sports are faux?

    Anyway,it’s a good name for a beauty product.

  23. AndrewM: Try to concentrate upon the point, in that a company that has been sold off for firesale rates has subsequently been sold on to a US competitor via a private equity company that I assert probably did ZERO meaningful work to actually improve the business subsequent to it’s onward sale.

    The only thing it probably did do is offer RBS a fraction of it’s real worth conditional upon their infusion of capital and a clear recovery plan being in place beforehand – Note how RBS got to keep a chunk of the business – As in, we give you an infusion of money today, conditional that you can then cash in later from your minor shareholding upon the enterprise.

    In some ways that is what happened with Acorn computers, in that ARM shares were offered back to Acorn shareholders once the explosive growth of ARM was evident…Hence in many ways it was actually a success.

  24. ASM – there is not a requirement for a new owner to do any meaningful work on a company. The fact you think they didn’t do anything and someone wants to buy it for this money suggests that the previous owner valued it too low. But they don’t get a comeback later on the new owner’s sale.

  25. @ASM clearly you know much about private equity.

    You should enter the field yourself. Show ’em how it can be done in a worker friendly dolphin friendly eco-warrior style.

    The world is waiting for an armchair pundit from the left to show how their perfect way of running things works in the real world.

  26. @Newmania @John77

    Indigenous British car manufacturing fell on its backside in the early 1970s, and the failure was then compounded by the attempts of the state to “help”.

    First off, in the 1960s, the car makers wanted to expand their production capacity, and naturally they wanted to do that near where their current factories were (Ford in Dagenham, Vauxhall in Luton, BMC/British Leyland, and Rootes/Hilman in the Midlands). The government on the other hand forced them to build their new factories where the government wanted jobs (and votes), hence Ford, Vauxhall and Triumph building on Merseyside (Halewood, Ellesmere Port and Speke) and BMC and Hillman having to build their factories up in Scotland (Bathgate and Linwood). The problem was the workforce available were both heavily unionised and totally unskilled in assembling cars. Ford only agreed to build Halewood if MI5 screened the worst of the Communists out.

    Secondly, in 1968, the Labour government was sticking to its plan of “British xyz”, where every sector had one dominant state owned player made up of “encouraged” mergers of various independent players. Unfortunately this plan meant that market leaders in quality and profitability were forced to merge with failing companies. In cars this meant that the Leyland group, who were actually making money building trucks and busses, were encouraged to merge with BMC, who were losing money building cars, to create the national joke that was British Leyland.

    And then of course we had the Unions. As far as they were concerned car factories were there to provide jobs for their members, actually nailing a car together was nowhere near their priority list, let alone doing it well. While some of BL’s output was utter crap from design downwards, other stuff wasn’t that bad, but suffered from lack of supply (due to strikes) and poor quality due to a workforce who simply didn’t give a shit.

    Finally, in the late 70s, and after BL had been nationalised to save the jobs of tens of thousands of Labour voters, the Government finally did something sensible, they took on Michael Edwardes to sort the whole sorry mess out, which he did by a fine Ecksian Purge of the worst of the Union agitators and the closing of surplus and unproductive factories.

    Fast forward to today and we produce more cars than ever before, and British automotive design is well respected in the industry. The UK is home to almost all of the top flight F1 teams and we have a mix of both volume production (Nissan, Toyota, Honda) and premium (MINI, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover) that export all over the world, not just to the EU. Will brexit cause these companies some short term difficulty? Yes, probably, but the companies will have already begun dealing with this, as carmakers have to think in terms of 5-10 years in the future.

  27. “AndrewM: Try to concentrate upon the point, in that a company that has been sold off for firesale rates has subsequently been sold on to a US competitor via a private equity company that I assert probably did ZERO meaningful work to actually improve the business subsequent to it’s onward sale”

    And that’s the buyers fault? If it was worth more than was paid that just shows how shit the management was.

  28. I bought a wreck of a building. I put a new roof on it, put in new windows, heating, bathrooms, kitchens, toilets, electrics, probably more than doubling its value. Do I now owe the previous owner more than I paid for it?

  29. @Newmania, ASM, et al

    eg: @ASM, August 12, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    AndrewM: Try to concentrate upon the point, in that a company that has been sold off for firesale rates has subsequently been sold on to a US competitor via a private equity company that I assert probably did ZERO meaningful work to actually improve the business subsequent to it’s onward sale.

    That is a blatant lie.

    Did you miss or choose to ignore:

    …Worldpay was sold to private equity investors and then re-emerged as a publicly quoted company on the London Stock Exchange…

    ?

    Look forward to your apology.

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