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Funds platform AJ Bell plots London float

Funds platform AJ Bell plots London float

Business
One of Britain's biggest online investment platforms is drawing up plans for a London listing that will crystallise a huge fortune for the executive who launched it nearly 25 years ago.Sky News has learnt that AJ Bell, which oversees assets worth nearly £40bn, held a beauty parade of investment bankers in the last few weeks to prepare for an initial public offering (IPO).AJ Bell, which is named after its founder and ‎chief executive, Andy Bell, is unlikely to go public until the final quarter of this year at the earliest, according to insiders.When it does so, it will turn Mr Bell into one of the stockbroking sector's wealthiest ‎entrepreneurs, as well as yielding windfalls for some of the City's leading fund managers.Mr Bell owns 28% of the company, which is expected to be worth several h
U.S., Israel test Arrow 3 missile system

U.S., Israel test Arrow 3 missile system

Business
Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The United States and Israel successfully tested the Arrow 3 weapons system to defend against ballistic missiles.Israel Aerospace Industries, in collaboration with the Israeli air force and the United States' Missile Defense Agency, conducted the test at 2:30 a.m. Monday at an unidentified site in central Israel, the U.S. Defense Department said in a release.The Israeli Ministry of Defense confirmed the test, posting on Twitter that the exercise "designed to defend against ballistic missile threats outside the atmosphere."Two previous test attempts were called off. In January, a communications glitch resulted in a data transfer problem. Previously, in December, a test was canceled because safety concerns arose when the Anchor-type target missile -- which was fired from a j...
Revived Ll‎oyds to unveil £1bn share buyback

Revived Ll‎oyds to unveil £1bn share buyback

Business
Britain's biggest high street lender will underline the rejuvenated strength of its balance sheet on Wednesday when it announces plans to return another £1bn to investors through a new share buyback.Sky News has learnt that‎ Lloyds Banking Group will unveil the move alongside annual results and a new three-year strategy that will take it to the end of the decade.The buyback of roughly £1bn will come little more than six months after Lloyds returned to full private ownership, following its £20bn Government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.Although Lloyds has already resumed paying dividends to shareholders, the additional distribution will reflect its board's confidence about the outlook for the bank.Antonio Horta-Osorio, its chief executive, has presided over Lloyds' gradual exit f
GenDym awarded contract for Army's Stryker vehicles

GenDym awarded contract for Army's Stryker vehicles

Business
Feb. 19 (UPI) -- General Dynamics has been awarded a contract to provide supply parts for the entire U.S. Army Stryker program.The deal, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, is a modification to a previously-awarded contract and is valued at more than $ 148.9 million.The Interim Armored Vehicle, or IAV Stryker, is an eight-wheeled, armored fighting vehicle used for ground combat.The vehicles in recent years have been improved to protect against improved explosive devices and other attack methods with a shallow v-shaped hull and additional armor and blast-resistant features, some of which has been based on warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq.Funding and exact work locations will be determined with each order received by U.S. Army Contracting Command, the Pentagon said. Work on the con...
Maplin in last-ditch bid to secure 'solvent sale'

Maplin in last-ditch bid to secure 'solvent sale'

Business
The owner of Maplin, one of Britain's biggest electrical goods retailers, is racing to avoid calling in administrators amid deepening pessimism about the outlook for the high street.Sky News has learnt that Rutland Partners, which took control of Maplin in 2014, is this week in crunch talks with potential buyers - including Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM), the clothing empire run by one of the industry's most acquisitive tycoons.Rutland wants to secure new investors for Maplin by the end of this week, with a pre-pack administration being considered as a viable option if a solvent sale cannot be concluded.The urgent talks aimed at finding new backers for Maplin follow the withdrawal of credit insurance to some of the chain's suppliers last autumn.Maplin, which employs approximately 2,500 peopl...