Updates from the Co-op, GSK and Senior


The FTSE 100 saw a 75-point drop on Friday, ending the day -1.12% lower at 6,712.6. Miners Anglo American and Glencore Xstrata saw the biggest drops, down 6.55% and 4.44% respectively. G4S meanwhile climbed 3.57% to 243.90p.

The Dow Jones managed to remain in positive territory, up 30.8 points to 16,452.7.

We start with news that troubled Co-op Group - it revealed a £1.5bn black hole in its finances - is to hike exec pay and bonuses. Over the weekend the Observer claimed the Co-op plans to pay its new chief exec more than £3.5m for his first 12 months in the job.

Documents seen by the paper suggest that the large awards for new boss Euan Sutherland are necessary because of the complexity of the Co-op's embattled position. The Co-op Group is still likely to post annual losses in excess of £2bn at the end of the month, claims the BBC.

The large pay-outs will very likely anger many of the Co-op's eight million members who make up the mutual organisation. Previously the Co-op did not go out of its way to pay the sort of banking salaries other major players did.

Next, GlaxoSmithKline has increased its stake in its publicly-listed pharmaceuticals subsidiary in India, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited, from 50.7% to 75%. GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited will remain publicly-listed.

"It is a significant vote of confidence," says David Redfern, chief exec, "in the future growth prospects of our pharmaceuticals business in India and underlines GSK's long-standing commitment to the country."

Last year GSK boss Sir Andrew Witty doubled his bonus, taking a pay and share package of £6.5m though the current corruption worries the company is tackling in China may cut this by £245,000. Investor Warren Buffett recently cut his stake in GSK.

Finally, defence player Senior is to acquire 100% of the issued share capital of UPECA Technologies for £75.5m from Millennium Arena Sdn. Bhd, a holding company for UPECA's private shareholders.

The acquisition is expected to complete towards the end of March. UPECA is a Malaysian-based manufacturer of precision-engineered components with 20 years of manufacturing experience.

"UPECA," says chief exec Mark Rollins, "represents an excellent addition to Senior's portfolio, strengthening the Group's aerospace and energy market presence in the increasingly important South East Asian region."