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THE INDEPENDENT (UK): Year of bids, deals, scandal and sackings: Business quiz of the year: Test your financial recollection of some of 2004's most memorable moments: “16. Who slipped on an oil slick, but still walked away with £1m?”: “ANSWER: Sir Phil Watts, who was fired from Shell over misreported oil reserves.” ( 31 Dec 04


Edited by William Kay

31 December 2004




1. Who trilled to a trillion?


2. How much did Marks & Spencer's decision to clear out its management cost the troubled retailer? (a) £1m; (b) £5m; (c) £10m; (d) £20m.


3. You can't smoke it, drink it, eat it or destroy it, but it soared in value this year. What is it?


4. How much did GlaxoSmithKline pay to settle a suit brought by Eliot Spitzer, the New York attorney general? (a) $2.5m; (b) $250m; c) $2.5bn.


5. Which bovine Lothario helped lift profits at Genus by 35 per cent?




6. Who said: "Everything is for sale. Except the wife"?


7. Gordon Brown is famous for his devotion to prudence, but exactly how many times did the Chancellor use the word in his pre-Budget report speech this month?


8. Who played dirty by saying: "Here's a picture of the two girls that had dinner with you at Harry's Bar a few weeks ago?"


9. Who, according to a judge, treated his company as "a cash cow to be milked of every possible drop of cash in a manner evidencing complete disregard for the rights of other shareholders"?


10. Which chief executive fumed that four-fifths of the analysts who followed his FTSE 100 company are "no good and should do something else"?




11. Whose corporate direct line went unobtainable in November?


12. Which duo's search engine turned them into billionaires?


13. Which rat catcher was exterminated, and by whom?


14. Who vanished in a puff of smoke, only to reappear at the winning post?


15. Investors hope the coronation of which monarch will rescue which former housewives' favourite?


16. Who slipped on an oil slick, but still walked away with £1m?




17. Which media company fired its house broker after the broker outbid it on an acquisition?


18. Who turned IBM's personal computer business into a $1.75bn takeaway in December?


19. Name the most taxing merger of the year.


20. Name the odd one out: Karen Millen, MK One, Iceland, Whistles, Hobbs.


21. Which company flew in from Spain to buy the operator of which iconic UK airport?


22. Which former Olympic swimmer struck gold for the second time when he collected nearly £8m from the sale of his vitamin business?


23. Which luxury goods company added the water of life to its drinks cabinet this year?




24. Which American multimillionairess said she would miss her two dogs, seven cats, horses and chickens, because of her alleged involvement in insider trading?


25. Which chief executive found himself bowing deeply to the Japanese to apologise for seriously breaching regulations in that country?


26. Shareholders in which British company had to pay for a $450m fine imposed across the Atlantic?


27. Which German businessman got into trouble for sharing a London office with his girlfriend?


28. Shareholders in a building company were startled to receive a letter from the chairman telling them to sell their shares. What was going on?


29. Who stacked his shopping trolley with £2.6m before being shown the checkout?


30. Which financial adviser left 2,000 customers teetering on the edge of a precipice?




31. What were the names of the four hurricanes which hit the Caribbean and US east coast this year, causing more than $20bn of damage?


32. Who were the (a) original and (b) 2004 versions of the "unacceptable face of capitalism"?


33. What name died when Stuart Rose became chief executive of Marks & Spencer?


34. Which prominent businessman did a Heil Hitler salute and goose-stepped before the Telegraph's chief executive, Jeremy Deedes?


35. Whose plan for a flotation in the summer went down the drain?






1. British consumers, who borrowed £1 trillion - that's £1,000bn - to finance their spending habits.


2. (c).


3. Gold, which hit a record $453 an ounce.


4. (a).


5. Picston Shottle, the prize bull, who produces more than 200,000 doses of semen a year, worth millions of pounds.




6. Peter Hambro of Peter Hambro Mining.


7. None.


8. Philip Green sent two prostitutes' cards to Stuart Rose of Marks & Spencer.


9. Lord Black, the chairman of Hollinger, which sold the Telegraph Group to the Barclay brothers.


10. Tom Glocer, chief executive of Reuters




11. Pierre Danon quit BT as its retail chief executive.


12. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, whose shares have doubled since its flotation this year.


13. Sir Clive Thompson was ousted as chairman of Rentokil Initial by Brian McGowan.


14. Martin Broughton, who quit as chairman of British American Tobacco to run the Tote.


15. Justin King, who became chief executive of J Sainsbury in March.


16. Sir Phil Watts, who was fired from Shell over misreported oil reserves.




17. Incisive Media fired Numis over its purchase of Centaur.


18. Lenovo of China.


19. Gordon Brown merged the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise departments.


20. Hobbs is the one UK retailer that the Icelandic invader Baugur has not bought this year.


21. Abertis of Spain bought TBI, the operator of Luton airport.


22. David Wilkie, who sold Health Perceptions to William Ransom.


23. LVMH, which paid £300m for the Scotch distiller Glenmorangie.




24. Martha Stewart, who went to prison for obstructing an investigation into an insider dealing scandal.


25. Charles Prince, the chief executive of Citigroup.


26. Amvescap, UK-listed parent of Invesco Perpetual, was fined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and partly met the cost by cutting its dividend.


27. Werner Seifert, the chief executive of Deutsche Börse, who left confidential documents about the bid for the London Stock Exchange at the office of his girlfriend, Lisa Traeger.


28. The letters were fake, sent by animal rights activists objecting to Montpellier's work on a research laboratory at Oxford University. Fearing violence, Roy Harrison, chairman, pulled Montpellier out of the project.


29. Sir Peter Davis, who collected £2.6m when he was sacked as the chairman of J Sainsbury.


30. David Aaron, whose business went into liquidation after he could not meet claims for losses on precipice bonds.




31. Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Ivan.


32. (a) In 1973 Edward Heath, the then prime minister, used the phrase to describe the late entrepreneur Tiny Rowland.


(b) The Phoenix Four - John Towers, Peter Beale, Nick Stephenson and John Edwards - took over MG Rover and BMW UK's boss, Jim O'Donnell, criticised them over the money they received.


33. Lifestore, Vittorio Radice's one-stop shop for home furnishings. The Gateshead-based store will shut in January.


34. Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers. The men were discussing a jointly owned print works.


35. Dyno-Rod's plan, after its founder, Jim Zockoll, decided at the last minute to sell the business to British Gas instead.

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