Uk Online Retail Sales Rise As Blog Links Increase

A Foxtons estate agent sign is seen reflected in the window at a branch in north London September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

CHEQUERED HISTORY House prices fell 16.3 percent in London after the financial crash and by 16.6 percent across England and Wales, according to Land Registry data. While London prices have recovered to 6 percent above their pre-crash peak, in the rest of the country they are still 10 percent below. Foxtons’ offering, which was oversubscribed, raised 335 million pounds for selling shareholders, including majority owner private equity group BC Partners, and company employees. BC Partners reduced its stake from 75 percent to 28.3 percent through the sale and if an overallotment option – whereby more shares can be sold if there is strong enough demand – is exercised this will drop further to 22.3 percent. Foxtons Chief Executive Michael Brown stands to pocket 52.3 million pounds from reducing his stake to 8.1 percent. The company, known for its cafe-style branches and the distinctive Mini Cooper cars driven by its sales staff, also raised 55 million pounds from selling new shares to reduce debt. A source close to the deal said good demand had come from investors in the UK and United States, with buyers confident housing market transactions volumes were far from peaking and Foxton’s strong lettings business would also support its value. The offer prospectus shows New-York based asset manager Blackrock (BLK.N) was a large investor, buying an 8.2 percent stake, while Fidelity Worldwide Investments holds 3.2 percent. The offer price valued Foxtons at around 18 times next year’s forecast earnings, compared with 17 times for Countrywide and a median of around 12.3 times for UK housebuilders, according to Thomson Reuters data. The float marks a milestone for BC, which has had a chequered history with Foxtons since first buying it for about 360 million pounds in 2007. The agency came to epitomize the woes of the private equity industry as plummeting sales pushed it into breach of the terms on its debt.

In the same period, the number of bloggers that linked to e-commerce sites in the UK grew by 6.8% on the previous year with 28,178 links last month according to blog indexing company Twingly. Blogs play a major role in driving traffic to online retailers with 1,000 blog links to e-tailers in the UK every day. Research from Twingly shows that fashion e-tailers are the most linked to, after mass merchants such as amazon.co.uk . Almost a third of bloggers linking to e-tail sites link to fashion sites, with 118,042 blog links to the sector in the past year. The research carried out by Twingly shows the top 20 most popular brands among bloggers are Nike, Louis Vuitton, Ugg, Gucci and Chanel. This year saw the British Fashion Council launch a new blogger accreditation strategy following the rapid rise in numbers of bloggers registering to attend the event. The projected number of bloggers applying to attend September 2014 is expected to exceed 3,000 applications. Richard Woodbridge, COO & Head of Marketing at Nelly.com said:Blogger relations is an integral part of our Marketing strategy. Having a tool, such as Twinlgy Blog Box, that encourages bloggers to link to our site and products increases SEO and provides an incentive to a larger number of bloggers. Sian To, lifestyle blogger and founder of blogging conference Cybher said: As the popularity of blogging continues to soar, it’s more important than ever for brands to establish relationships with the right blogger ambassadors. They are customers, advocates, and lovers of your brand who are already promoting you in an authentic, legitimate voice. Their influence is powerful and far-reaching. A tool to monitor and manage those relationships effectively is long overdue. Peter Blaha, CEO of Twingly said: The power and impact of social media as a marketing channel is widely recognised and as blogs are the most influential, a solid blogger relations strategy is essential for eCommerce sites. The new Twingly Blog Manager tool enables e-tailers not only to monitor and manage the bloggers that currently link to them but also to attract more. Increasing links not only drives SEO for eCommerce sites but also enhances marketing of products through blogs. Join Businessfriend today. Where social networking leads to productivity

Ithaca Energy Inc.: Further UK Exploration Portfolio Farm-Outs

The agreements will result in the transfer of a 9% working interest in the licences to Oyster Petroleum and a 5% working interest to Sussex Energy in exchange for the companies paying their working interest shares of past and future licence costs in addition to providing Ithaca with a cash payment.These transactions reduce Ithaca’s working interest in the licences from 45% to 31%.Ithaca retains operatorship of the licences. When combined with earlier farm-out transactions to RWE Dea UK SNS Limited and Edison, Ithaca is now carried for its forecast share of the planned Handcross exploration well cost and will also receive additional cash beyond the carry. Handcross is a Palaeocene prospect located in the Judd Basin in the West of Shetland sector of the UK Continental Shelf (“UKCS”).An exploration well is to be drilled on the prospect using the Stena Carron drillship, with operations anticipated to commence in late 2013. Completion of the transactions is subject to normal regulatory and third party consents.Following completion, the Handcross partners will be Ithaca (31%, Operator), Edison (25%), RWE Dea (20%), Sussex Energy (15%) and Oyster Petroleum (9%). In addition, Ithaca has entered into a further agreement with Oyster Petroleum to transfer its full 33.33% non-operated interest in UK licence P2018 for a cash sum.The licence, covering West of Shetland blocks 214/24b, 214/29a and 214/30c, was awarded in the UK 27th Offshore Licensing Round.Completion of the licence transfer is subject to normal third party and regulatory consents. Oyster Petroleum isa new UK West of Shetland focused exploration company backed by the Norwegian international oil and gas investor HitecVision.Sussex Energy is a subsidiary of Azimuth Limited, a privately owned company with assets in the UKCS, Norway, Eire and Namibia. Isabella Exploration Well Farm-Out Ithaca has entered into an agreement with Euroil Exploration Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Edison, to farm-out a 10% interest in UK licence P1820 which contains the Isabella gas condensate prospect.This transaction reduces Ithaca’s non-operated working interest in the licence from 20% to 10%. The farm-out agreement provides for Edison to pay its 10% working interest share of future licence costs in addition to a cash payment to Ithaca.When combined with the earlier Isabella farm-out transaction executed with Maersk Oil North Sea UK Limited, Ithaca is now carried for its forecast share of the Isabella exploration commitment well cost and will also receive additional cash beyond the carry. The P1820 licence was awarded in the UK 26th Offshore Licensing Round and covers blocks 30/6b, 30/11a and 30/12d in the UK Central North Sea.The licence work programme requires an exploration well to be drilled on the Isabella prospect by early 2015. Completion of the transaction is subject to normal third party and regulatory consents.Following completion, the Isabella partners will be Apache North Sea Limited (50%, Operator), Maersk Oil North Sea UK Limited (30%), Ithaca (10%) and Edison (10%). Edison is a major European energy company, with operations spanning the full energy supply chain, including oil and gas activities in Europe and Africa. – ENDS – Enquiries: Ithaca Energy Iain McKendrick imckendrick@ithacaenergy.com +44 (0)1224 650 261 Graham Forbes gforbes@ithacaenergy.com +44 (0)1224 652 151 FTI Consulting Billy Clegg billy.clegg@fticonsulting.com +44 (0)207 269 7157 Edward Westropp edward.westropp@fticonsulting.com +44 (0)207 269 7230 Georgia Mann georgia.mann@fticonsulting.com +44 (0)207 269 7212 Cenkos Securities Jon Fitzpatrick jfitzpatrick@cenkos.com +44 (0)207 397 8900 Neil McDonald nmcdonald@cenkos.com +44 (0)131 220 6939 RBC Capital Markets Tim Chapman tim.chapman@rbccm.com +44 (0)207 653 4641 Matthew Coakes matthew.coakes@rbccm.com +44 (0)207 653 4871 About Ithaca Energy Ithaca Energy Inc. (TSX: IAE, LSE AIM: IAE) is a North Sea oil and gas operator focused on the delivery of lower risk growth through the appraisal and development of UK undeveloped discoveries, the exploitation of its existing UK producing asset portfolio and a Norwegian exploration and appraisal business centred on the generation of discoveries capable of monetisation prior to development.