Today - Sunday, April 20, 2014
8:49 AM| Comment!
8:47 AM| Comment!
8:45 AM| Comment!
8:43 AM| Comment!
8:43 AM| Comment!
- Pfizer (PFE) has tentatively approached AstraZeneca (AZN) about acquiring the British-Swedish company in a deal worth over £60B ($100.7B), the U.K's Sunday Times reports. The figure is well above AstraZeneca's market cap of £47.7B.
- AstraZeneca has turned the offer down, although Pfizer could make a fresh proposal. A deal would be the largest ever foreign takeover of a British company.
- Pfizer is looking to do something with a $70B cash pile that it has accumulated overseas; repatriating the money to the U.S. so it could be distributed to shareholders would land the company with a massive tax bill.
- Airbnb has finalized a fundraising round of over $450M that values the company at $10B, the WSJ reports. The deal makes Aribnb, which enables people to rent their homes, sofas, rooms, castles and/or yachts to travelers, worth more than publicly traded hotel chains Wyndham Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels.
- Private-equity firm TPG, mutual fund T. Rowe Price Group (TROW), venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group participated in the round.
- The investment adds to the more than $300M that Airbnb has previously raised.
- Toyota (TM) aims to more than double it sales in China to 2M a year from 917,000 in 2013 and introduce 15 models in the country by the end of 2017. From 2015, the Japanese company intends to produce and sell hybrid versions of its Corolla and Levin cars in China. Toyota unveiled its plans at the Auto China show in Beijing, which has officially kicked off this weekend.
- Ford (F) is unveiling a prototype of the Ford Everest, a seven-seater off-road SUV that will be made by the company's JMC joint venture with Jiangling Motors. At the moment, Ford makes its SUVs with Chongqing Changan Automobile.
- Fiat Chrysler (FIATY) plans to start producing three new Jeeps in China with partner Guangzhou Automobile Group from late 2015 via the companies' GAC Fiat JV, which intends to invest 4.7B yuan ($755.8M) in a project in Guangzhou. The plans have received government approval. GAC Fiat could even make a vehicle customized for the Chinese market.
- GM is on course for "a good month" in the U.S., the head of its North American operations, Alan Batey, has said. GM increased sales in March despite the bad publicity the company suffered because of the ignition-switch defect. GM is launching a new Chevrolet Trax and a redesigned Chevrolet Cruze compact car at Auto China. Batey reckons GM isn't "too far away" from selling 1M Chevrolet vehicles in China after selling 650,000 in 2013.
- General Electric (GE) expects that China will be "a good source of growth" in 2014 despite increasing concerns about the country's economy, CFO Jeff Bornstein says.
- GE forecast that it will "grow faster than the Chinese economy," as it serves markets that are priorities for the government.
- Bornstein's optimism also comes despite GE's industrial sales in China slowing to 7% in 2013 from 20% in 2012, while orders slumped 33% in Q1.
- Other companies are also confident about their prospects in China, including Honeywell and DuPont.
- French mobile operator SFR is poised to announce a network-sharing venture with Vodafone (VOD) in the coming days, CEO Jean-Yves Charlier has said.
- The partnership will cover several areas and will give SFR's professional clients access to Vodafone's network world-wide.
- News of the prospective collaboration comes after SFR's parent, Vivendi, agreed to sell the unit to cable operator Numericable Group.
- Caterpillar (CAT) intends to end production at its factory in Rantigny in northern France and sell the plant, which employs 244 people and makes equipment for road paving.
- Caterpillar is shutting the facility as part of a global cost-cutting drive amid a deep slump in bookings for mining equipment. Over the past year, the company has said it is closing a number of other factories.
- The city of Providence in Rhode Island has sued Bank of America (BAC), Virtu (VIRT), the New York Stock Exchange (NYX, ICE) and numerous other exchanges, brokerages and traders over high-frequency trading (HFT).
- Providence argues that the defendants have siphoned off billions of dollars by rigging the securities markets, as Michael Lewis has claimed in his new book, "Flash Boys."
- Providence is seeking unspecified damages from 42 defendants on behalf of all public investors that traded stocks in the last five years.
- A gun battle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Slavyansk has reportedly left five people dead, including three pro-Russian separatist militias. The two other dead were from a group that attacked in the militias, who were at a checkpoint.
- The incident has come as the separatists refuse to vacate government buildings and other positions they've taken up despite the signing of an international agreement last week to "de-escalate" the crisis.
- Under the deal, the buildings were to be vacated and armed militias disbanded. The Ukraine government has pledged not carry out military operations until after the Easter holiday ends on Monday.
- A mediator from Europe's OSCE security body, which has been tasked with trying to help implement the international accord, traveled to eastern Ukraine yesterday in order to try to persuade the militias to stand down. The OSCE also plans to increase the number of monitors in Ukraine to 500 from 100. However, protesters want Ukraine's interim government to step down first.
- More Ukraine
- ETFs: RSX, RUSL, ERUS, RUSS, RSXJ, RBL, GUR, ESR, RUDR
- Charter Communications (CHTR) is in negotiations to acquire 3M subscribers from Comcast (CMCSA) in a deal that could be worth $18-20B, Reuters reports.
- Charter could buy the subscribers through a straight purchase or Comcast could create a spin-off in which Charter would acquire a large minority holding.
- Other cable firms also are interested in obtaining the Comcast subscribers.
- Comcast has already committed to selling the subscribers in order to assuage antitrust concerns about its $45.3B takeover of Time Warner Cable (TWC).