Business News

Couche-Tard Buys The Pantry for $860 Million

Couche-Tard Buys The Pantry for $860 Million

BUSINESS

  • Increases U.S. presence
  • The Pantry was about to go up for auction
  • Retailer has preference for stores with fueling stations

Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has purchased U.S. convenience chain The Pantry Inc. for $860 million in cash, expanding its U.S. presence. The deal, including assumption of debt, has an enterprise value of $1.7 billion.

The Pantry was in the process of preparing itself to go up for auction, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Chrysler Changes Name to Match Parent Company

Chrysler Changes Name to Match Parent Company

BUSINESS

  • Fiat also changes name
  • Other business aspects unaffected
  • European car sales slow in November

Chrysler Group LLC, one of the “Big Three” American car companies, has changed its name to FCA US LLC (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles United States), effective immediately, to match its parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

Fiat, the world’s seventh-largest automaker, also changed its name to FCA Italy SpA from Fiat Group Automobiles SpA.

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Court Orders Bank of America to Pay Couple $1 Million

Court Orders Bank of America to Pay Couple $1 Million

BUSINESS

  • Couple had fallen behind on second mortgage
  • Cease and desist letters had been sent to bank
  • Bank of America has used these tactics before

A United States federal judge has order Bank of America to pay a Florida couple $1.05 million for harassing phone calls.

The calls began when Nelson and Joyce Coniglio fell behind on mortgage payments for their second home in 2009. Over the course of a four-year period, the Coniglios received 1,050 robocalls from the bank, up to five a day. The couple also received collection letters.

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RadioShack Plans to Save $400 Million Annually in Costs

RadioShack Plans to Save $400 Million Annually in Costs

BUSINESS

  • Plan to include store closures
  • Third quarter had $161 million in losses
  • Retailer in dispute with lenders

U.S. electronics chain RadioShack Corp. plans to save $400 million annually with cost cutting measures.

The marketing department will see the largest cuts, $105 million, followed by store operations and regional management, with $100 million in cuts, and store closures and asset sales which are expected to save $90 million, according to Chief Executive Joseph C. Magnacca.

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OPEC Oil-Production Forecast Cut for 2015

OPEC Oil-Production Forecast Cut for 2015

BUSINESS

  • 300,000 barrels less than expected
  • Supply greater than demand
  • Oil production in rest of world also seeing changes

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has revised its crude-oil forecast for 2015 as supply is outpacing demand.

The new production forecast predicts 28.9 million barrels per day, 300,000 less than originally forecasted and 1.5 million less than what was produced per day in November. In 2014, 29.4 million barrels per day were produced.

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Nissan Recalls 470,000 Vehicles Worldwide

Nissan Recalls 470,000 Vehicles Worldwide

BUSINESS

  • Faulty fuel-pressure sensor can lead to fires
  • Recall affects SUVs and Infiniti cars
  • Hyundai and Jaguar also issue recalls

Nissan Motor Co. has filed papers with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, recalling 470,000 vehicles worldwide because of a faulty fuel-pressure sensor that could lead to a fire.

In the U.S., the models affected are Nissan's Juke sport utility vehicle, the Infiniti QX70 and QX80 SUVs and the Infiniti M56 and QX56.

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Merck Purchases Cubist for $9.5 Billion

Merck Purchases Cubist for $9.5 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Adds superbug drugs to its portfolio
  • Deal follows Merck strategy of acquiring rival companies
  • Companies again focusing on antibiotics as bacteria becomes drug resistant

Merck & Co Inc., the second-largest U.S. drug manufacturer, has purchased Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., which specializes in drugs for bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics, for $8.4 billion plus $1.1 billion in debt. The deal expands Merck’s presence in the drug-resistant bacteria treatment market.

The deal is part of Merck Chief Executive Kenneth C. Frazier’s strategy to purchase drug manufacturers whose product lines complement Merck’s.

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Barnes & Nobel Buys Microsoft’s Interest in Nook for $116 Million

Barnes & Nobel Buys Microsoft’s Interest in Nook for $116 Million

BUSINESS

  • Microsoft loses $238 million from termination
  • Termination makes it easier for Nook to be spun off
  • Bookseller reports disappointing second quarter

 

Bookseller Barnes & Nobel Inc. has bought out tech giant Microsoft Inc.’s 17% stake in its Nook e-reader business for $62 million in cash and $54 million in Barnes & Nobel stock.

In April 2012, Microsoft purchased its stake for $600 million, part of which was to be paid out over five years, after Barnes & Nobel refused to pay patent royalties for its e-readers. Termination of the agreement means Microsoft has lost approximately $238 million.

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Hershey to Remove Corn Syrup from Its Products

Hershey to Remove Corn Syrup from Its Products

BUSINESS

  • Company cites customer demand
  • Switch will be made in near future
  • Corn-syrup industry claims it is as safe as sugar

 

 

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Researchers Developing Marijuana Breathalyzer

Researchers Developing Marijuana Breathalyzer

BUSINESS

  • Police have no easy way to detect drugs in the human system
  • Marijuana legal in four U.S. states
  • Device measures THC in the human system

Washington State University researchers are developing a breathalyzer test to detect marijuana in a driver’s system.

The handheld breathalyzer uses ion-mobility technology to detect tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound found in marijuana, but it won’t be able to tell how much marijuana a person has used.

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