Business News - part 41

Sony Set to Buy Majority Stake in Olympus for $645 Million

Sony Set to Buy Majority Stake in Olympus for $645 Million

BUSINESS

  • Purchase part of Sony’s plan to expand medical-equipment business
  • Olympus controls 70% of world endoscope market
  • Sony, Olympus to launch new company that develops, manufactures and sells medical equipment

Sony Corp., Japan’s largest electronics exporter, plans to invest $645 million for an 11.5% stake in Olympus Corp., the world’s largest endoscope maker, in a deal that will mutually benefit both companies.

Sony has had four straight years of financial losses, while Olympus is recovering from an accounting scandal after a former chairman pled guilty to covering up $1.7 billion in losses.

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Toyota Scraps Plans For Large-Scale Electric Car Sales

Toyota Scraps Plans For Large-Scale Electric Car Sales

BUSINESS

  • Toyota to release only around 100 fully electric eQ cars in Japan and US
  • Company to concentrate on gas-hybrid technology
  • Global sales predictions of 1 million Toyota hybrids annually between 2013 and 2015

Toyota has abandoned an aggressive sales strategy for its new fully electric compact car, citing slowly developing battery technology and a misinterpretation of the market.

The Japanese automaker says it will only sell around 100 of its eQ battery-run cars domestically and in the United States in a limited release. In 2010, at the eQ’s unveiling, the company said it planned to sell thousands of the vehicles per year.

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Japanese Automakers To Slow Production In China Due To Weak Demand

Japanese Automakers To Slow Production In China Due To Weak Demand

BUSINESS

  • Nissan, Toyota and Honda all see sales drops in China, South Korea
  • Some 30% of Nissan’s sales are in China; Toyota sees 17% and Honda is at 15%.
  • Japan set to lose market share in China to Germany

Japanese automakers are having a tough time in China, the world’s largest vehicle market, after anti-Japanese protests drive consumers to the competition.

In mid-September, protestors across China set fire to showrooms and damaged vehicles to show their discontent regarding a territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea, which are controlled by Japan, but both China and Taiwan claim them.

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Fiat Aims To Boost Automotive Manufacturing Efficiency, Plans To Stay In Italy

Fiat Aims To Boost Automotive Manufacturing Efficiency, Plans To Stay In Italy

BUSINESS

  • Fiat hopes to improve factory efficiency to remain in Italy
  • Fiat factories currently at less than 50% capacity
  • Auto industry in Italy sees lowest sales in 40 years

Italy’s largest private employer automotive maker Fiat has no plans to close factories in Italy despite CEO Sergio Marchionne’s predictions for a very bad car market in 2013.

Marchionne met with senior Fiat executives and members of the Italian government to discuss ways to improve Fiat’s manufacturing efficiency so it could keep investing in Italy and benefit from the aid of state subsidies.

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HTC Reveals New Windows-Based 8S, 8X Smartphones

HTC Reveals New Windows-Based 8S, 8X Smartphones

BUSINESS

  • HTC launches two Windows-based smartphones
  • HTC and Microsoft to collaborate to improve standing in smartphone industry
  • Apple to be among HTC’s strongest competitors with new iPhone5

Taiwan’s leading phone manufacturer HTC Corp has launched two smartphones – the Windows Phone 8S and the Windows Phone 8X – based on Windows Phone 8 software from Microsoft Corp.

Come November, the phones will be available globally via several wireless service providers – with top US mobile operators Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA set to sell the 8X, and over 150 operators in 50 countries planning to sell both phones.

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Starbucks Launches Single-Serve Verismo Coffee Maker For Home Brewing

Starbucks Launches Single-Serve Verismo Coffee Maker For Home Brewing

BUSINESS

  • Starbucks’s Verismo to compete in single-serve coffee machine market
  • Green Mountain Keurig machine sales to face competition from new Verismo
  • Some $8 billion in single-serve machines and cups were sold worldwide in 2011

Leading coffee chain Starbucks is entering the single-serve coffee market with the introduction of its new home-brewing, single-cup coffee machine called Verismo.

The Verismo machine will be sold online and in Starbucks cafes in September, with external retail locations added later this year.

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Oil & Gas Update: Shell Delays Alaskan Oil Drilling After Equipment Failure

Oil & Gas Update: Shell Delays Alaskan Oil Drilling After Equipment Failure

BUSINESS

  • Shell containment dome used to stop oil spills damaged; stops drilling projects for rest of 2012
  • Shell planned to invest $1 billion in arctic drilling this year
  • Arctic region contains oil worth $10 billion

Leading world oil company Royal Dutch Shell Plc was forced to stop Alaskan arctic drilling one day after it started when a containment dome, used as a cap in the event of an oil spill, was damaged.

The timeframe needed for repairs means Shell will not deep drill this year. In a company statement, Shell said: “To lay a strong foundation for operations in 2013, we will forgo drilling into hydrocarbon zones this year."

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Bayer HealthCare To Buy Teva Pharmaceutical’s US Animal Health Operations

Bayer HealthCare To Buy Teva Pharmaceutical’s US Animal Health Operations

BUSINESS

  • Bayer HealthCare to acquire Teva’s US Animal Health business in 2013
  • Acquisition to expand Bayer’s companion animal and livestock animal product lines in US
  • Teva deal Bayer’s most recent small-to-mid-sized company purchase

Germany-based global healthcare leader Bayer HealthCare, a sub-group of Bayer AG, has signed an agreement with drug company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to acquire Teva’s US animal health operations for a maximum of $145 million.

The transaction, involving 300 employees and a manufacturing site in Missouri, should be official in 2013 provided regulatory clearance and other conditions are met.

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Apple’s iPhone 5 Sets New Record With 2 Million First-Day Orders

Apple’s iPhone 5 Sets New Record With 2 Million First-Day Orders

BUSINESS

  • iPhone 5 orders top 2 million units on first day of release
  • High demand to delay some preorders but most to arrive on time
  • Handset to hit stores in US and Europe on Sept. 21

Orders for Apple's new iPhone 5 reached 2 million within the first 24 hours of its release, more than doubling the previous first-day sales record set by the handset's predecessor, the iPhone 4S.

The huge demand has surpassed initial supply quantities, and will delay the delivery for many preorders until October; however Apple said the bulk of eager new iPhone 5 customers would have their handsets by the end of the week.

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Apple To Sell 33 Million iPhone 5 Devices This Quarter

Apple To Sell 33 Million iPhone 5 Devices This Quarter

BUSINESS

  • Sales of new iPhone 5 could double those of iPhone 4S
  • New model may help increase Apple’s market share
  • Expected success of iPhone 5 puts pressure on competitors

Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable company, is not yet shipping its iPhone 5, but analysts predict up to 33 million iPhones could be sold by the end of the quarter.

The iPhone 5 will be available in the US, Great Britain, Canada, France, Australia, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong on Sept. 21, with preorders already underway. By 2013, the new iPhone will be available in 100 countries.

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