Business News - part 43

American Airlines Parent Company Merging With US Airways

American Airlines Parent Company Merging With US Airways

BUSINESS

  • AMR won court approval for merger plan
  • New company to be world’s largest airline
  • Severance pay for AMR CEO rejected

American Airlines’ parent company AMR Corp. has filed a plan to merge with US Airways Group Inc. after it exits bankruptcy protection, creating the world’s largest airline.

In late March, AMR won court approval to proceed with its plan, which will be complete once AMR ends court protection.

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Aerospace Giant EADS to Buy Back $634 Million in Stock From French Government

Aerospace Giant EADS to Buy Back $634 Million in Stock From French Government

BUSINESS

  • Government currently owns 15% share in EADS
  • Purchase part of a larger share buyback program
  • First time France has considered selling shares 

European aerospace giant EADS, parent company of European jet maker Airbus, is in talks to buy back $634 million of its own stock from the French government.

The French government’s currently holds a 14.83% stake in the company, and EADS would be purchasing 1.56% of its shares. The deal involves shares already agreed to be placed by the French government beyond its voting control.

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Energy Company ConocoPhillips Suspends Offshore Arctic Operations

Energy Company ConocoPhillips Suspends Offshore Arctic Operations

BUSINESS

  • ConocoPhillips stops plans to drill in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf
  • US Department of the Interior mandates a more concrete Arctic-specific plan for drilling
  • Alaskan governor feels federal government stringency causing a reduction in Alaskan jobs, economic opportunities

ConocoPhillips is halting plans to drill in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea in 2014. According to the oil giant, they are hesitant due to the uncertainties of continuously evolving federal regulatory requirements and operational permitting standards.

In a statement to the press, ConocoPhillips’ Alaska President Trond-Erik Johansen said that while the company is confident in its expertise and ability to safely conduct offshore Arctic operations, “ConocoPhillips believes it needs more time to ensure that all regulatory stakeholders are aligned.”

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Military Vehicle Manufacturer Oshkosh Corp. Cuts Defense Unit Jobs

Military Vehicle Manufacturer Oshkosh Corp. Cuts Defense Unit Jobs

BUSINESS

Oshkosh Corp., producer of military vehicles and trucks, will cut 900 jobs in its defense department, with roughly 700 hourly positions eliminated in mid-June and 200 full-time roles cut in July. Overall, 25% of personnel in the Fox Valley-based defense unit will be let go, leaving a total of 2,800 employees.

Just two years ago, thanks to a $3 billion US defense contract, there was considerable job growth at Oshkosh, with 2,500 jobseekers clamoring to fill around 750 openings during a two-day job fair.  In contrast, other US companies and Oshkosh departments were hit by the recession, leading to increased pay cuts, layoffs and furloughs. 

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First Solar Purchases Solar-Cell Technology Company

First Solar Purchases Solar-Cell Technology Company

BUSINESS

  • First Solar plans to move into silicon solar-cell market
  • $12 billion in revenue forecast for next three years
  • First Solar plans to sell solar cells in Japan

Solar manufacturer First Solar Inc. has agreed to purchase TetraSun, a startup company that develops rooftop photovoltaic technology, to gain access to the crystalline silicon market.

Silicon solar cells have a 21% efficiency rating, and can be manufactured at low cost. First Solar currently produces panels manufactured from cadmium telluride and using silver electrodes, while TetraSun’s panels use copper electrodes.

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Strategic Defence Intelligence Report: Global Airport M&A Activity to Rise in 2013

Strategic Defence Intelligence Report: Global Airport M&A Activity to Rise in 2013

BUSINESS

  • Oil prices, market expansion, inflation, airport privatization to drive M&A activity upwards
  • China, India, Brazil, Russia, Middle East to see highest annual growth in emerging airport markets
  • Average airport supplier marketing budget to jump to $4.7 million in 2013

 

The global airport industry is likely to see an increase in mergers and acquisitions in 2013, according to results from a new ICD Research/Strategic Defence Intelligence report.

The Global Airports Survey 2013-2014 polled executives from the global airport sector, half of whom predicted consolidation was set to grow, stimulated by higher oil prices and expanding operations in overseas markets as well as rising inflationary pressure and airport privatization.

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Report: US Airline Complaints Increase In 2012

Report: US Airline Complaints Increase In 2012

BUSINESS

  • Number of airline complaints up 20% since 2011
  • Virgin top of list for customer satisfaction
  • Study finds Hawaiian Airlines best on-time carrier

A report on US airlines, finds complaints filed with the US Department of Transportation rose by over 2,000 from 2011 to hit nearly 11,450 complaints last year.

The Airline Quality Rankings Report, conducted by Wichita State University and the University of Nebraska, analyzes Department of Transportation figures on the 14 largest US airlines. It examines four categories including on-time rates, denied boarding, mishandled baggage and complaints. In total 14 airlines were evaluated, each of which carry at least 1% of passengers who flew domestically.

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Mixed Results for Phase III Testing of AstraZeneca’s Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug

Mixed Results for Phase III Testing of AstraZeneca’s Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug

BUSINESS

  • AstraZeneca’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Fostamatinib meets one principal goal, fails second in testing phase 
  • Fostamatinib part of AstraZeneca’s strategic plan to fight generic drug competition
  • Analysts say that even if approved, Fostamatinib will be a secondary drug

In an advanced-stage clinical trial, Fostamatinib, an experimental drug put out by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Plc, demonstrated mixed results in terms of the safe and effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

In the company’s Oskira-1 Phase III study, Fostamatinib met one principal goal, but failed to meet the second. 

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Electric-car Maker Detroit Electric Unveils All-Electric Sports Car

Electric-car Maker Detroit Electric Unveils All-Electric Sports Car

BUSINESS

  • Detroit Electric SP:01 vehicle to be fastest EV sports car available
  • Detroit Electric to unveil other models in next few years
  • Electric-car market small in US, worldwide

Electric-car manufacturer Detroit Electric has unveiled plans for its SP:01 sports car, the world’s fastest pure electric production vehicle, which has been in development for five years.

The SP:01 will have a top speed of 155 miles per hour and can go 190 miles between charges.  Unlike most electric cars, it will feature a four-gear transmission. The vehicle recharges in four hours and retails for $135,000.

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Social Games Provider Zynga Brings Real Money Online Gambling To The UK

Social Games Provider Zynga Brings Real Money Online Gambling To The UK

BUSINESS

  • Zynga to offer UK residents over 18 access to real money games “ZyngaPlusPoker” and “ZyngaPlusCasino”
  • Zynga aims to offer next-generation, real-money games on multiple platforms in regulated markets worldwide
  • Online gambling in US could reach $7.4 billion annually by 2017

Social games service provider Zynga Inc. has introduced two real-money games in the UK, hoping to gain back revenue lost elsewhere on the internet.

UK residents over 18 will have access to “ZyngaPlusPoker”and “ZyngaPlusCasino” via the internet and a desktop download. Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc. will power the games as well as handle the gaming license and security. Poker players will also be able to play against users of Bwin-owned games.

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