Business News - part 7

McDonald’s Hopes to Go Back to Full Menu in China

McDonald’s Hopes to Go Back to Full Menu in China

BUSINESS

  • Restaurants face shortages two weeks after food scandal
  • Japanese and Hong Kong businesses also affected
  • Six arrested in connection with spoiled meat

McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant chain, plans to return to a full menu in Beijing, Guangzhou and other Chinese cities two weeks after a food scandal left restaurants with meat shortages.

In many restaurants customers were limited to fish, fries and dessert while some locations also ran out of fish.

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P&G Cutting 90-100 Brands to Slash Costs

P&G Cutting 90-100 Brands to Slash Costs

BUSINESS

  • Brands account for only 10% of sales
  • Remaining products make up 90%-95% of sales
  • Many brands have struggled for years

Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer products by sales, announced it will be eliminating or divesting 90-100 brands to focus on products that make the company profitable.

The brands being cut were not disclosed, but represent 10% or less of company revenue. In comparison, the top brands account for 90% of sales and 95% of profit. The top 23 brands include Tide laundry detergent, Pampers diapers, Crest toothpaste and Head & Shoulders shampoo and account for $1 billion-$10 billion in global sales annually.

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Tesla, Panasonic Partnering to Produce Ion Battery Factory

Tesla, Panasonic Partnering to Produce Ion Battery Factory

BUSINESS

  • Investment could be a much as $5 billion
  • Locations in five U.S. states being considered
  • Factory expected to help lower cost of Tesla models

Electric vehicle pioneer Tesla Motors Inc. and Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp.have agreed to partner to build a cylindrical lithium-ion cell battery factory, nicknamed the Gigafactory, allowing Tesla to cut the cost of production.

According to the agreement, Tesla will provide, prepare, and manage the land and facilities while Panasonic, which owns 1.1% of the automaker, will provide tools, machinery and other equipment.

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Hyundai Recalls 883,000 Sonatas in North America

Hyundai Recalls 883,000 Sonatas in North America

BUSINESS

  • Cars were sold in the United States and Puerto Rico
  • Transmission error to blame
  • Hyundai sales increased 4.4% during first half of 2014

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. recalled 883,000 Sonata mid-sized sedans model years 2011 to 2014 in the United States and Puerto Rico because of gear-shift defects.

According to documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the transmission-shift cable could detach from the shift-lever pin, which means the gear selection would not to match the indicated gear and the car could move in an unexpected or unintended direction. Cars in park may not be in park and could roll away.

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Dollar Tree Buys Family Dollar for $8.5 Billion

Dollar Tree Buys Family Dollar for $8.5 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Family Dollar had been struggling
  • Combined company will compete against Walmart
  • Investors encouraged Family Dollar to sell

Discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. purchased Family Dollar Stores Inc. for $8.5 billion in cash and stock.

Family Dollar has struggled in recent months. In April, in response to profit falling more than 30% in the second quarter, the company announced it was closing 370 underperforming stores, cutting jobs and lowering the prices of nearly 1,000 items.

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Chinese Food Scandal Strikes McDonald’s, Yum! Brands

Chinese Food Scandal Strikes McDonald’s, Yum! Brands

BUSINESS

  • Supplier used expired, unsanitary meat
  • Analysts divided over affect on restaurants’ reputations
  • This is latest food scandal to hit Chinese fast-food chains

Shanghai Husi Food is under investigation after a report by Dragon TV shows its processing facilities are unsanitary. The company supplies McDonald’s and Yum! Brands, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, the top two brands by sales in China.

The video shows meat that had been on the floor being packaged, expired beef and chicken being mixed with fresh meat, employees using bare hands to handle meat, and sewage and trash on the floor.

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MIT Professor Designs Robot Assistant for Household Use

MIT Professor Designs Robot Assistant for Household Use

BUSINESS

  • Crowdfunding campaign has already passed target $100,000
  • Robots sell for starting price of $499
  • Social robots seeks to design robots for personal use

Cynthia Breazeal, a media arts and science associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a team of scientists and investors have developed what they are calling the first family robot.

The robot, named Jibo, is capable of doing a variety of tasks including taking photos, ordering food, telling stories and taking messages. It can recognize individuals, talk to other Jibos and it has algorithms to help it learn. It is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

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Pharmaceutical Company AbbVie Buys Shire for $55 Billion

Pharmaceutical Company AbbVie Buys Shire for $55 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Deal largest in pharmaceutical industry this year
  • AbbVie largest U.S. company to move overseas
  • Tax inversion increasingly common

U.S. pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc. has agreed to purchase Irish rival Shire Plc for $54.8 billion in cash and stock, adding to its portfolio and decreasing its tax burden.

Shire manufactures drugs for rare diseases and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD drugs accounted for 39% of Shire’s revenue in 2013. During the second quarter of 2014, the hyperactivity drug Vyvanse accounted for $1.5 billion in revenue.

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Forbes Media Sells Majority Stake to Hong Kong Investors

Forbes Media Sells Majority Stake to Hong Kong Investors

BUSINESS

  • Terms not disclosed but valued at $475 million
  • Forbes family to maintain management control
  • Transaction completes long sales process

Iconic American financial media brand Forbes Media LLC, the publisher of Forbes magazine, has sold a majority stake to an Asian consortium lead by Hong Kong investors.

The consortium is comprised of Integrated Whale Media Investments, based in Hong Kong, and Asustek Computer based in Singapore, among others. It will provide the promise of international expansion and new capital. It also will extend the Forbes digital, media and technology brands.

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Microsoft to Slash 14% of Global Workforce

Microsoft to Slash 14% of Global Workforce

BUSINESS

  • Majority of layoffs coming from Nokia unit
  • Cuts are largest job deductions in company history
  • CEO aims to make Microsoft more competitive

Software Giant Microsoft Corp. will cut up to 18,000 jobs, 14% of its global workforce by June 30, 2015, in order to eliminate redundancies and compete with other technology companies.

It is expected the majority of the cuts, up to 12,500, will come from the Nokia Oyj handset unit, which Microsoft acquired in April. Adding Nokia expanded Microsoft from 99,000 to 127,000 employees.

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