Business News - part 8

Oracle Buys Micros Systems for $5.3 Billion

Oracle Buys Micros Systems for $5.3 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Micros a smaller version of Oracle
  • Purchase will help Oracle stay competitive
  • Micros largest purchase in four years

Computer technology company Oracle Corp., the world’s second largest software manufacturer, has purchased point-of-sale manufacturer Micros Systems Inc. for $5.3 billion, hoping to boost sluggish sales.

Micros is a smaller version of Oracle. It has a hardware and software business along with a small-cloud computing presence.

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GE Alters Bid for Utility Alstom to Win French Government Approval

GE Alters Bid for Utility Alstom to Win French Government Approval

BUSINESS

  • Revised bids ease government concerns
  • GE would win gas turbine business, if successful
  • Rivals Siemens and Mitsubishi also alter bid

General Electric Co. has revised its bid to win energy conglomerateAlstom SA in the hopes of gaining French government and union approval and easing their concerns.

In the revised $13.5 billion bid, an increase of $1.63 billion, GE proposes to keep Alstom’s energy assets, grid equipment and power generation, together.

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Harley-Davidson Introduces Its First Electric Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson Introduces Its First Electric Motorcycle

BUSINESS

  • Company seeking customer, dealer feedback
  • Innovation leading Harley out of economic downturn
  • Finding market for electric motorcycles a challenge

Harley-Davidson Motor Co. is introducing its first electric motorcycle, Project LiveWire, this month as the company increasing invests in innovation.

LiveWire is not yet available for sale. Instead, LiveWire will be beta tested. Harley will use the feedback to determine future marketability, and it might be several years before the model is available.

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Coke Opening Five Middle East Plants as Sales Growth Increases

Coke Opening Five Middle East Plants as Sales Growth Increases

BUSINESS

  • $500 million to be invested in Egypt
  • Three plants to open in Pakistan
  • Coca-Cola Life makes European debut

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola Co. plans to open five plants in two Middle Eastern countries over the next 18 months as sales in the region have increased by double digit percentages.

Three plants will open in Islamabad, Multan and Karachi, Pakistan, to serve the domestic market. This year, 20% sales growth is expected in Pakistan.

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Medtronic Buys Irish Medical Supply Company Covidien For $43 Billion

Medtronic Buys Irish Medical Supply Company Covidien For $43 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Purchase creates second largest medical supply company
  • Medtronic open to more mergers in the future
  • Move to Ireland has tax benefits

American medical supply company, Medtronic Inc. has agreed to buy Irish medical device manufacturer Covidien Plc for $42.9 billion in cash and stock.

Together the two companies will be the second largest medical supply company. Prior to the merger, Medtronic was the fourth largest supplier and Covidien was eighth.

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Starbucks to Offer Smartphone Recharging Stations in U.S. Cafes

Starbucks to Offer Smartphone Recharging Stations in U.S. Cafes

BUSINESS

  • Technology designed to make customers stay longer
  • Power pads powered by Duracell
  • Not all smartphones compatible

Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee chain, has a plan to keep customers in the café longer. It will offer recharging stations for smartphones and tablets at its Starbucks and Teavana stores free.

The recharge option began in 2013 as a pilot program inSan Jose, CA, and Boston. Beginning this month, it will be offered nationwide beginning in San Francisco and New York City and coast to coast in 2015.

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Google Buys Satellite Manufacturer Skybox for $500 Million

Google Buys Satellite Manufacturer Skybox for $500 Million

BUSINESS

  • Skybox satellites prove high resolution photos
  • Google to use technology for maps, Internet
  • Google has invested billions in new technology

Google Inc., the world's top Internet search engine, purchased startup satellite-maker Skybox Imaging Inc. for $500 million, adding to an aerial fleet of unmanned drones and high-altitude balloons.

Google says the satellites will have an number of applications including improving the accuracy of Google Maps and disaster relief.

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Mideast Airline Cancels $16 Billion Airbus A380 Order

Mideast Airline Cancels $16 Billion Airbus A380 Order

BUSINESS

  • Emirates cancels 70 aircraft
  • Cancellation also hurts engine maker Rolls-Royce
  • Plane maker in New York trying to increase sales

Airliner Emirates, the largest customer of the Airbus A380, canceled a 70 aircraft order for two A380 models worth $16 billion, Airbus’s largest order cancellation. The order was placed in 2007 and the aircraft would have been delivered in 2019.

No reason was given for the cancellation.

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Tyson Wins $7.8 Billion Bid for Hillshire Foods

Tyson Wins $7.8 Billion Bid for Hillshire Foods

BUSINESS

  • Rival Pilgrim’s Progress withdrawals bid
  • Purchase allows Tyson to enter breakfast market
  • Hillshire in deal to buy Pinnacle Foods

Tyson Foods, the world’s second largest food production company, has won the bid for Hillshire Brands Co. by bidding $7.8 billion, securing itself a place in the breakfast foods market.

Poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., owned by Brazilian meat giant JBS, had bid nearly a billion less and has withdrawn its bid.

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Social Network LinkedIn Adds Features for Premium Customers

Social Network LinkedIn Adds Features for Premium Customers

BUSINESS

  • Changes aimed at bringing in more paying customers
  • Free users will see changes in coming months
  • All four major social networks have similar look

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social networking site, is introducing a series of visual changes in the hopes of attracting job seekers and employers to its paid memberships.

The changes became available to paid customers at the beginning of the month. Some changes, such as a large header photo, will be available to free subscribers later this year. Free subscribers can apply to a waiting list if they would like to implement the change sooner.

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