Top Headlines - part 6

Swiss Pharma Giant Novartis Makes Animal Health, Vaccine Deals

Swiss Pharma Giant Novartis Makes Animal Health, Vaccine Deals

BUSINESS

  • Novartis vaccine business sold to GlaxoSmithKline for $7.1 billion
  • Novartis animal-health business sold to Lilly for $5.4 billion
  • Novartis and Glaxo to enter joint venture

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG made two deals; the first, selling its vaccine business to Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline Plc for $7.1 billion; and the second, selling its animal-health business to American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co. for $5.4 billion.

“This is about getting us into fighting shape for the next 10 years,” says Novartis chief executive Joseph Jimenez.

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Starbucks Moving European Headquarters To London

Starbucks Moving European Headquarters To London

BUSINESS

  • Starbucks senior executives to move from Amsterdam to London
  • UK tax burden to increase
  • Starbucks accused of UK tax evasion

Starbucks Corp., the world’s biggest coffee chain, is moving its European, Middle East and Africa headquarters to London from Amsterdam by the end of the year, increasing its tax burden in the UK, the company’s largest and fastest-growing European market.

A number of senior executives will be moved to London, Starbucks said, to better oversee its business in the UK; London also will become the base of company intellectual property rights.

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French Auto Giant Peugeot Citroen Announces Profitability Plan

French Auto Giant Peugeot Citroen Announces Profitability Plan

BUSINESS

  • Plan aimed at stopping two years of losses
  • Manufacturer aims to be profitable by 2018
  • Number of car models to be cut in half by 2020

French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest carmaker, has announced a recovery plan, called ‘Back in the Race’, aimed at stopping losses and returning the company to profitability by 2018.

Over the past two years, Peugeot has recorded $10.4 billion in losses, hit hard by the recession in Europe, dependence on the home market and by over capacity. Its market share fell to 10.9% last year.

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Diageo To Purchase Additional 26% Stake in United Spirits

Diageo To Purchase Additional 26% Stake in United Spirits

BUSINESS

  • Deal one of industry’s largest
  • 2012 attempt to takeover United Spirits failed
  • Diageo expanding into emerging markets to offset slow growth

UK-based Diageo Plc, the world's largest producer of spirits, has offered $1.9 billion to purchase an additional stake in United Spirits Ltd., India’s largest spirits company and the world’s second-largest spirits company by volume.

Diageo wants to purchase up to 26% stake; and it already holds 28.8% and maintains management control.

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Aerospace Manufacturer Boeing To Add 1,000 Jobs In California

Aerospace Manufacturer Boeing To Add 1,000 Jobs In California

BUSINESS

  • Positions in engineering, not skilled labor
  • Addition reflects trend in aerospace industry
  • Boeing to close military aircraft plant

American aerospace manufacturer Boeing Co. plans to add 1,000 engineering jobs in the Southern California cities of Seal Beach and Long Beach over the next two years.

The news comes after decades of eliminating California jobs. The company currently has 1,800 engineering positions in those locations. The new employees will be added to the Southern California Engineering Design Center, and are positions being moved from Seattle.

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Automotive Manufacturer Daimler Forecasts Success in 2014

Automotive Manufacturer Daimler Forecasts Success in 2014

BUSINESS

  • First-quarter sales grew 15%
  • Automaker introducing new models to attract customers
  • BMW and Audi also expecting record year

Dieter Zetsche, chief executive officer of Daimler AG, predicts added model offerings will give Mercedes-Benz, the world’s third-largest maker of luxury cars, the sales and profit it needs to beat BMW AG and Audi AG in 2014.

In March, sales grew a record 13% to 158,523 vehicles. Growth was boosted by a 26% increase in compact models and a 78% jump in sales for the revamped S-Class sedan. First-quarter sales jumped 15% from 2013.

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US Airlines: Passenger Complaints Down 15% In 2013

US Airlines: Passenger Complaints Down 15% In 2013

BUSINESS

  • On-time arrivals and baggage handling worse than before
  • Consolidation affected ratings
  • Individual airline rankings to be released

Airline passenger complaints for the top 15 US airlines dropped 15% in 2013, according to the 24th annual Airline Quality Rating report.

In 2011, complaints had risen 30% and increased 20% in 2012. Last year’s drop reflects an improvement by United Continental Holdings to 2.14 complaints per 100,000 passengers.

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Exxon Mobil: Climate Change Rules Will Not Impact Revenue

Exxon Mobil: Climate Change Rules Will Not Impact Revenue

BUSINESS

  • Exxon calms shareholder fears that climate change and related global policies to negatively affect company assets and profitability in future
  • Exxon says fossil fuel demand to remain strong, particularly in developing countries
  • Exxon anticipates world energy needs to continue to be met by more economical and traditional oil and gas sources despite progression of renewable energy

Exxon Mobil, the Irving, Texas-based US leader in the oil and natural gas industry, has released a report on its website stating that it was “highly unlikely” that global climate change rules would hinder its fossil fuel production and sales in the immediate future; Exxon said fossil fuels would instead remain the major source of energy globally.

While acknowledging the real threat of global warming, Exxon says that despite global adaptation to mounting temperatures its gas and oil reserves will not drop in value. It put out this report—the first comprehensive report by a large-scale oil and gas business discussing the conceivable effect of climate change on business outlook—at the request of shareholders Arjuna Capital and As You Sow.

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BlackBerry Ends Agreement With US Carrier T-Mobile

BlackBerry Ends Agreement With US Carrier T-Mobile

BUSINESS

  • License expires April 25
  • End due in part to T-Mobile tweet
  • BlackBerry users need to find new carrier

Canadian mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry Ltd. has opted not to renew its license with US carrier T-Mobile once it expires on April 25. 

The move comes after a February tweet by T-Mobile CEO John Legere which suggested BlackBerry users should switch to an iPhone 5s.  The tweet received backlash from BlackBerry users, and Legere tried to calm nerves by saying he would work with his team to find a situation.

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Technology Spending To Hit $3.8 Trillion In 2014

Technology Spending To Hit $3.8 Trillion In 2014

BUSINESS

  • Tech spending on track to meet analyst forecasts
  • All areas to see growth this year
  • Trend toward lower-end devices

At the end of the first quarter, worldwide information technology spending is forecast to reach $3.8 trillion, a 3.2% increase from 2013 and on track with analysts’ estimates for the year, as the global economy continues to improve.

According to research firm Gartner Inc., growth is expected in all areas, including those that saw a decline in growth in 2013: devices, data center systems and telecom services.

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