Top Headlines - part 7

Coach Buys Stuart Weitzman for $574 Million

Coach Buys Stuart Weitzman for $574 Million

BUSINESS

  • Purchase expands Coach’s footwear offerings
  • Stuart Weitzman has strong international presence
  • Coach facing increased competition from rivals

Luxury handbag and accessories company Coach Inc. has agreed to purchase women's luxury footwear company Stuart Weitzman Holdings LLC for $574 million, adding to its product offerings.

Coach will pay $530 million in cash upfront with another $44 million payable when revenue targets are met over the next three years. Stuart Weitzman is owned by private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

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U.S December 2014 Auto Sales Strong

U.S December 2014 Auto Sales Strong

BUSINESS

  • Year total reached as high as 17.3 million vehicles
  • Average selling price increased to $34,367
  • Nissan and Honda also reported increased December sales

Automakers saw strong December sales in the U.S. and reached a projected annualized selling rate of between 16.5 million and 17.3 million vehicles sold for 2014, the best year since 2006. In 2000, sales reached a record 17.4 million vehicles.

Increased consumer confidence caused by low interest rates and decreased unemployed boosted car sales. An estimated 1.5 million were sold in December. Sales have grown 58% since 2009.

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FCC Delays Time Warner Cable, Comcast Deal

FCC Delays Time Warner Cable, Comcast Deal

BUSINESS

  • TWC did not provide documents in a timely manner
  • Parts of regulatory review would need to be reopened
  • Charter Communications deal also delayed

The Federal Communications Commission has postponed making a decision on Comcast Corp.’s $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc.

Nearly 7,000 page of documents were withheld by TWC because of what the FCC is calling an inappropriate claim of attorney-client privilege. An additional, 31,000 documents were withheld because of a vendor error.

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U.S. Economy Sees Big Gains in November

U.S. Economy Sees Big Gains in November

ECONOMY

  • Economy grew .7%
  • Lower unemployment and gas prices aid in growth
  • Central bank cautious about rising interest rates

The U.S. economy grew 7% when adjusted for inflation in November, expanding at its fastest pace in a decade.

According to the Commerce Department, household purchases grew .6%, the highest rate in three months.

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Blackberry and Boeing Partner to Make Self-Destructing Smartphone

Blackberry and Boeing Partner to Make Self-Destructing Smartphone

BUSINESS

  • Phone would be used by government agencies
  • Features numerous security features
  • Future of Blackberry still in question

Canadian telecommunication company Blackberry and aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor Boeing have partnered to develop a self-destructing smartphone for use by government agencies and any other group that needs a high level of security.

The “Black” phone has been in the planning stages since 2012 and includes a number of safety features including data that will erase of the case is tampered with, biometric scanners, phone call encryption, solar recharging and the ability to have satellite or radio capability. The phone makes calls via satellite.

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American Apparel Considered Takeover Offer

American Apparel Considered Takeover Offer

BUSINESS

  • Takeover being seriously considered
  • Board creates plan to deflect hostile takeover bids
  • CEO was fired in mid-December for misconduct

U.S. clothing retailer and manufacturer American Apparel Inc. is considered a takeover by an unidentified party for $1.30 to $1.40 per share. This values the company at $226 million-$243 million.

The proposal requires Chief Executive Dov Charney return to the company. He was fired Dec. 16. It is backed by private-equity firm Irving Place Capital, according the The Wall Street Journal.

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Couche-Tard Buys The Pantry for $860 Million

Couche-Tard Buys The Pantry for $860 Million

BUSINESS

  • Increases U.S. presence
  • The Pantry was about to go up for auction
  • Retailer has preference for stores with fueling stations

Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has purchased U.S. convenience chain The Pantry Inc. for $860 million in cash, expanding its U.S. presence. The deal, including assumption of debt, has an enterprise value of $1.7 billion.

The Pantry was in the process of preparing itself to go up for auction, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Russian Economic Measures May Prevent Collapse

Russian Economic Measures May Prevent Collapse

ECONOMY

  • Central bank takes reparative measures
  • Economy different than 1998 and 2008
  • Several factors lead to decline of ruble

The Russian ruble has fallen 50% in 2014, but measures taken by Russia’s central bank may prevent it from falling further.

The central bank eased regulations including allowing lenders to use last quarter’s exchange rate for some foreign-exchange transactions and, not taking provisions against weakening assets and loans. In addition, the Russian Finance Ministry plans to sell some of its $7 billion in foreign-exchange holdings, and interest rates were raised to 17%.

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Chrysler Changes Name to Match Parent Company

Chrysler Changes Name to Match Parent Company

BUSINESS

  • Fiat also changes name
  • Other business aspects unaffected
  • European car sales slow in November

Chrysler Group LLC, one of the “Big Three” American car companies, has changed its name to FCA US LLC (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles United States), effective immediately, to match its parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

Fiat, the world’s seventh-largest automaker, also changed its name to FCA Italy SpA from Fiat Group Automobiles SpA.

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Court Orders Bank of America to Pay Couple $1 Million

Court Orders Bank of America to Pay Couple $1 Million

BUSINESS

  • Couple had fallen behind on second mortgage
  • Cease and desist letters had been sent to bank
  • Bank of America has used these tactics before

A United States federal judge has order Bank of America to pay a Florida couple $1.05 million for harassing phone calls.

The calls began when Nelson and Joyce Coniglio fell behind on mortgage payments for their second home in 2009. Over the course of a four-year period, the Coniglios received 1,050 robocalls from the bank, up to five a day. The couple also received collection letters.

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