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Top Headlines - part 72

AT&T Sells Majority of Yellow Pages Print Unit To Focus on Mobile

AT&T Sells Majority of Yellow Pages Print Unit To Focus on Mobile

FINANCE

  • AT&T maintains 47% stake in Yellow Pages, rest sold to private equity firm Cerberus
  • Yellow Pages saw sales fall 16% in 2011
  • AT&T to focus on mobile, TV and internet

US phone carrier AT&T Inc. is selling its majority stake in its Yellow Pages Unit (YP Holdings LLC) to private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP for $950 million.

The deal includes 1,200 print Yellow Pages directories, the online directory yp.com, AT&T’s local ad network and the YPmobile app. It does not include AT&T AdWorks. The print version of the Yellow Pages reaches 150 million homes and businesses in 22 states.

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US Spending Sees March Consumer Sales Rise 3.9%

US Spending Sees March Consumer Sales Rise 3.9%

ECONOMY

  • S&P Retail Index up 0.8% in March
  • Apparel, discount, department stores see year-on-year increases in March
  • Retailers believe April sales will slow; International Council of Shopping Centers says sales could rise 3% - 4%

Earlier Easter preparations and spring temperatures stirred a spending frenzy as March sales rose for the 13th time in fifteen months. March sales rose 3.9% according to Retail Metrics, a figure higher than the 3.3% analysts were seeking.

Excluding Walgreen's decline, March's total sales reached 6.5%.

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Australia's “Down Under” Tourism Comes Out On Top

Australia's “Down Under” Tourism Comes Out On Top

WORLD

  • Domestic tourism contributed over $73 billion annually to Australian economy
  • Travel to Australia from China up 4.5% over last year
  • Potential to add $9 billion to Australia's tourism economy by 2020

According to a new report recently released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA), domestic tourism was responsible for contributing more than $73 billion annually to the national economy.

Further, results published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that tourism’s direct contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $34.6 billion in over 2010 – 2011. Despite the high Aussie dollar, natural disasters and global economic challenges, the numbers equate to an increase of about 2.7% in total tourism GDP over 2010 – 2011.

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Ford’s $600 million Chinese Plant Expansion Key to Asian Market Domination

Ford’s $600 million Chinese Plant Expansion Key to Asian Market Domination

BUSINESS

  • Ford investing $600 million into automotive plant in Chongqing, China
  • Chongqing plant to produce 950,000 vehicles each year, up by nearly 60%
  • Growth of China’s auto market expected to slow down but continue to grow steadily

US automotive giant Ford will invest $600 million into its Chongqing, China, manufacturing base in hopes of profiting from the world’s largest automotive market. Funding from Ford and venture partner Changan Ford Automobile will enable the Chongqing plant to produce 950,000 vehicles each year, or up by 350,000 vehicles for a nearly 60% production increase.

The $600 million will raise the total amount invested in the Chongqing facility to over $4 billion. With this investment Ford hopes to keep pace with Volkswagen and General Motors, the top foreign auto manufacturers in China. In 2011, Ford’s sales in China came in at around 20% of General Motors, which sold 2.5 million vehicles and continues to boast record sales.

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US Retail: J.C. Penney Cuts 900 Staff in Streamline Restructuring

US Retail: J.C. Penney Cuts 900 Staff in Streamline Restructuring

BUSINESS

  • Cuts represent 14% of employees at company headquarters
  • Pittsburgh call center to close with call volume down 30%
  • J.C. Penney intends to cut $900 million in expenses in two years

US department store chain J.C. Penney Co. has laid off 900 employees in an effort to cut costs. The majority of the jobs cut where at the Plano, Texas, headquarters. The remaining 300 positions will be cut July 1 when the company’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, call center closes.

The cuts represent 14% of the 4,400 employees at company headquarters. No senior executives were affected by the cuts.

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Molson Coors Signs $3.54 Billion Deal for StarBev

Molson Coors Signs $3.54 Billion Deal for StarBev

BUSINESS

  • Molson Coors to take over StarBev’s nine breweries in eastern and central Europe
  • Deal should boost profit within first year of transfer
  • Molson Q4 profits up 35% after poor third quarter

Denver brewing company Molson Coors has agreed to a $3.54 billion deal for the acquisition of European brewer StarBev.

Molson Coors, the exclusive brewer of Carling larger in the United States, will now add beer brands such as Staropramen, Ozusko, Bergenbier and Borsodi to its line-up, taking control of StarBev’s nine breweries in eastern and central Europe.

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Hard Times At Yahoo See 14% of Global Workforce Cut

Hard Times At Yahoo See 14% of Global Workforce Cut

BUSINESS

  • Nearly 2,000 employees to be cut
  • Move expected to save $375 million annually
  • Skype hiring 400 more staff

For the sixth time in four years, one of the world’s most popular websites Yahoo has laid off more employees. This time approximately 2,000 staff were given severance packages and told to leave, which accounts for 14% of Yahoo’s global staff.

It is anticipated the company’s product division suffered the greatest losses although layoffs were expected in all departments. 

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Japan Automakers See Dramatic Boost in Vehicle Sales

Japan Automakers See Dramatic Boost in Vehicle Sales

BUSINESS

  • Automobile sales in Japan jumped 78% in March
  • Japan’s surge in vehicle sales attributed primarily to government subsidies for energy efficient vehicles
  • Honda sees increase in sales domestically and internationally

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association recently announced that new vehicle sales in Japan jumped 78% in March, in part due to local government subsidies for energy efficient cars.

According to the association, new auto sales reached nearly 500,000 vehicles last month, up over 200,000 vehicles from March 2011 when Japan was struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami, dramatically impacting vehicle production and sales.

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Buyout Bid: Avon Rejects Coty’s Second Offer Of $10 Billion

Buyout Bid: Avon Rejects Coty’s Second Offer Of $10 Billion

FINANCE

  • Avon says offer not in best interest of company
  • 80% of Avon’s revenue comes from overseas
  • Purchase would allow Coty to meet its revenue goal of $7 billion

Avon Products Inc. has rejected a $10 billion bid by Coty Inc. to purchase the struggling beauty-products seller. This was the second bid by Coty, which made a first bid in March that was also rejected.

Avon says the bid is too low, and that there is no difference between it and the previous one. Coty is willing to increase its bid if Avon can prove it is worth more, but Avon says the bid is nonbinding and does not constitute a real offer.

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Joint Venture: Philips Finalizes TV Spin-Off With TPV Technology

Joint Venture: Philips Finalizes TV Spin-Off With TPV Technology

FINANCE

  • TVP to take 70% stake in TP Vision; Philips gets 30%
  • 3,000 Philips TV employees to be retained in new venture
  • Philips television division racked up losses of €1 billion in last 5 years

Dutch electronics company Philips has finalized terms for a joint venture with Hong Kong-based TVP Technology for the transfer of its struggling television arm.

Computer and LCD screen manufacturer TVP will have a 70% stake in the new TP Vision business, which will be based in Amsterdam. Philips will hold the remaining 30%.

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