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Top Headlines - part 74

Encana Selling 40% Stake in Gas Fields to Mitsubishi

Encana Selling 40% Stake in Gas Fields to Mitsubishi

BUSINESS

  • Mitsubishi to pay for $2.9 billion for stake in Canadian natural gas fields
  • Sale helps alleviate Encana’s $251 million fourth-quarter loss
  • Encana joint venture deal with PetroChina fell through last June

Calgary-based Encana Corp. is selling part of its stake in Canada’s natural gas fields to Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. for $2.9 billion.

The sale will help Encana shore up its balance sheet in the wake of fourth-quarter losses.

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Kellogg To Pay P&G $2.7 Billion For Pringles Brand

Kellogg To Pay P&G $2.7 Billion For Pringles Brand

FINANCE

  • Pringles buy puts Kellogg in number two global position for savory snacks 
  • Pringles expected to bring Kellogg annual sales of $1.5 billion
  • Diamond Foods offer to Pringles was terminated earlier this month

Kellogg will buy Pringles-brand snack chips from Procter & Gamble for $2.7 billion after a previous deal with Diamond Foods fell through.

Kellogg will pay nearly $2.70 billion in cash and take on $2 billion in debt, which adds to the $5 billion it already has in long-term debt. The food giant is known globally for its cereal products, but is also known for its snack products.

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Google Gets Governmental Green Light To Buy Motorola

Google Gets Governmental Green Light To Buy Motorola

BUSINESS

  • Regulators in US, EU approve Google’s $12.5 billion bid for Motorola
  • Motorola purchase largest in Google history, first real experience in hardware market
  • Google to be closely monitored in its use of patents licenses

The US Department of Justice and the European Commission have approved a bid from Google Inc. to purchase Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for $12.5 billion. Regulators concluded the purchase would not lessen competition in the market.

Google will purchase Motorola for $40 a share, which represents a 63% premium. Motorola will be operated as a separate business unit.

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Japan Approves Additional $9 Billion In TEPCO Aid

Japan Approves Additional $9 Billion In TEPCO Aid

WORLD

  • TEPCO forecasts loss from reactor meltdowns, compensation claims to near $9 billion
  • TEPCO may seek $25 billion in funding to recoup costs
  • Japanese authorities approve restart of two idled nuclear reactors

Despite receiving over $11 billion in aid from Japanese government just a few months ago, TEPCO was approved for yet another near $9 billion as it struggles to clean up from reactor meltdowns and meet compensation claims following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

By month end March 2012, TEPCO anticipates its losses will be at nearly $9 billion, which is up from its November estimate of almost $8 billion. The company, which has 29 million customers in the general Tokyo area, reported a loss of approximately $16 billion last fiscal year.

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How Is The Euro Crisis Impacting The Travel Market?

How Is The Euro Crisis Impacting The Travel Market?

WORLD

  • Euro crisis affecting hotel expansion decisions in EU zone
  • Indian hoteliers having trouble raising occupancy due to Euro crisis  
  • Mediterranean cruise lines with increased capacity struggling to attract more US passengers 

No surprise that the Euro financial crisis has major consequences for its 17 members, but it also has an impact on the world travel industry in ways that are both predictable, and in some cases surprising.

Take hotels, for example. No shock that Hyatt Hotels Corp. says it is weighing the financial crisis in evaluating its expansion plans.

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Pepsi Gets Competitive with 8,700 Jobs Cuts, More Marketing & India Partnership

Pepsi Gets Competitive with 8,700 Jobs Cuts, More Marketing & India Partnership

BUSINESS

  • Pepsi job cuts expected to save $1.5 billion by 2014; additional $600 million to be spent on marketing
  • Pepsi forecasts earnings will fall 5%
  • Pepis targets Indian market with new health drink launch in partnership with Tata Global Beverages

Pepsi Co Inc. plans to cut 8,700 jobs in 30 countries as well as expand marketing in hopes of increasing sales to take back the title of the world's largest soft drink manufacturer from rival Coca-Cola Co.

The cuts represent 3% of Pepsi’s global workforce, and, combined with other cost-cutting measures, are expected to save the soft drink maker $1.5 billion by 2014.

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Amazon to Open First Brick and Mortar Location

Amazon to Open First Brick and Mortar Location

BUSINESS

  • Rumors indicate first physical Amazon store could open in Seattle before end of the year
  • Store a test run for profitability of retail locations
  • Amazon hoping to recuperate costs of Kindle Fire

Online retailer Amazon Inc. is rumored to be taking its first steps into the real world according to various news outlets, which are reporting Amazon could open a retail location in Seattle before the end of year.

Amazon has yet to confirm or deny the reports.

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Petition Urges Apple to Investigate Unsafe Working Conditions in China

Petition Urges Apple to Investigate Unsafe Working Conditions in China

BUSINESS

  • Apple’s manufacturing partner questioned regarding unsafe work conditions
  • Apple to investigate accounts of debilitating work-related injuries at Foxconn factory
  • Apple and Motorola continue to battle over patent infringement issues

Despite recently releasing its 2012 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, Apple is under scrutiny for the working conditions in manufacturing partner Foxconn's Chinese plants. Well-known sources, including the New York Times and This American Life, have published accounts of life threatening injuries at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory.

In an effort to expose these conditions, self-proclaimed Apple "super-user" and Washington, D.C. communications consultant Mark Shields decided to start a petition at Change.org upon hearing a recent radio report from This American Life. The report alleged poor working conditions at factories operated by Chinese companies that have contracts to build iPhones, iPads and other popular Apple products. 

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Hawaii's Tourism Comeback Fueled By Air Travel

Hawaii's Tourism Comeback Fueled By Air Travel

BUSINESS

  • Tourism in Hawaii during recession plunged nearly 15% from 2007 to 2009
  • Hawaii’s tourism numbers now on upswing
  • Reasons for revival include new emphasis on air service and help from US government

The latest tourism statistics show that Hawaii’s visitor count was up by 4% in 2011 over the previous year, recording nearly 7.3 million visitors total.

During the recession, tourism in Hawaii plunged close to 15%, and though the new numbers are still short of the state’s record year in 2006, the outlook is good. "We have seen a healthy demand for Hawaii globally," says Mike McCartney, president of the state-run Hawaii Tourism Authority.

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US Adds Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 3-Year Low

US Adds Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 3-Year Low

ECONOMY

  • Unemployment drops to 8.3%, lowest since February 2009
  • Nasdaq Composite hits 11-year high; Treasury debt prices fall as investor expectations change
  • Political scientists expect employment news to boost Obama's campaign

The jobless rate in the US has dropped to 8.3%, marking the lowest rate in three years, according to US Labor Department data.

Growing at a rate of 200,000 jobs per month, the economy is looking up. Prior to the latest unemployment data, economists had expected stagnant employment growth in January.

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