Sun, Oct 03, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Software

US accepts Oracle ruling

The US Justice Department said on Friday it will stop trying to block Oracle Corp's hostile US$7.7 billion takeover bid for rival business software maker PeopleSoft Inc. Hewitt Pate, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's antitrust division, said the government will not appeal a judge's decision rejecting the government's claim that the merger should be blocked on antitrust grounds. "While we disagree with the district court's disappointing decision, we respect the role of the courts in the United States merger review process," Pate said. San Francisco US District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled on Sept. 9 against the lawsuit filed by the Justice Department and 10 states that argued the combination of Oracle and PeopleSoft would sharply reduce competition in the business software marketplace. The Justice Department decision does not foreclose the possibility that one or more of the 10 states involved in the case could bring their own separate appeal.

■ Sewing Industry

KSIN sews up Singer deal

KSIN Holdings Ltd, an affiliate of Kohlberg & Co LLC, said on Friday it had acquired the Singer Sewing Co in a US$65.5 million cash deal. The transaction, which effectively takes Singer NV out of the sewing business, also includes US$22.5 million in promissory notes and the assumption of US$46.3 million in sewing-related debt. As part of the agreement, Singer NV will also have to change its name by October next year. Under the terms of the deal, KSIN will assume control of the Singer brand name and sewing operations in the US, Brazil and China, among other countries, as well a network of independent distributors and dealers. The business also includes manufacturing facilities in Brazil and China. Singer NV, which also sells consumer electronics, appliances and furniture, will retain retail operations in Asia and Jamaica.

■ Auto Industry

South Korean auto sales rise

South Korean automakers posted a 20 percent increase in sales last month over the same month last year as exports offset a continued slump in domestic sales. The country's five largest automakers sold 377,947 vehicles last month, up from 315,019 a year earlier. Exports were 30 percent higher and domestic sales were down 4.4 percent. Hyundai Motor ranked first, selling more than 193,000 vehicles, an increase of 13 percent, and its affiliate, Kia Motors, ranked second, selling more than 96,000 vehicles, an increase of 17 percent. GM Daewoo Auto and Technology, a part of General Motors, ranked third, selling more than 67,000 vehicles, an increase of 50 percent.

■ Telecoms

New rules affect Vodafone

The British communications company Vodafone Group said that new accounting rules in the US would force it to reduce the book value of its holdings in its Verizon Wireless mobile phone business. Vodafone, which owns 45 percent of Verizon Wireless, said it was still evaluating the effect the change would have on its books. New rules issued this week by the US Securities and Exchange Commission require operators to distinguish between the value of mobile phone licenses and the accounting item known as good will on their books.

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