Tropicana under new owners
Tropicana Las Vegas has emerged from bankruptcy protection with new owners. Toronto-based Onex Corporation and former MGM Mirage President Alex Yemenidjian acquired a majority stake in the Las Vegas hotel-casino this week, as it completed its yearlong bankruptcy process, the Las Vegas Sun reported. The new owners took over the property on Thursday from the Las Vegas-based Tropicana Entertainment LLC. The once-debt ridden casino emerged from bankruptcy with no debt, more than US$10 million in cash and US$75 million in commitments from its new owners for upgrades.
Stanton victims file suit
Two US legal firms announced on Friday that they have filed a class action suit against a London-based insurer on behalf of the Mexican victims of fraudulent financier Allen Stanford. The lawsuit was filed by the Strasburger & Price and Castillo Snyder law firms before a court in Houston and targets Willis Group Holdings — an insurer headquartered in London, with offices around the world. Also named in the suit are the Willis office in Colorado, insurance company Bowen, Miclette & Britt, and two unidentified individuals. The suit accuses Willis Group Holdings of having given Stanford Financial “safe and soundness” letters at Stanford’s request.
VW electric car set for 2013
German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) hopes to turn out its first all-electric car in 2013, VW head Martin Winterkorn said on Friday. “We are going to use our New Small Family line to offer our first electric vehicle in 2013,” he said in a speech, according to an advance text. “And in 10 years at the latest we want to offer a large number of all-electric vehicles at affordable prices and with the autonomy that our clients expect.” Winterkorn added that VW was aiming for 1.5 percent of the global all-electric vehicle market by 2020.
African pipeline in works
Nigeria, Algeria and Niger have signed an agreement to create a US$10 billion pipeline that would ship gas across the Saharan desert to Europe, Nigeria’s state oil company said on Friday. The plan comes as Europe seeks new sources of gas imports as it currently depends on Russia for much of its needs. The project was approved by energy ministers from all three governments, an official said. It is expected to come on line in 2015.
EU airline ban lifted
Indonesia’s transport minister says the European Commission will lift a ban on four Indonesian airlines. Jusman Syafii Djamal says Garuda, Mandala Airlines, Airfast Indonesia and Prime Air will be allowed to fly in the EU within 20 days. The ban, which was imposed in 2007 after a series of accidents, remains in place for 53 other Indonesian airlines. Jusman said the ban was lifted because the carriers introduced new safety measures.
Rosenthal takes bids
A Turkish china manufacturer has bid for Rosenthal, a premium German manufacturer of table porcelain, an insolvency administrator said in Munich on Friday. Kutahya Seramik Porselen’s bid trumps that of Italian saucepan and cutlery group Sambonet Paderno. Rosenthal makes fine porcelain dinner sets which are prized in Germany as wedding presents. Germany’s china industry has struggled to pay labor costs at German levels.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be