Airline alliance approved
New Zealand’s government approved an alliance between Australian budget airline Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand yesterday, clearing the way for the airlines to expand operations between the two countries. New Zealand Transport Minister Steven Joyce gave the deal a green light, a week after Australia’s competition regulator approved the alliance. “More sustainable competition, cost savings and the commitment both airlines have made to maintain trans-Tasman passenger numbers will be major benefits of the alliance,” Joyce said in a statement. The approval applies for three years, the same time period agreed to by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
No IPO for Hulu for now
US online video entertainment site Hulu has decided not to go public for now and could examine other financing options, the The Wall Street Journal reported late on Monday. The newspaper, citing “people familiar with the matter,” said Hulu, whose investors include News Corp, Disney and NBC Universal, is considering new subscription plans beyond Hulu Plus, its recently introduced premium service. The Journal said Hulu’s management had been looking at an initial public offering but decided not to proceed with an IPO right now and could pursue other options, including having Hulu’s current owners put in more money.
Royal DSM to buy Martek
The Dutch chemicals company Royal DSM NV says it plans to buy US biotech firm Martek Biosciences Corp for US$1.09 billion in cash, in a management supported deal. The company said its US$31.50 per share offer for Martek represents a 35 percent premium to Martek’s closing price on Dec. 20. DSM, the largest maker of nutritional supplements, said yesterday that Martek will boost its presence in the US and improve its infant formula products. The company also said the deal, which must be approved by shareholders and regulators, is expected to close in the second quarter of next year and will add to earnings in the first year.
Adobe beats forecasts
Adobe Systems Inc, the world’s biggest maker of design software, forecast on Monday that it will post a current-quarter profit, excluding items, of US$0.54 to US$0.59 a share, beating the average analyst forecast of US$0.51, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company also projected revenue of US$1 billion to US$1.05 billion, ahead of the average forecast of US$992 million. The firm posted a profit, excluding items, of US$0.56 per share for the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 3. That beat the average forecast of US$0.52. Quarterly revenue of US$1.0 billion also beat the average forecast of US$$988 million.
KDDI electronic book out
Japan’s No. 2 telecom operator, KDDI Corp, said yesterday that it would start electronic book distribution this week, offering an initial 20,000 titles for its e-reader. The LISMO Book Store service will start on Saturday for the “biblio Leaf SP02” e-reader, focusing on novels, how-to guides and business books, the company said. The initial line-up of 20,000 books will be expanded to 100,000 by the end of March 2012. The tablet-size reader has a two gigabyte memory which can store roughly 3,000 books, KDDI said.