Brussels strike continues
Transport workers in Brussels have continued a strike for the second day after an employee was beaten to death on Saturday morning. The company that runs public transport in Brussels says that subways, buses and trams will not start running again until a meeting is held with the interior minister to discuss improved safety. The ministry said yesterday a meeting between Interior Minister Joelle Milquet and representatives of union Societe des Transports Intercommunaux de Bruxelles representatives will now take place this afternoon.
Engineer admits Intel theft
US federal prosecutors say an employee pleaded guilty to secretly downloading computer chip manufacturing and design documents from Intel Corp while looking for a job elsewhere. Biswamohan Pani, 36, pleaded guilty on Friday in US District Court in Boston to five counts of wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison and other penalties at sentencing. Prosecutors say Pani downloaded numerous secret documents detailing Intel’s manufacturing and design of computer chips in May 2008, shortly after he announced that he was leaving his job in Hudson, Massachusetts. Santa Clara, California-based Intel valued those documents at between US$200 million and US$400 million. The company detected and reported the theft.
Bloomin’ seeks capital
Bloomin’ Brands Inc, owner of the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain, is seeking to raise US$300 million in an initial public offering to help pay down debt, the company said in a filing on Friday. The Tampa, Florida-based company, owned by Bain Capital LLC and Catterton Management Co, will trade under the ticker BLM. Bloomin’ Brands also owns the chains Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine. Last year, Bloomin’ Brands had net income of US$100 million, or US$0.94 a share, on revenue of US$3.84 billion, the company said in the filing.
Gazprom bids for Greek gas
Russian gas giant Gazprom has submitted a preliminary bid to purchase the Greek gas corporation DEPA, deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev said on Saturday. “We have submitted a preliminary bid and are hoping that we will pass the qualification process. The price we will offer will be completely real, we will not overpay,” he was quoted by RIA Novosti agency as saying. Greece has invited bids for both DEPA and its subsidiary, national distributor DESFA, in a privatization drive to reduce the country’s debt. Gazprom will not be expressing interest in DESFA, Medvedev said. The Greek state owns 65 percent of DEPA, with the remaining 35 percent owned by leading state-controlled refiners HELPE.
Apple in iPad advert trouble
Britain’s advertising regulator is deciding whether to launch an inquiry into Apple Inc’s marketing of its latest iPad following what some customers said were misleading claims about access to 4G, which is not available in the country. Fourth-generation or 4G technology enables users to access faster Internet broadband services. “We have received 24 complaints about claims on Apple’s Web site about 4G on the iPad. We are assessing whether there are grounds for investigation,” a spokesman for the Advertising Standards Authority said on Saturday.