Abbott pleads guilty to fraud
Abbott Laboratories pleaded guilty and agreed to pay US$1.5 billion over allegations that it promoted the anti-seizure drug Depakote for uses that were not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. The case includes a criminal fine and forfeiture of US$700 million and civil settlements with the US federal government and states totaling US$800 million. US Deputy Attorney General James Cole said on Monday the settlement reflects the determination by government “to hold accountable those who commit fraud.”
Marubeni set to buy Gavilon
Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp is in the final stages of talks to buy US grain giant Gavilon LLC for about US$3.8 billion, a report said yesterday. Marubeni is in negotiations with Gavilon’s top shareholders, including US investment firm Ospraie Management LLC, over its plans to purchase the company, the Nikkei Shimbun said. Acquiring Gavilon would make the Japanese trading house a global leader alongside Cargill Inc of the US, with each handling about 40 million tonnes of grain a year, the Nikkei reported.
Kodak to end online service
Kodak will close its online photo service on July 2 after a US federal bankruptcy judge approved selling the business to Shutterfly for US$23.8 million. Shutterfly Inc emerged last month as the sole bidder for Eastman Kodak Co’s Kodak Gallery. The judge issued an order approving the sale last week. Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, is selling the photo printing, storage and sharing business to generate cash and to narrow its focus.
Toshiba’s profit halved
Toshiba Corp said yesterday its full-year net profit dropped by almost half to US$921 million on a strong yen, weak digital product sales and last year’s natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. Toshiba said net profit was ￥73.7 billion (US$923 million) in the fiscal year to March, down 46.5 percent from ￥137.8 billion a year earlier. However, it predicted that net profit would bounce back in the current fiscal year. Operating profit for the latest period fell 14 percent to ￥206.6 billion on sales of ￥6.1 trillion, down 4.7 percent, it said.
Adecco’s Q1 profit up 12%
The world’s biggest temporary staffing group, Adecco, said yesterday its first-quarter net profit rose 12 percent to 112 million euros (US$146 million). The results, which were in line with analysts’ expectations, also showed that operating profit rose by 7 percent to 168 million euros, while sales went up 2 percent to 5 billion euros in the first three months of the year, the Swiss group said in a statement. The group said it expects similar results for the second quarter, “with North America holding up, but Europe remaining challenging,” chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire said.
Chrysler issues mass recall
Chrysler will recall nearly 120,000 vehicles in the US to fix an electrical problem with the anti-lock brake and stability control, safety regulators said on Monday. The automaker found that the power distribution center in certain Dodge Charger or Chrysler 300 vehicles could overheat and blow a fuse. If the fuse blows, the vehicle could lose its anti-lock brake and stability control system.