Wed, Dec 23, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTOMAKERS

Toyoda quits Olympic group

Toyota Motor Corp president Akio Toyoda has stepped down from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee, amid reports that costs for the event have ballooned to about six times original estimates. Toyoda said late on Monday that he would quit as vice president of the main organizing group, opting instead to support the games as head of the Keidanren’s Olympic lobbying group. The Keidanren is Japan’s biggest business federation. Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, signed a nearly US$1 billion global Olympic sponsorship deal this year.

TECHNOLOGY

Toshiba projects record loss

Toshiba Corp fell to the lowest in more than six years in Tokyo after forecasting a record ¥550 billion (US$4.5 billion) loss and announcing plans to cut more jobs as it restructures businesses. The stock finished down 12 percent at ¥223.5, its lowest since March 2009. Including a decline of 9.8 percent on Monday, the Japanese company had lost about US$2 billion of market value over the past two days.

RESTAURANTS

McDonald’s cutting stake

McDonald’s Holdings Co (Japan) fell the most in almost five years after the Nikkei Shimbun reported that its US parent plans to cut its shareholding in the loss-making unit that is struggling to recover from a series of food scandals. McDonald’s Corp, the world’s largest restaurant chain and owner of about half of the Tokyo-based company, is seeking to sell 15 percent to 33 percent of the outstanding shares and an executive has met five or so potential buyers, including trading houses and investment funds, Nikkei reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information. The stock closed down 7.85 percent at ¥2,712 — slightly off the day’s low of ¥2,710 — while the benchmark TOPIX was little changed.

SERVICES

Recruit to buy USG People

Recruit Holdings Co has agreed to buy USG People NV of the Netherlands for 1.42 billion euros (US$1.55 billion), as Japan’s biggest provider of temporary staff seeks to boost growth in Europe. Recruit is to pay offer 17.50 euros in cash for each share in Almere, Netherlands-based USG, the companies said in a statement yesterday. That is 31 percent above Monday’s closing share price. The offer has been endorsed by USG’s executive and supervisory boards. The purchase builds on Recruit’s plans to become a leader in human resources by the end of the decade.

MEDIA

Weinstein announces deal

The Weinstein Co continued the expansion of its television business with the announcement on Monday of a deal to produce and distribute shows in partnership with American Media, known for tabloid publications like the National Enquirer and Star, and reality show producer Jupiter Entertainment. The new venture is also expected to include film and digital projects, but will initially focus on unscripted television programming, the companies said. While tightening its film operation with a staff reduction and a cut in the number of releases, Weinstein has expanded its television portfolio, as part of a strategy that aims eventually to generate cash, possibly with a spinoff of the company’s television unit. Earlier this year, Weinstein had been involved in a possible deal to sell its TV unit to ITV of Britain, but that transaction faltered.

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