Google to buy Moodstocks
Google yesterday announced a deal to buy Moodstocks, a French start-up behind technology that helps smartphones recognize whatever they are aimed at. Moodstocks caught the US technology giant’s eye for its work in computer vision and machine learning, as well for accomplishments in enabling smartphones or other mobile devices to recognize images and objects. The Moodstocks team, described as a small group of researchers and engineers, is to join a Google research and development center in Paris. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Melrose unveils Nortek deal
Engineering turnaround specialist Melrose Industries PLC said it had agreed to buy Nortek Inc in a cash deal valuing the US-based residential products maker at US$1.436 billion. The offer of US$86 per Nortek share represents a premium of about 38 percent based on Nortek’s close on Tuesday. The acquisition is to give Melrose access to Nortek’s large exposure to the North American ventilation and home-security products market. Melrose said it planned to improve the Nortek’s business by increasing investment in its manufacturing facilities, scouting for complementary acquisitions and improving the US business’ supply chain and reach to customers.
Thompson Creek deal inked
Centerra Gold Inc agreed to acquire Thompson Creek Metals Co for about C$175.8 million (US$135 million) to expand in North America. All of the Thompson Creek issued and outstanding common shares are to be exchanged on the basis of 0.0988 of a Centerra common share, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday. Including debt, the deal is valued at US$1.1 billion. Thompson Creek controls the Mount Milligan mine, which is in central British Columbia, and has 997.9 billion kilograms of provable and probable copper reserves and 5.7 million ounces of gold reserves, according to Thompson Creek’s Web site.
German factory orders rise
Strong demand for German-made goods from eurozone neighbors offset a drop in domestic orders in May, key factory orders data showed yesterday. “Low domestic orders and from non-eurozone countries were made up for by high levels of orders from eurozone countries,” the German Ministry of the Economy said in a statement. Factory orders were unchanged in May from April in seasonally adjusted terms, the ministry said. Domestic orders fell by 1.9 percent, while foreign orders rose by 1.4 percent, with non-eurozone business slipping by 0.3 percent, while orders from within the eurozone jumped 4 percent. The figures showed a “below average” level of big-ticket orders, the ministry said.
British car registrations fall
British new car registrations fell for only the second time in more than four years last month, while an industry body urged the British government to boost economic confidence to avoid further drops. Sales fell 0.8 percent year-on-year to 255,766 units, the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said yesterday. It said it was too early to link the fall to the result of the referendum in favor of leaving the EU. Ratings agency Fitch said on Tuesday that there will probably be a decline in British new vehicle sales due to slower economic growth and weaker consumer confidence.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this