Wed, Oct 18, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Alitalia bid likely to drag

Deutsche Lufthansa AG and British budget airline easyJet are two of seven companies that on Monday bid for Alitalia, but the process to rescue Italy’s ailing flag carrier is likely to drag out until late next year. Alitalia, which has made a profit only a few times in its 70-year history, was put under special administration earlier this year after staff rejected a plan to cut jobs and salaries. Seven envelopes were delivered by a deadline to submit binding offers for parts or all of the airline on Monday, Alitalia said in a statement, but gave no further details. It was unclear whether any of the offers were for the whole airline. Both Lufthansa and easyJet said they were only interested in parts of it.


Daimler recalls 1m cars

Daimler AG is recalling more than 1 million vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz, due to a problem with the airbags, a company spokesman was quoted as saying on Monday. Among the vehicles being recalled are about 400,000 Mercedes cars in Britain and hundreds more in Germany, the spokesman told the DPA news agency. A Mercedes spokesman in the US said 495,000 cars would be subject to the recall there. The source of the problem is a faulty cable which can trigger the airbags to inflate inadvertently. The product recall will begin in the coming weeks when the new component to fix the problem is available.


Ruby Tuesday to be acquired

Ruby Tuesday Inc is being acquired for about US$146 million in a deal that will take the struggling chain private. Like other sit-down restaurant chains, Ruby Tuesday has lost customers to cheaper, faster and more casual places. Comparable-store sales at Ruby Tuesday have fallen for six consecutive quarters and the company has not reported a quarterly profit in two years, even as it has made tweaks its menu and made small changes, like adding salad bars, in an attempt to boost traffic. The private-equity firm NRD Capital on Monday said that it would pay US$2.40 for each share, a 21 percent premium from the chain’s closing price of US$1.99 on Friday. When debt is included, the companies value the deal at US$335 million.


Spain cuts growth forecast

The Spanish government on Monday announced it was cutting its forecast from 2.6 percent to 2.3 percent economic growth next year, saying the political crisis in Catalonia was creating uncertainty. It said in a budget plan sent to Brussels that it was down to the economic cycle as well as “a slight containment of domestic demand, resulting from the negative impact of the uncertainty associated with the current political situation in Catalonia.” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had already warned about the economic impact of the political standoff in a letter on Monday to Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.


Pearson predicts profit

Pearson Education expects full-year operating profit in the top half of its forecast range, in the first positive trading news for the British education group in recent years. The company, which has issued a string of profit warnings and cut thousands of jobs due to the shift to digital from paper textbooks, yesterday said it was seeing the benefit of cost cuts and the move to develop its rental and digital offerings. “We expect tough market conditions in our biggest business to continue over the next couple of years,” chief executive John Fallon said.

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