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.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion