Vodafone in acquisition talks
Vodafone Group PLC has confirmed that it is in early stage discussions with Liberty Global PLC regarding the potential acquisition of some “overlapping continental European assets” that are owned by Liberty Global. Vodafone acknowledged the discussions in a statement on Friday that followed reports of talks in the Financial Times. The newspaper reported that the talks were likely to involve holdings in the UK and Germany. Vodafone said there is no certainty the deal would take place and said the matter was limited in scope.
Best Buy doles out bonuses
US consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co said it would be handing out bonuses to more than 100,000 employees, joining a list of companies sharing a portion of their windfall from the corporate tax reform law with employees. The Minneapolis-based chain said that this month it would pay one-time bonuses of US$1,000 to full-time workers and US$500 to part-time employees. Company spokesman Jeff Shelman said full-time salaried employees on a bonus plan would not get the extra funds.
UK sees fewer homes built
UK homebuilding activity shrank last month, ending a 16-month expansion, according to a report on Friday. IHS Markit’s monthly index fell to 48.1, the lowest since just after the Brexit vote in 2016 and below the key 50 line that separates expansion from contraction. The reading was down from 55.3 in December last year. Housing had been the main driver of growth in recent months and its slump dragged the overall construction purchasing managers’ index to 50.2 — a four-month low — from 52.2. IHS Markit said new construction orders fell slightly for the first time in four months.
Fed chair moves forward
US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the first woman to head the nation’s central bank, is not taking any time off. Her last day at the Fed was on Friday. She is to start a new job tomorrow at the Brookings Institution. The Washington think tank said Yellen would join the institution’s Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy as a distinguished fellow in residence.
Fincantieri wins French deal
Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri SpA said on Friday it has reached an agreement with France to buy 50 percent of the French shipyard STX. Fincantieri said it would pay 59.7 million euros (US$74.4 million) to conclude the deal for the shipyard in the western port of Saint-Nazaire, which builds huge cruise liners and warships. Under the terms of the agreement, the French state would keep a blocking minority in the company.
Dell mulls VMware merger
Dell Inc is considering merging with business software provider VMware Inc as part of several potential strategic options. The Round Rock, Texas-based computer maker already owns 82 percent of VMware. The company said the board of directors is reviewing the option. Dell, which went private in 2013, also said on Friday it is considering a public offering of stock.
TV and online retailer Momo.com Inc (富邦媒體) yesterday said it has set up a new logistics subsidiary, Fu Sheng Logistics Co (富昇物流), to oversee the company’s extensive shipping operations. Leveraging Momo’s 23 satellite warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, Fu Sheng will be in charge of executing the retailer’s same-day shipment plan for deliveries in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Momo said in a press release. Seeking to further shorten its supply chain, the company is to set up another seven satellite warehouses and distribution centers by the end of the year. “Fu Sheng has a fleet of 200 couriers
US-CHINA TENSIONS: The company said that it supplies self-designed chips to the Chinese company and, as such, is not affected by the latest US export restrictions Macronix International Co (旺宏電子) said it does not expect its shipments of memory chips to Huawei Technologies Co (華為) to be affected by the latest US export restrictions on the Chinese tech giant. “As long as the company [Huawei] places orders, we will ship [chips], unless the [Taiwanese] government restricts all Taiwanese companies from shipping” to Huawei, Macronix chairman and chief executive officer Miin Wu (吳敏求) said on Monday in Hsinchu. The US Department of Commerce on Friday took a further step to block chip supplies from non-US companies to Huawei by requiring foreign semiconductor makers to get US government permission before
‘ACCORDING TO PLAN’: A company official said that it has set up production sites worldwide to provide services and that its Wisconsin project was going smoothly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) smart manufacturing center in Wisconsin would begin trial manufacturing in the middle of this year, the company said yesterday, adding that it plans to build a research institute to develop key technologies to support growth over the next five years. Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), said in an annual report submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its planned Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology would conduct research into artificial intelligence, next-generation communications, quantum computing, cybersecurity and nano semiconductors in Taiwan. Hon Hai is to make products at the center
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays for e-readers and shelf labels, posted its best quarterly net profit for the first quarter in nine years amid increased demand during a traditionally slow season. Net profit soared 80 percent to NT$787 million (US$26.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with NT$438 million a year earlier. That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.69, up from NT$0.39. E Ink posted lower royalty income of NT$371.23 million last quarter from NT$448.74 million a year earlier, a company financial statement showed. E Ink said that it expects royalty income to