Fox raises offer for Sky
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc has raised its offer for Britain’s Sky PLC in an agreed deal valuing the pay-TV group at US$32.5 billion, seeing off rival bidder Comcast Corp for now. Fox, which has been trying to buy the pan-European group since December 2016, has offered to pay ￡14 per share, a 12 percent premium to Comcast’s offer, but below the ￡14.80 Sky shares were trading yesterday. Analysts said the bid threw down the gauntlet for Comcast to return with a higher offer.
Univision mulls Onion sale
Univision Holdings Inc is considering selling Gizmodo Media Group and the Onion, a retreat from English-language Web sites in favor of media aimed at Hispanic Americans. The company has begun a formal process to explore a sale of the properties, such as Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin and Lifehacker, it said in a statement on Tuesday. Univision’s satirical Onion portfolio includes its namesake site, along with Clickhole, the A.V. Club and other brands.
Chevron ruling upheld
Ecuador’s highest court upheld in a ruling released on Tuesday a US$9.5 billion damages award against oil giant Chevron Corp over decades of pollution that harmed indigenous people. Chevron was sentenced in Ecuador over environmental damage blamed on Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001, in Ecuador’s rainforest from 1964 to 1990. Chevron did not deny that pollution had occurred, but blamed it on state-run Petroecuador and has refused to pay the settlement on the grounds that it was the result of fraud and bribes.
Romania raises gas tax
Romania has passed a law to impose additional taxes on gas companies operating in the Black Sea, prompting an outcry on Tuesday from energy companies active in the nation. Parliament adopted the legislation late on Monday, with the left-wing government saying it will bring in substantial new revenues and help increase its energy independence from Russia. The new law introduces tariffs on the revenues of offshore operators and also obliges them to sell at least 50 percent of their output on the local market.
UK economy grew 0.3%
The British economy expanded 0.3 percent in May from the previous month, a strong performance that is likely to further bolster expectations that the Bank of England would raise interest rates next month. The Office for National Statistics on Tuesday said that much of the growth was due to a 2.9 percent growth in construction. It was the first time the agency published monthly figures for growth, which has traditionally been reported quarterly.
Glencore gears up for probe
Glencore PLC has set up a board committee to respond to a US probe into possible corruption at the world’s biggest commodity trader. The committee is composed of chairman and former BP PLC chief executive officer Tony Hayward, as well as non-executive directors Patrice Merrin and Leonhard Fischer, Glencore said yesterday. Glencore last week said the US Department of Justice demanded documents relating to possible corruption and money laundering regarding its business in Nigeria, Congo and Venezuela over the past decade.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the