Steelmaker to take hit
German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG says it is taking a 3.6 billion euros (US$4.66 billion) hit on the value of its Steel Americas unit.
The Essen-based company says the writedown follows a reassessment prompted by efforts to sell the unit’s plants in the US and Brazil. The announcement came as ThyssenKrupp on Monday posted heavy losses for the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30. The company says it made a net loss attributable to shareholders of 4.7 billion euros and is canceling its dividend for the 2011 to 2012 period. ThyssenKrupp had recorded a loss of 1.3 billion euros for the previous fiscal year.
Motorola cools on S Korea
Motorola Mobility on Monday confirmed that it is shutting down most of its operations in South Korea as part of a move to consolidate research after being bought by Google this year. “The changes in Korea reflect our plans to consolidate our global R&D efforts to foster collaboration, and to focus more attention on markets where we are best positioned to compete effectively,” Motorola said in an e-mail response to reporters. California-based Google said in August that it would lay off about 4,000 employees at Motorola, which it purchased in a deal valued at US$12.5 billion, in order to return the company to profitability.
Ford to update software
Ford will update software on next year’s Escapes and Fusions to stop their engines from overheating, a problem that has caused a small number of fires. Reports of nine fires prompted the automaker to recall more than 89,000 of the SUVS and midsize cars in the US and Canada last month. No injuries were reported and only models with 1.6-liter turbocharged engines were recalled. Ford offered free loaner cars until it figured out what caused the fires. It was the fourth recall in four months for the new Escape, a top seller in the competitive market for small SUVs. Next year’s version has had problems with coolant leaks, cracked fuel lines and carpet padding since it started selling this spring. The Fusion has been recalled twice.
McDonald’s sales rebound
McDonald’s Corp said on Monday that a key sales figure rebounded last month, as US customers snapped up the world’s biggest hamburger chain’s breakfast offerings and limited-time Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwiches. The increase follows a decline in October, the first drop in McDonald’s key monthly sales gauge in nearly a decade. The company, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, said that its global sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 2.4 percent for the month ended Nov. 30. Systemwide sales, which includes sales at all restaurants, rose 3.2 percent.
Diageo ends tequila talks
British drinks group Diageo said yesterday that it had ended talks with JP Y Compania and Lanceros on a possible takeover of the Cuervo brand of tequila. Discussions “relating to the future of the Cuervo brand have ended,” a Diageo statement said. “Both parties will now work to ensure the orderly termination of the current distribution agreement, including transitional arrangements, at the end of June 2013,” it added. Cuervo is distilled in Mexico on land given to Jose Antonio de Cuervo by the 18th-century Spanish King Ferdinand VI.