BlackBerry debt sold
Manulife Financial Corp, Canada’s largest insurer by market value, agreed to invest US$70 million in BlackBerry Ltd’s US$1 billion debt sale, while Brookfield Asset Management Inc and Markel Corp reduced their roles. Brookfield lowered its stake to US$10 million from US$50 million, and Markel cut its investment to US$70 million from US$100 million, according to a filing yesterday. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, BlackBerry’s largest investor, orchestrated the US$1 billion debt sale this week after deciding not to proceed with a tentative US$4.7 billion bid to buy the struggling smartphone maker. Investors in the convertible debentures also include Qatar Holding LLC and Canso Investment Counsel Ltd. The move to borrow the funds underscores BlackBerry’s deteriorating cash situation. Its cash and short-term investments fell by almost US$500 million last quarter to US$2.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Disney profits rise 12%
Walt Disney Co, the world’s largest entertainment company, said fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 12 percent, beating analysts’ estimates as the company’s theme parks and consumer products boosted income. Net income grew to US$1.39 billion, or US$0.77 a share, from US$1.24 billion, or US$0.68, a year earlier, Disney said yesterday in a statement, topping the US$0.76 average of 27 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue increased 7.3 percent to US$11.6 billion in the period ended Sept. 28, beating the US$11.4 billion average of estimates. Investments in new attractions spurred higher guest spending and occupancy at Disney’s US resorts, letting it raise ticket prices.
MetLife, AIG fined US$100m
New York officials will seek substantially more than US$100 million to resolve a probe into whether units sold to MetLife Inc by American International Group Inc (AIG) lacked proper licenses and provided misleading information, a person familiar with the matter said. Both companies will probably need to pay a portion of the fine, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The person could not give a timeline for when the fine may be issued. AIG is responding to requests from the New York Department of Financial Services, the top financial regulator in the state, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for information about the units, Alico and Delaware American, which were sold to MetLife in 2010, the insurer said in an Oct. 31 filing.
3D printer makes metal gun
A Californian engineering company says it has produced the first metal gun made on a 3D printer, releasing a video showing the firearm scoring repeated bullseyes in successful tests. However, Solid Concepts, which describes itself as a world leader of 3D printing services, said making the classic 1911 shotgun did not come cheap, requiring a lot more than a souped-up desktop printer. “It functions beautifully,” it said of the gun, in a blog accompanying the video clips. “Our resident gun expert has fired 50 successful rounds and hit a few bull’s eyes at over 30 yards [27.4m].” The gun comprises more than 30 3D-printed components, including stainless steel and other metal parts.