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Tue, Mar 22, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Electronics
TiVo eyes Japanese market

TiVo Inc, a maker of digital recorders that can pause and replay live television, plans to enter the Japanese market by the middle of next year, the Nihon Keizai newspaper said, citing Chairman Mike Ramsay. The Alviso, California-based company will probably tie up with a cable television network and Internet access provider to aid the expansion, the Nikkei said. TiVo is also considering a partnership with a consumer electronics maker to supply the hard disk drives needed for the service, according to the report.

■ Auto Market

Peugeot to cut UK workforce

The French automobile group Peugeot-Citroen said on Sunday it was cutting 850 jobs at its Ryton, Coventry plant in central England due to falling sales of the Peugeot 206 compact. "Despite the Peugeot 206 continuing to be one of the best-selling retail cars in Europe, the small car segment has seen a considerable broadening of the product offering. This has impacted on the sales volumes of the Peugeot 206," the company said in a statement. The 850 employees represent one of three shifts that makes the 206 at the Coventry plant.

■ Airlines

Patrick takes majority stake

Transport group Patrick Corp said yesterday it has gained a 50.26 majority share in Australian budget airline Virgin Blue despite opposition to the takeover from the airline's independent directors. Patrick's move above the 50 percent ownership level means its offer period for the carrier will be automatically extended by two weeks to April 1. Patrick has offered Virgin Blue shareholders A$1.90 (US$1.50) a share as it seeks control of the carrier. The low-cost airline's other major shareholder is British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group, which holds 25.5 percent.

■ Food safety

Dye in other KFC products

The cancer-causing food coloring Sudan I has been found in other Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) products in China, state media said yesterday, as the vastly popular fast food giant suspended sales. The company's New Orleans chicken wings and chicken burgers were found to contain the red dye last week and since then the items have been removed from more than 1,000 of the eatery's outlets in China and destroyed. The banned dye was Friday also found in KFC's spice pickle powder, used in three KFC foods: spiced drumsticks, spiced chicken wings and chicken-flavored popcorn, the Beijing food safety office was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying. Beijing authorities have asked KFC to suspend sales of the three products until they pass inspections.

■ Investment

Hermes under investigation

South Korea's financial watchdogs visited Hermes Investment Management headquarters in London last week to look into allegations that the British fund had rigged stock prices here, officials said yesterday. Four South Korean Financial Supervisory Service investigators held interviews with Hermes officials in London on March 14, they said. British authorities helped the inquiry which focuses on whether Hermes manipulated the stock price of Samsung Corp, they said. Hermes sold a 5 percent stake in Samsung Corp on Dec. 3 last year, just days after issuing a statement saying an "undervalued" Samsung Corp could become the target of a foreign hostile takeover.

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