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Tue, Jun 19, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ BEVERAGE

Cadbury to sell drinks unit

Cadbury Schweppes is preparing to announce today that it is selling its US beverage business, which includes 7-Up, Dr Pepper and Snapple, people close to the firm said yesterday. Cadbury said in March that it would split its confectionery and soft drink businesses, but had not determined whether it would sell the beverage business or spin it off. On Friday, the deadline for suitors to make an offer, Cadbury received at least three bids for the beverage business, worth about US$15.8 billion. The bidders are: Bain Capital Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners and the Texas Pacific Group; the Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Lion Capital; and Cott, a Canadian company that makes private-label drinks for retailers like Wal-Mart Stores.

■ MARKETS

Central bank intervenes

New Zealand's central bank intervened on the foreign exchange markets yesterday to sell the local currency for the second time in a week, currency dealers said. The Reserve Bank did not confirm it had intervened in the market, but dealers said the bank was in the market selling the New Zealand dollar. The New Zealand dollar eased off to US$0.7523 from a high of US$0.7560 earlier in the morning. The action from the central bank comes after last week's unprecedented intervention to sell the local currency.

■ ADVERTISING

NASCAR sues AT&T

NASCAR filed a US$100 million counter claim against AT&T Inc on Sunday, accusing the wireless phone provider of interfering with the US stock-car racing circuit's exclusive sponsorship agreement with rival company Nextel. NASCAR filed the suit electronically in US district court in Atlanta, Georgia, alleging breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, and conspiracy to aid and abet wrongful interference with Nextel -- the name sponsor of NASCAR's premier racing series, the Nextel Cup. The two sides have been battling all season over NASCAR's refusal to allow AT&T to put its logos on Jeff Burton's racing car. Burton and his Richard Childress Racing team have a sponsorship agreement with mobile phone company Cingular, which has since been purchased by AT&T.

■ ELECTRONICS

LG to countersue Hitachi

South Korea's LG Electronics Inc said yesterday it would file a counter-lawsuit against Hitachi Ltd, its US unit and a flat-panel joint venture in a Texas court, claiming the Japanese firm infringed on patents related to LG's plasma displays. Hitachi officials weren't immediately available for comment. LG said its complaint alleges Hitachi, its US unit and Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display Ltd, a joint venture with Japan's Fujitsu Ltd, infringed on seven LG patents. LG is a major manufacturer of plasma display panels used in flat- screen televisions.

■ AVIATION

Macquarie to sell stake

Macquarie Bank's global airport investor Macquarie Airports (MAP) yesterday announced it would sell its stake in Rome's two major airports for 1.24 billion euros (US$1.65 billion). MAP had reportedly been in disagreement with Italy's Gemina, which controls Aeroporti di Roma, over capital expenditure plans and other issues. It said it had resolved the situation by agreeing to sell its 44.74 percent stake back to Italian-based company Leonardo, which is wholly owned by Gemina.

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