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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no