NEC, Renesas delay deal
NEC Electronics Corp and Renesas Technology Corp, Japan’s second-largest chip maker, delayed signing a merger to the end of next month, citing the need for more time to evaluate the assets. “The due diligence process is taking longer than we expected, but we are confident about reaching an agreement next month,” Shinichi Kaede, a spokesman at NEC Electronics, said by phone yesterday. The two companies, which had originally planned to agree on terms of the transaction by the end of this month, maintained their target date of April next year to complete the merger, he said. The combined company will achieve an operating-profit margin of at least 5 percent, NEC Electronics president Junshi Yamaguchi said last month.
EADS profit jumps in Q2
European aerospace giant EADS yesterday reported a 76 percent jump in net profit for the second quarter to 208 million euros (US$297 million) despite costs linked to delays of its A400M plane. EADS, the parent company of Airbus, said its second-quarter operating profit was up 69 percent to 656 million euros, but for the first half of the year was down 23 percent at 888 million euros. It said the drop reflected a charge of 191 million euros taken to cover delays on the A400M military transport project. Total provisions for the aircraft add up to 2.3 billion euros.
Bank to scale back network
Bank of America Corp is planning to reduce its 6,100-branch network by about 10 percent, the Wall Street Journal cited bank chief executive Kenneth Lewis as telling investors. The plans were discussed at a meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, last Thursday, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter. The Journal’s sources added that Liam McGee, president of Bank of America’s consumer and small-business bank, also said branch closures were planned, but did not specify how many locations could be closed.
Google sells AOL stake
Time Warner has bought back Google’s 5 percent stake in struggling Internet company AOL for US$283 million. The price, paid on July 8, is close to what Google estimated its stake at earlier this year. The details emerged in a regulatory filing by AOL on Monday. The deal sets the stage for AOL’s impending spin-off from parent Time Warner. Google bought the stake for US$1 billion in 2006, but in January estimated the investment had sunk by more than 70 percent to US$274 million — giving AOL a market value of about US$5.5 billion. Time Warner agreed to buy back the stake earlier this year. The price at which New York-based Time Warner bought back the stake values AOL slightly higher, at about US$5.66 billion.
Verizon to cut 8,000 jobs
Verizon Communications, the second-largest US phone company, said on Monday it would slash another 8,000 jobs in the second half of this year amid declining earnings. Profits fell 21 percent to US$1.48 billion, or US$0.52 per share, from US$0.66 per share a year earlier, Verizon said. Revenue rose 11 percent to US$26.9 billion on increased sales of high-speed fiber-optic internet service and the company’s acquisition of rival Alltel Corp in January. Verizon was hurt by rising pension costs and cuts in landline phone service, especially by businesses.