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Nov 15, 2013

Activist investors trim positions in Tim Hortons’ stock

TORONTO (Reuters) – U.S. hedge funds Scout Capital Management and Highfields Capital disclosed in regulatory filings that they have trimmed their stakes in Tim Hortons (THI.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) after shares in the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain posted big gains.

The two activist investors had urged Tim Hortons to increase debt levels to fund a share buyback, as well as address concerns about its U.S. expansion, and to name directors to the board who have more financial expertise.

Nov 11, 2013

Manulife to expand private asset management business

TORONTO, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Manulife Financial Corp
, Canada’s largest life insurer, said on Monday it plans
to expand its private asset management business, allowing
clients its such as pension funds to invest in timberland,
farmland, real estate and private equity assets.

Toronto-based Manulife, which manages money for pension
plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments and midsized insurers,
said the expansion will open up a range of new investment
opportunities for such clients and institutional investors.

Nov 9, 2013

Barrick Gold signals founder Peter Munk to step down

TORONTO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) signaled on Friday that founder and Chairman Peter Munk will likely leave the board at next year’s annual meeting, a move that sources say is intended to persuade reluctant investors to buy into the miner’s $3 billion equity offering.

Sources familiar with the situation say banks underwriting the deal have struggled to sell as much as a third of the shares on offer. Investors have become increasingly concerned about Barrick’s governance, especially what many see as the board’s lack of independence and Munk’s dominant role in the boardroom.

Nov 8, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: BlackBerry board rejected proposals to break up company – sources

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd’s (BB.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) board does not believe a break-up of the Canadian smartphone maker is currently in its best interests, even though Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research), Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Lenovo Group Ltd (0992.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), among others, have expressed interest in acquiring parts of the company, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The board rejected proposals from several technology companies for various BlackBerry assets on grounds that a break-up did not serve the interest of all stakeholders, which include employees, customers and suppliers in addition to shareholders, said the sources, who did not want to be identified as the discussions were confidential.

Nov 8, 2013

Exclusive: BlackBerry board rejected proposals to break up company – sources

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd’s board does not believe a break-up of the Canadian smartphone maker is currently in its best interests, even though Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd, among others, have expressed interest in acquiring parts of the company, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The board rejected proposals from several technology companies for various BlackBerry assets on grounds that a break-up did not serve the interest of all stakeholders, which include employees, customers and suppliers in addition to shareholders, said the sources, who did not want to be identified as the discussions were confidential.

Nov 8, 2013

BlackBerry board rejected proposals to break up company -sources

NEW YORK/TORONTO, Nov 8 (Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd’s
board does not believe a break-up of the Canadian smartphone
maker is currently in its best interests, even though Microsoft
Corp, Apple Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd
, among others, have expressed interest in acquiring
parts of the company, according to people familiar with the
discussions.

The board rejected proposals from several technology
companies for various BlackBerry assets on grounds that a
break-up did not serve the interest of all stakeholders, which
include employees, customers and suppliers in addition to
shareholders, said the sources, who did not want to be
identified as the discussions were confidential.

Nov 8, 2013

Barrick Gold signals its founder, Peter Munk, to step down

TORONTO, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp
signaled on Friday that founder and Chairman Peter Munk will
step down sometime before the company’s annual meeting next
year, a move that would follow prolonged investor pressure for
changes on the gold miner’s board.

Munk, 86, has always driven Barrick’s agenda: he started the
company in 1983 and forged it into the world’s largest gold
producer. But recent missteps have raised questions about the
leadership of a man once viewed as a mining-industry
visionary.

Nov 8, 2013

BlackBerry offers bumper package to new CEO

TORONTO, Nov 7 (Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd will pay
its new interim CEO a base salary of $1 million, a bonus of up
to twice that amount as well as stock awards potentially worth
some $85 million, in the hopes of turning around Canada’s most
prominent technology company.

John Chen, the second consecutive chief executive officer at
BlackBerry to receive a bumper package, will have to help the
embattled smartphone maker regain its footing and win back
market share ceded to the likes of Apple’s iPhone and a
range of devices that run on Google Inc’s Android
operating system.

Nov 6, 2013

No love lost for BlackBerry, Watsa after surprise deal

NEW YORK/TORONTO, Nov 6 (Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd’s
decision to accept a $1 billion cash injection from a group of
investors led by Canadian financier Prem Watsa shocked other
potential bidders for the smartphone maker and has left some
investors crying foul.

With the investment deal, BlackBerry abruptly ended an
auction process that many investors had hoped would have led to
a sale of the company or some of its assets, ending a long
decline in its fortunes as a public company. BlackBerry has bled
market share in recent years, as it struggled to compete with
Apple Inc’s iPhone and devices running Google Inc’s
Android software.

Nov 5, 2013

BlackBerry calls off sale, spurring doubts and stock plunge

TORONTO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd abandoned on Monday its plan to sell itself and said its CEO is stepping down, sparking a 16 percent dive in its share price and raising fears the struggling smartphone maker is running out of options.

After a two-month review of strategic options and talks with potential buyers that included Facebook, Lenovo and private equity firms such as Cerberus Capital Management LP, BlackBerry said it will abandon a sale. Instead, it will raise $1 billion by issuing convertible notes to a group of long-term investors including its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings.

    • About Euan

      "Euan Rocha covers mining and minerals in Canada, where he focuses on gold, base metals and fertilizer companies. Euan, who is currently based in Toronto, has previously worked with Reuters in the United States and India. While based in New York for four years, Euan headed the Reuters Alerts team, before moving on to cover the U.S. chemical industry. Euan began his career with Reuters in Bangalore, India in 2004."
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