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Mar 19, 2012

Lawsuit against Berkshire over Sokol affair dismissed

, March 19 (Reuters) – Berkshire Hathaway
won dismissal on Monday of a shareholder lawsuit that
stemmed from allegations former executive David Sokol profited
by violating the company’s insider trading policy.

Shareholders sued the conglomerate’s board for refusing to
take legal action against Sokol, a former heir apparent at
Berkshire.

Mar 13, 2012
via Breakingviews

Prudential’s threat to quit UK isn’t just hot air

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By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Prudential’s threat to jump ship is real. The UK insurer has admitted that new European Union reforms were forcing it to re-examine its London headquarters. Playing the relocation card is a standard threat for companies faced with unhelpful rules. But even though the other benefits of moving are negligible, the risk to Pru is genuine.

Mar 7, 2012

Dodgers, beaten fan encouraged to reach settlement

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Dodgers and the family of a baseball fan who was badly beaten at a game last year were encouraged by a bankruptcy judge to discuss a settlement of a negligence lawsuit.

The family of Bryan Stow wanted U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in Delaware to let them move ahead with a case claiming negligence against the team and its owner in a California court. But the judge refused the request for now.

Mar 5, 2012

El Paso delays vote on Kinder Morgan deal

By Michael Erman and Tom Hals

(Reuters) – El Paso Corp (EP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) delayed a shareholder meeting for voting on the pipeline company’s roughly $23 billion acquisition by rival Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to give investors more time to consider a judge’s ruling that criticized some of the deal’s participants.

El Paso said the meeting would be held Friday, instead of Tuesday.

While shareholders can still change their votes before the meeting, the company said on Monday that about 70 percent of its outstanding shares had already been voted as of March 2. More than 98.5 percent of those shares were voted in favor of the deal, El Paso said.

Feb 28, 2012

BB&T-BankAtlantic deal blocked by Delaware judge

Feb 28 (Reuters) – BB&T Corp’s purchase of
BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc’s lending business was blocked
by a Delaware Chancery Court judge, who agreed with hedge-fund
investors that the deal favored BankAtlantic’s management over
debtholders.

Vice Chancellor Travis Laster said the deal violated rights
of investors by transferring most of BankAtlantic’s assets to
BB&T while leaving debt obligations and distressed assets
behind.

Feb 27, 2012

Martin Marietta’s hostile Vulcan bid to go to trial

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – Martin Marietta Materials Inc (MLM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will take its $5.7 billion hostile bid for Vulcan Materials Co (VMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to a Delaware court on Tuesday in its drive to seize its larger rival and create the world’s largest producer of gravel, sand and other construction materials.

Vulcan wants an injunction to stop what it considers a low-ball bid. It has accused Martin Marietta of “unethical, unlawful and increasingly erratic behavior,” and the four-day trial will turn on whether its suitor breached a contract to keep deal talks private.

Feb 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

Lloyds’ return to form will be worth the wait

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By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Lloyds Banking Group’s long-suffering shareholders shouldn’t phone their broker yet. After three years of turbulence and a share price still 88 percent off its 2007 peak, they have been handed another ostensibly duff set of annual results. But the investment case for holding the shares is much clearer than for the other UK state-dominated bank, Royal Bank of Scotland.

Feb 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

RBS pulls off tricky bonus balancing act

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By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Stephen Hester has just about squared the circle. Royal Bank of Scotland’s chief executive had to find a way to slash investment bank bonuses with sufficient savagery to assuage angry British politicians, while preventing morale at the state-backed lender falling any further. He has had a decent stab.

Feb 21, 2012

Insight: Laws leave cruise-ship victims at sea

By Tom Hals, Andrew Longstreth and Steve Stecklow

(Reuters) – When Walter Henry Alderfer learned last month about the Costa Concordia shipwreck off Italy, it brought back bad memories.

In April 2007, he, his wife and his daughter were aboard the Sea Diamond cruise ship when it struck a reef off Greece and sank into the Aegean Sea. Screaming passengers fought over life preservers, Alderfer says, and his wife hurt her neck and later needed surgery.

Feb 21, 2012

Laws leave cruise-ship victims at sea

Feb 21 (Reuters) – When Walter Henry Alderfer learned last
month about the Costa Concordia shipwreck off Italy, it brought
back bad memories.

In April 2007, he, his wife and his daughter were aboard the
Sea Diamond cruise ship when it struck a reef off Greece and
sank into the Aegean Sea. Screaming passengers fought over life
preservers, Alderfer says, and his wife hurt her neck and later
needed surgery.

    • About George

      "George Hay writes about the banking and property sectors. He joined from Thomson Financial News, where he was a companies correspondent. Before that he worked at United Business Media, where he was news editor of Building Magazine. He has a first in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and was nominated in two categories at the 2009 Business Journalist of the Year Awards."
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