Apple’s Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who spent months on medical leave, will open an annual developers’ conference on June 6 showcasing the iPad maker’s latest computer software and a new cloud computing service. But it’s unclear if he’s returning from medical leave or simply kicking off the conference.
Jobs and his team plan to unveil a new cloud-based service called iCloud, which will offer remote computing and data over the Internet, and a slew of software upgrades at the conference including Lion, its Mac OS X computer operating system, and iOS 5, the next version of its mobile operating system.
Some see e-readers as the poor cousin to more glamorous tablets, but that may soon be about to change. Billionaire media mogul John Malone, whose Liberty Media owns DirecTV Group and the QVC shopping channel, may be interested in buying the Barnes & Noble chain specifically for its Nook e-reader, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking behind the deal.
The Nook is now the second biggest e-book seller, behind Amazon, which only yesterday announced is now selling more e-books than print books. With Liberty as a backer, Barnes & Noble and the Nook may be well positioned to compete against Amazon and Apple.
LinkedIn made its remarkable debut on the New York Stock Exchange, at times trading more than 171 percent above its IPO price of $45. The stampede to buy the stock had some remembering back to another time when investors also loved tech stock IPOs: the 1990s and the dotcom bubble.
Does the response to LinkedIn suggest investors are in for another bubble that bursts when the fundamentals overtake the hype? Or is it a sign that investors are hungry for any piece of the social media pie and LinkedIn’s happens to be first out of the oven? While Facebook, Groupon, Twitter and Zynga are still expected to go public, LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner cautions that his company’s spectacular debut should not be seen as a proxy for them.
Commodities trader Glencore will close the books for its planned $11 billion initial public offering a day ahead of schedule, underscoring strong investor demand for its shares despite volatile commodity markets. A source told Reuters on Friday the offer was already “multiple times covered” across the price range, but part of that success is due to the relatively small stake in the company being placed with funds and to Glencore’s size, which makes it a must-buy for many.
Takeda, Japan’s largest drugmaker, said on Friday it has not agreed to buy Swiss rival Nycomed, following reports it was in talks to buy the privately held company for more than $12 billion. “Takeda is constantly seeking and evaluating opportunities to increase shareholder value and enhance our business through strategic investment; however, there is nothing that needs to be announced at this point,” Takeda said on its website.
Hertz Global Holdings is back in the market for smaller car rental firm Dollar Thrifty, offering close to $2.1 billion, taking advantage of rival Avis Budget’s problems getting regulatory clearance for a rival bid. Hertz first bid for Dollar Thrifty in April, 2010, but following a bidding war with Avis, the Hertz offer was voted down by Dollar Thrifty shareholders in September.
Volkswagen made a long-awaited bid for MAN, valuing it at $20 billion and stepping up plans to merge the German truckmaker with Swedish rival Scania in which it also holds a controlling stake. Europe’s largest carmaker made the offer, which is less than the stock was trading for last week, after it increased its stake above 30 percent, requiring a mandatory bid for the remaining shares under German rules. Volkswagen has been toying with plans to create Europe’s biggest truckmaker by merging MAN with Scania.
Goldman Sachs is betting big on the word’s largest insurance market with its purchase of a 12 percent stake in China’s Taikang Life Insurance Co Ltd. Goldman’s deal could pave the way for Taikang’s planned initial public offering next year. Credit Suisse estimates China’s life insurance market –which generated $124 billion premium income in 2009 — will grow more than 20 percent per annum for the next decade.
BP’s proposed $16 billion share swap with Rosneft received a stay of execution when an arbitration panel gave it time to try to extend its April 14 deadline for the deal. The co-owners of BP’s Russian venture TNK-BP are trying to block the deal with Rosneft arguing that it violates TNK-BP’s shareholder agreement. By not killing the deal outright, the panel has given BP time to either persuade TNK-BP to drop its case or cut them in on the deal.
BASF sold its roughly 10 percent stake in the company as part of a shift away from the nitrogen fertilizer business in the face of competition from lower-cost producers in the Middle East. If Russian fertilizer company EuroChem sells its own K+S stake of 14% it could push the German miner into play, with majors such as BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto amongst the potential buyers.
Arizona Public Service is giving fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks and green energy advocates something to cheer about.
APS plans to build a structure at the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field in Phoenix, the sunniest major city in America, which will do double duty by providing fans waiting in line with much needed shade and generate 75 kilowatts of solar power.
Among the major issues global leaders will discuss at the upcoming annual World Economic Forum in Davos are the risks associated with the tightening of water, food and energy resources to meet the demands of an increasing global population.
The three interrelated resources impact both global economic growth and geopolitical stability and the Forum’s Global Risks 2011 report warns that “any strategy that focuses on one part of the water-food-energy nexus without considering its interconnections risks serious unintended consequences.”
Hit hard by the real estate crash and banking crisis of 2008, Ireland has since had to make deep spending cuts and a humiliating appeal to the IMF and Europe for a rescue package.
As a result, Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s Fianna Fael-led government now has the dubious honor of being Ireland’s most unpopular in recent memory, with one recent poll putting Cowen’s support at 17 percent.