• Zimmer to buy Biomet for $13.35 billion in latest consolidation

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago

    Zimmer Holdings Inc said on Thursday it would buy rival orthopaedic products maker Biomet Inc for more than $13 billion (£7,736,713,682.08), the latest deal in a wave of consolidations in the healthcare industry. Investors gave a resounding thumbs up to the announcement, sending Zimmer shares up more than 18 percent on expectations the larger scale will help it navigate stiffer pricing pressure on medical devices from hospitals and insurers. "Biomet is a perfect fit for us," Zimmer Chief Executive David Dvorak told analysts and investors on a conference call. More »Zimmer to buy Biomet for $13.35 billion in latest consolidation

  • Tea time again in London as Unilever brews up a drinks revival

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago

    By Martinne Geller LONDON (Reuters) - Consumer goods giant Unilever opened its first European tea shop in London on Thursday, aiming to cash in on the growing appeal of unusual and luxury cuppas and ignite fresh enthusiasm for the national drink. A new generation of Britons drink more coffee than tea since the arrival of the mighty Starbucks, and a host of imitators that now crowd high streets. But with Starbucks opening a tea bar in New York last October and talking about a $90 billion global market, the tide may be turning. Unilever, whose Lipton brand is the world's top-selling tea, bought Australia's T2 tea chain - where the menu ranges from a 5.75 pound ($9.65) box of English Breakfast to Japanese Gyokuro teas costing upwards of 25 pounds a tin - in September and hopes to appeal to the same consumers interested in upscale coffee that fuelled the last drinks boom. More »Tea time again in London as Unilever brews up a drinks revival

  • Canadian Fashion Tycoon Eyes Lehman F1 Stake

    Sky News - 12 minutes ago

    One of the global fashion industry’s most successful entrepreneurs has become the latest tycoon to hold talks about investing in Formula One (F1) motor racing, even as the sport’s long-serving boss stands trial on bribery charges. Sky News has learnt that Lawrence Stroll, who has held the marketing rights to brands including Ralph Lauren, Pepe Jeans and Tommy Hilfiger, has been in discussions in recent weeks about buying a minority stake in F1’s parent company. Mr Stroll, a Canadian whose wealth is estimated at $2.7bn (£1.6bn) by Forbes magazine, is understood to have held talks with the estate of the bankrupted Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers about acquiring part or all of its 15% stake in F1. A motor racing enthusiast, much of Mr Stroll’s wealth was derived from his successful leadership of Michael Kors, the North American fashion house, which he took public in 2011. More »Canadian Fashion Tycoon Eyes Lehman F1 Stake

  • F1 Boss Ecclestone Denies Bribery Charges

    Sky News - 13 minutes ago

    Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has denied bribery charges as he appeared in a Munich court at the start of his trial. The trial could threaten his control of F1 and, if found guilty, could see him jailed for up to 10 years. In a four-hour personal statement read out in German by his lawyers, Ecclestone said he was "grateful" to be able to give his side of the story though he told judges he would answer questions through his lawyers rather than personally. Ecclestone, 83, is accused of paying a $44m (£26m) bribe to a German banker to facilitate the sale of the Bavarian bank BayernLB's stake in F1 to its current owners, the private equity group CVC. More »F1 Boss Ecclestone Denies Bribery Charges

  • Manufacturers see better times for economy, jobs

    Associated Press - 13 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Big companies are finally starting to spend money, and that could mean a better economy and more jobs. More »Manufacturers see better times for economy, jobs

  • Gherkin skyscraper enters receivership

    Reuters - 13 minutes ago

    London's landmark Gherkin office tower has been placed into receivership by its creditors, accountancy firm and joint receivers Deloitte said on Thursday, paving the way for a possible partial sale of the skyscraper. Germany's IVG Immobilien, which co-owns the 40-storey Gherkin with Evans Randall Ltd, filed for insolvency last year after years of cost overruns and mounting debt. One of Germany's best known property firms, IVG sought protection last year from its creditors after failing to reach an agreement over the restructuring of its debt. Co-owner Evans Randall said on Thursday it was ready to invest further equity into the building but the company had been unable to agree on a new financial structure with IVG due to the German partner's financial situation. More »Gherkin skyscraper enters receivership

  • Renault revenue hit by weaker emerging markets

    Reuters - 16 minutes ago

    By Laurence Frost PARIS (Reuters) - Renault said an emerging-market currency slide against the euro wiped out sales gains in the first quarter, when the French carmaker's revenue fell 0.1 percent. Revenue decreased to 8.257 billion euros (£6,790,454,085.58) in January-March from 8.265 billion a year earlier, Renault said in a statement on Thursday, despite a 5.1 percent gain in vehicle deliveries. Thanks to its no-frills car offering and success in markets such as Russia and Latin America, Renault has proved more resistant to a six-year European market slump than peers such as PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat . But a slowdown combined with weaker currencies in Russia, Latin America and parts of Asia is beginning to hurt, wiping out sales gains and efforts to raise pricing. More »Renault revenue hit by weaker emerging markets

  • Gym Fees 'Could Stop Mortgage Approvals'

    Sky News - 19 minutes ago

    Homebuyers could find themselves turned down for a mortgage because of their gym memberships, phone bills and pension payments, under new rules introduced this weekend, experts have warned. Mortgage advisers said new restrictions introduced under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) would drastically increase the intrusiveness of checks undergone by applicants. Those commitments might include items as innocuous as informal club memberships, according to Peter Marriott of Westexe Mortgage Solutions. He said: "They might have a gym membership, they might be contributing to a pension plan - anything that's deemed by a mortgage lender to be a commitment could be held against them as an ongoing expense, which would in turn affect the affordability and the lender's decision on how much they can borrow." More »Gym Fees 'Could Stop Mortgage Approvals'

  • Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Russia starts drill near border

    Reuters - 22 minutes ago

    By Aleksandar Vasovic and Alexei Anishchuk SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade. Under an international accord signed in Geneva last week, illegal armed groups in Ukraine, including the rebels occupying about a dozen public buildings in the largely Russian-speaking east, are supposed to disarm and go home. But they have shown few signs of doing so and on Thursday the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said its forces backed by the army had removed three checkpoints manned by armed groups in the separatist-controlled city of Slaviansk. A rebel spokeswoman in Slaviansk said two fighters had died in a clash in the same area, northeast of the city centre. More »Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Russia starts drill near border

  • Australia rules out link between debris and Malaysian plane

    Reuters - 30 minutes ago

    By Byron Kaye and Sonali Paul PERTH/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Authorities ruled out any link between debris picked up on an Australian beach and a missing Malaysian jetliner on Thursday as a tropical cyclone again threatened to hamper a 26-nation air, surface and underwater search of the Indian Ocean. The debris, found on Wednesday on a beach at the southern tip of Western Australia state, was seen as the first lead since April 4 when authorities detected what they believed was a signal from the black box of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board. But it took Australian authorities less than a day to analyse detailed photographs of the beached debris, no description of which was given, and dismiss the possibility that it may be linked to the plane. "We're not seeing anything in this that would lead us to believe that it is from a Boeing aircraft," Australian Transport Safety Bureau commissioner Martin Dolan the Australian Broadcasting Corp. That puts the focus of the search, the most expensive in aviation history, back on U.S. Navy undersea drone Bluefin-21, which will soon finish scouring a 10 square kms (6.2 square mile) stretch of seabed where the acoustic pings were located. More »Australia rules out link between debris and Malaysian plane

  • Starbucks suffers first UK sales drop after tax criticism

    Reuters - 31 minutes ago

    By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) - Starbucks suffered its first ever drop in UK sales last year, a period in which the company became the subject of boycotts and public criticism over its tax practices. Accounts for the group's main UK subsidiary, Starbucks Coffee Company (UK) Ltd, showed turnover fell in the year to the end of September 2013 to 399 million pounds from 413 million pounds the previous year. The drop follows 16 years of consistent strong growth and comes despite the business "being supported by an improving economic environment", the accounts said. ... More »Starbucks suffers first UK sales drop after tax criticism

  • US journalist released in east Ukraine

    Associated Press - 36 minutes ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — An American journalist who was held by pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine for several days says he has been released and is in good condition. More »US journalist released in east Ukraine

  • Stocks mostly higher on earnings gains; Apple up

    Associated Press - 37 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Strong earnings from a number of U.S. companies including Apple and Caterpillar had stocks moving mostly higher Thursday afternoon. 3M was among those whose results disappointed investors. More »Stocks mostly higher on earnings gains; Apple up

  • Boy and girl on Korean ferry drowned with life jackets tied together

    Reuters - 42 minutes ago

    By James Pearson and Meeyoung Cho SEOUL (Reuters) - A boy and girl trapped in a sinking South Korean ferry with hundreds of other high school students tied their life jacket cords together, a diver who recovered their bodies said, presumably so they wouldn't float apart. Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and other crew members who abandoned ship have been arrested on negligence charges. More »Boy and girl on Korean ferry drowned with life jackets tied together

  • Facebook acquires fitness tracking mobile app Moves

    Reuters - 50 minutes ago

    By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc has acquired the maker of a mobile app that can track the distance consumers walk or run and measure the calories burned, giving the social networking company an entree into the nascent market for fitness and health monitoring technology. Facebook did not disclose the price it paid for ProtoGeo Oy, the 2-year-old Helsinki company that makes the Moves app. A Facebook spokesman said the price for ProtoGeo, which has fewer than 10 employees, was not anywhere near what the company had paid for other higher-profile acquisitions recently. Facebook has begun 2014 by going on a shopping spree, paying $19 billion for mobile messaging service WhatsApp in February and $2.3 billion for virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR a couple of weeks later. More »Facebook acquires fitness tracking mobile app Moves

  • European stocks close after upbeat earnings

    AFP - 54 minutes ago

    Stock brokers work at the stock exchange in Frankfurt am Main, central Germany on March 14, 2014. Germany's DAX stock index fell below 9,000 points during afternoon trading More »European stocks close after upbeat earnings

  • First lady gets resume from girl with jobless dad

    Associated Press - 58 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama's annual question-and-answer session with the children of Executive Office employees has taken a somber turn. More »First lady gets resume from girl with jobless dad

  • New drug sales help boost Novartis Q1 profit

    Associated Press - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    GENEVA (AP) — Strong new drug sales and higher operating income helped Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis AG report a 24 percent rise in first-quarter profit. More »New drug sales help boost Novartis Q1 profit

  • Verizon profit misses expectations, shares fall

    Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago

    By Marina Lopes NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc's reluctance to offer mass discounts in a near-saturated mobile market is costing it new subscribers, analysts said on Thursday as the largest U.S. wireless carrier missed Wall Street's profit expectations. Shares of Verizon were down nearly 3 percent at midday on Thursday, making it the biggest percentage loser among Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> component stocks. While its rivals have engaged in aggressive discounting, Verizon has been more conservative in price cuts in an attempt to preserve revenue per user at the expense of subscriber adds. "Verizon and AT&T have solid networks but their price premium is so large that it is going to be very hard for everyone to have their cake and eat it too," said Craig Moffett, a senior analyst at MoffettNathanson. More »Verizon profit misses expectations, shares fall

  • South Sudan to free prisoners as pressure mounts for peace deal

    Reuters - 1 hour 11 minutes ago

    By Carl Odera JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan will free four high-profile political prisoners facing treason charges, a presidential spokesman said on Thursday, meeting a demand by rebels in a faltering peace process. President Salva Kiir has come under mounting pressure as rebel fighters loyal to Kiir's sacked deputy, Riek Machar, seize territory and close in on northern oil fields that provide the country's economic lifeline. More »South Sudan to free prisoners as pressure mounts for peace deal

  • Wyoming gas explosion prompts evacuation of town

    Associated Press - 1 hour 23 minutes ago

    OPAL, Wyo. (AP) — Residents and emergency crews were waiting for a fire to burn itself out after an explosion at a natural gas processing plant in a small town in southwestern Wyoming. More »Wyoming gas explosion prompts evacuation of town

  • 'China's Twitter' Owner Loses Licences Over Porn

    Sky News - 1 hour 25 minutes ago

    One of China's largest internet companies has had two of its licences revoked by the Government because of online pornography. Chinese state media announced the blocking of some of the output of Sina.com, which runs the Weibo social media site, among others. It followed the discovery of 20 articles and four videos containing pornographic and lewd content, the official Xinhua news agency said. Xinhua quoted a government statement, saying: "Some of these articles were as long as 500-plus chapters and clocked millions of clicks ... imperilling social morals and seriously harming minors' physical and mental health."  More »'China's Twitter' Owner Loses Licences Over Porn

  • Gucci's sales growth remains sluggish in first quarter

    Reuters - 1 hour 26 minutes ago

    By Astrid Wendlandt PARIS (Reuters) - Gucci's sales growth remained sluggish in the first three months of the year, hit in part by the brand's upmarket repositioning and the clean-up of its wholesale distribution network. The Italian brand, which represents the bulk of valuation for parent Kering , on Thursday posted a 0.3 percent rise in like-for-like sales for the first quarter, broadly in line with analysts' expectations. In a conference call with journalists, Kering Finance Director Jean-Marc Duplaix said Gucci's sales in China were still declining, without providing figures, but added that "trends are improving". Gucci still makes more than 20 percent of its turnover from wholesale buyers, whose contribution to comparable sales dropped 19 percent in the first quarter after some accounts with department stores ended. More »Gucci's sales growth remains sluggish in first quarter

  • Father thanks God for stowaway son's survival on Hawaii flight

    Reuters - 1 hour 27 minutes ago

    A Somali immigrant whose 15-year-old son survived a flight from California to Hawaii stowed away amid freezing temperatures and low oxygen levels in the wheel well of a jet said in a radio interview that he thanks God his son is alive. The 15-year-old boy from the San Francisco Bay area city of Santa Clara, who ran away from home and sneaked into Mineta San Jose International Airport to creep into a Boeing 767 that took off on Sunday, is one of a fraction of stowaways to walk away alive from such a treacherous trip. "When I watched the analysis about the extraordinary and dangerous trip of my son on local TVs and that Allah had saved him, I thanked God and I was very happy," Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi, the father, told Voice of America's Somali service in an interview on Wednesday. Authorities have not released the boy's name, but his father identified him to Voice of America as Yahya Abdi. More »Father thanks God for stowaway son's survival on Hawaii flight

  • Greek-led group signs 3.2 billion euro construction deal in Qatar

    Reuters - 1 hour 27 minutes ago

    Greece's biggest construction group Ellaktor said on Thursday it signed a 3.2 billion euro (2.6 billion pounds) contract to build a subway line in Qatar. Ellaktor, which has been expanding its foreign business to cope with an economic crisis at home, said in an Athens bourse filing it owned a 32 percent stake in joint venture Alysj, which won the "Gold Line Underground" project in Qatar's capital city of Doha. The firm did not reveal its joint venture partners in the Qatar project. But the prospects of Greece's construction industry are improving after public finances stabilised and the country returned to bond markets earlier this month. More »Greek-led group signs 3.2 billion euro construction deal in Qatar


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