Japan’s Canon is set to buy Toshiba’s (OTCPK:TOSYY) medical equipment unit for ¥700B ($6.2B), beating rival Fujifilm (OTCPK:FUJIY) and a coalition of Permira-Konica Minolta (OTCPK:KNCAY) in a hotly contested auction, the Nikkei reports. Board members believe the limited overlap between the two companies’ operations will lead to smooth antitrust proceedings. Canon’s (NYSE:CAJ) transaction would also help Toshiba rebuild its finances following the biggest accounting scandal in its 140-year history.
Sharp’s two main banks are set to lower interest rates on billions of dollars in loans and offer other financial support as part of a planned takeover by Taiwan’s Foxconn (OTC:FXCOF), sources told Reuters . The move is partly a response to a last-minute hitch to the signing of the deal over potential liabilities at the ailing Japanese display maker, although some of Sharp’s (OTCPK:SHCAY) discussions have been going on for quite a while.
Volkswagen news roundup: California may allow partially-repaired VW (OTCPK:VLKAY) diesel cars to continue operating on its roads because a full fix may not be possible. German insurer Allianz (OTCQX:AZSEY) plans to sue Volkswagen over the sharp drop in its shares as a result of its diesel emissions scandal. The automaker has also been issued a subpoena by the DOJ in regard to potential violations of bank fraud laws.
Takata has enlisted restructuring lawyers at Weil Gotshal & Manges amid global recalls covering millions of vehicles, WSJ reports. The extent of the law firm’s engagement with the Japanese air bag supplier and the strategies it is advising the company to pursue remain unclear, but among the options Takata (OTCPK:TKTDY) has discussed are a spinoff, sale or consolidation of its air bag operations.
Private space travel company Blue Origin is planning for its first crewed test flights in 2017, and paying passengers in 2018, founder Jeff Bezos said during the first-ever media tour of the venture’s manufacturing facility. Reusable New Shepard vehicles are being designed to autonomously fly six passengers more than 62 miles above Earth, high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the planet set against the blackness of space. How much are tickets going for? While Bezos did not unveil a price, rival Virgin Galactic is selling rides for $250K, while XCOR Aerospace is charging about $100K.
Lockheed Martin is launching a voluntary layoff program in its aeronautics business that aims to reduce 1,000 positions in the U.S., or about 0.8% of its total workforce. Lockheed (NYSE:LMT) said the program is available to mid-level employees in seven locations, outlining that the cuts are needed “to be competitive in the future marketplace, secure future business opportunities, and keep an infrastructure appropriately aligned with customer demands.”
Although it’s trying to keep clean, a Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) restaurant in the town of Billerica, outside Boston, has been shut down for a complete sanitization after staff became ill. The restaurant chain doesn’t know if the employees are sick with norovirus, but no known customer illnesses are connected to the specific restaurant. Chipotle is still trying to recover following several food-related illnesses, including E. coli outbreaks in 14 states and two separate cases of norovirus. Shares fell 3.3% AH.
Amazon last night unveiled its first-ever daily show, Style Code Live, a 30-minute program featuring style guides from three hosts as well as a slew of celebrity guests. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is keeping it all on its website – an interesting threat to traditional TV shopping channels like QVC (NASDAQ:QVCA) and Home Shopping Network (NASDAQ:HSNI). Besides providing fashion and beauty tips, the show is also interactive (the looks are shoppable straight from the screen and viewers can participate in the conversations by asking questions via a live chat feature).
SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said her agency won’t advance any major changes this year to the fragmented system of trading U.S. stocks, after undertaking a “holistic review” of rules, including whether stock exchanges should retain the power to regulate their members. “The worst thing you can do is to look at something that superficially seems to make sense, but you don’t have really the data to justify going forward on it and you may do more harm than good,” she told Bloomberg TV. “So it’s not something you want to rush, but it’s something we certainly have major traction on and we’ll continue.”
Lumber Liquidators shares fell more than 15% Tuesday afternoon after hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson renewed his short on the company. “I now believe that the business has gone from worse to truly horrific,” Tilson told CNBC, stating that there is “at least a 50-50 chance” that the company will eventually go bankrupt. Reasons for the LLshort: Increase in cancer risk, lack of leadership, operating margins, and employee morale.
Activist investor Bill Ackman is still calling Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX) a “very valuable asset,” but forecast that if the company’s situation does not improve soon new management will be brought in or the drugmaker will be sold. “It will be a messy fourth quarter and a messy first quarter but after that things should stabilize,” said Ackman, whose Pershing Square is Valeant’s third largest owner. Reports yesterday also suggested that Valeant was in discussions to add as many as three new directors to its board.
A Brazilian federal judge has sentenced Marcelo Odebrecht, the former president of the country’s largest construction company, to more than 19 years in prison on charges including the Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) corruption scheme. Odebrecht is the highest profile executive to be convicted in the “Operation Car Wash” investigations. Prosecutors say the overall scheme involved $2B-plus in bribes paid to obtain PBR contracts, with some money making its way to political parties, including the governing Workers’ Party.
Imperial Oil has agreed to sell its 497 Esso retail gasoline stations in Canada to five domestic distributors for C$2.8B ($2.1B). Companies involved in the deal: Alimentation Couche-Tard (OTCPK:ANCUF), 7-Eleven Canada, and Parkland Fuel (OTCPK:PKIUF). Imperial Oil, which is majority-owned by Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), expects the sales to close by year-end.
German utility E.ON swung to a record full-year net loss, hit by impairment charges on its conventional power operations, and said it would review its investment and dividend plans because of worsening industry conditions. The company’s net loss for the year came to €7B ($7.71B), more than twice the loss of €3.16B for 2014. E.ON (OTCQX:EONGY) also noted that chairman Werner Wenning will step down on June 8, and Merck KGaA’s (OTCPK:MKGAY) Karl-Ludwig Kley has been nominated to fill the position.