Archive for June, 2008

Huntsman to fight Apollo effort to scuttle merger (Reuters)

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) -
Huntsman Corp (HUN.N) said on Thursday
it would fight an effort by Apollo Management to back out of
the planned $6.5 billion takeover of the Texas company by
Apollo's Hexion Specialty Chemicals.

"We believe Hexion and Apollo's actions are inconsistent
with the terms of the merger agreement and the obligations to
Huntsman and its shareholders," Peter Huntsman, president and
CEO of Huntsman, said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Hexion filed a lawsuit against U.S. chemical
maker Huntsman that would seek to limit its liability if the
deal falls apart.

"These actions appear to be a blatant attempt to deprive
our shareholders of the benefits of the merger agreement that
was agreed nearly a year ago," Huntsman said.

Apollo said bank financing for the deal, one of the last
still to close from the private equity buyout boom of 2007, was
in jeopardy because of Huntsman's weakened financial position.

Huntsman's first-quarter adjusted earnings fell more than
70 percent from the year-earlier period, and Hexion has said
the combined company would be insolvent under the deal's
current capital structure.

(Reporting by Matt Daily; Editing by David Cowell)


Hewlett-Packard to reorganize printer business (Reuters)

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) -
Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) will
reorganize its printer operations, trimming its five business
units to three in a bid to become more efficient, the Wall
Street Journal
reported on Thursday.

The announcement was made in a Webcast to employees on
Wednesday by print division chief Vyomesh Joshi, the newspaper
reported in its online edition.

The changes will consolidate HP's laser-jet and
commercial-printer units into one, change the head of the
graphics unit and combine the ink-jet and consumer-supplies

The printing division has already eliminated hundreds of
jobs in its offices in Idaho, Oregon and Washington State, but
the company said the new move would not result in large-scale

The printer business has long been one of the company's
largest profit centers, but consumers and businesses have
become less reliant on printing in recent years.

The printer unit earned $2.38 billion over the first two
fiscal quarters.

(Reporting by Matt Daily, editing by Will Waterman)


GM puts brakes on SUV, truck redesigns: report (Reuters)

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) -
General Motors Corp (GM.N) is
postponing redesigning its SUVs and full-sized trucks as it
shifts its product portfolio toward more fuel-efficient
vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online
edition on Thursday.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson told the newspaper the car maker
was "looking at the whole product portfolio," and deciding how
to supply the U.S. market with more fuel-efficient cars.

GM will extend the life cycle of its current line-up of
pickup trucks and SUVs, including the Cadillac Escalade SUV and
the Chevrolet Silverado pickup.

New designs of GM trucks and SUVs had not been expected to
be released until at least 2012, the newspaper said.

GM also has considered cancelling one future Hummer SUV
product and shutting down another brand, the paper said, citing
people briefed on its strategy.

Shares in automakers stumbled on Wednesday as investors
reacted to a further slowdown in June auto sales and
uncertainty about when the industry will bottom.

Consumers have pulled back on auto purchases -- especially
larger SUVs and trucks -- as U.S. gasoline prices moved above
$4 per gallon.

(Reporting by Matt Daily, editing by Will Waterman)