For the corporate takeover business, the last half-decade was a fallow period. Wall Street deal makers and chief executives, brought low by the global financial crisis, lacked the confidence to strike the audacious multibillion-dollar acquisitions that had defined previous market booms.
Cycles, however, turn, and in the opening weeks of 2013, merger activity has suddenly roared back to life. On Thursday, Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren E. Buffett, said it had teamed up with Brazilian investors to buy the ketchup maker H. J. Heinz for about $23 billion. And American Airlines and US Airways agreed to merge in a deal valued at $11 billion.
Those transactions come a week after a planned $24 billion buyout of the computer company Dell by its founder, Michael S. Dell, and private equity backers. And Liberty Global, the company controlled by the billionaire media magnate John C. Malone, struck a $16 billion deal to buy the British cable business Virgin Media.
With promotions, discounts and doorbusters already well under way on Thanksgiving Day itself, many big-box retailers are making Black Friday stretch longer than ever. The Lede is checking out the mood of American consumers in occasional vignettes Thursday and Friday as the economically critical holiday shopping season kicks off.
Shoppers waiting outside Sam’s Club in Eagan, Minn., for Friday’s 7 a.m. opening clung to free Starbuck’s Holiday Blend coffee as they endured freezing temperatures and biting winds and collected brightly colored vouchers for laptops and big-screen TVs.
The biggest draw: a 96-cent Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone. Once inside, they also beelined for tickets for the 63 Samsungs in stock, which sold out shortly after the store opened. Customers could make an appointment for later in the day or another day to purchase the phone, choosing from three carriers, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint.
“O.K., this is my last blue for Sprint,” an employee called out at 7:08 a.m.
SEATTLE — Conceived on Wall Street, born in a Bellevue, Wash., rental house, and based in a dozen buildings in downtown Seattle, Amazon has grown into one of the Internet’s most-recognized name brands.
But Amazon, which employed 1,381 in 2011 at its Breinigsville warehouse complex, cuts an astoundingly low profile in the civic life of its hometown.
It’s a minor player in charitable giving in the Seattle area. Some nonprofit officials say it can be difficult to find someone at Amazon to even talk with them. Other business leaders say they’re hard-pressed to name examples of Amazon playing a significant role on broader public issues.
And while Amazon’s logo smile appears on billions of boxes that criss-cross the globe, neither that smile nor its name can be seen on a single building at its sprawling new campus in Seattle’s South Lake Union area. The company, which turns 18 this summer, won’t even acknowledge how many employees it has in the area.
Editor’s note: Betcha nobody is yelling “yahoo” over this news!
(Reuters) – Yahoo Inc will lay off 2,000 people, or 14 percent of its workforce, in its deepest round of job cuts in years as new Chief Executive Scott Thompson tries to jumpstart growth with a leaner, more agile company while saving hundreds of millions of dollars.
Wall Street’s reaction was lukewarm, after two previous Yahoo CEOs failed to find an answer to rivals like Web-search leader Google and the Facebook social-networking site.
Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo, which ended 2011 with some 14,000 employees, said it would save $375 million annually from the cuts and incur a pre-tax cash charge in the second quarter of $125 million to $145 million.
A group of concerned citizens staged a peaceful demonstration at the corner of South Hanover Street and College Drive this afternoon to raise awareness about the problems that are plaguing our society and Pottstown. Occupy Pottstown is a diverse group of people brought together by the desire to promote social change. The group varied in size over the nearly three-hour demonstration and included all age ranges. A few dozen people came and went during the demonstration; with several people joining the group after getting home from work. One person left early to go to work. Contrary to what some believe, most people in Occupy Pottstown are employed and a good percentage are homeowners in the borough.
The majority of people driving by had two reactions: a. they just looked or b. they blew their horns in support! There were a few who yelled clever things out their window like “get a job”, but they were a small minority.
The news media turned out to cover today’s event. A reporter and photographer from the Fishwrap were present along with someone from Channel 69.
The next rally will be Saturday, November 27th aka Small Business Saturday, in downtown Pottstown. Occupy Pottstown is looking to support downtown Pottstown merchants. The rally will be from 10am until noon.
Here are some pictures from this afternoon’s demonstration.