20 Dec 05. IBM to Buy Bowstreet. International Business Machines Corp. said it acquired Bowstreet Inc., a Tewksbury, Mass., maker of software tools used to build Web portals. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Bowstreet’s tools help corporations, such Cisco Systems Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette, develop sites that are customized for each user, relying on a technology called XML, or extensible markup language. Founded in 1998, Bowstreet raised more than $140 million from venture capitalists, including Charles River Ventures, Matrix Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. (Source: WSJ)
16 Dec 05. Philips to separate chip business, signaling possible listing or sale. Philips Electronics NV has announced plans to separate its semiconductor division into a distinct unit. The Amsterdam-based electronics and chip-making firm is considering listing, merging or selling business. The move comes amid a slowdown in the global semiconductor industry and increasing competition from rivals, including South Korea’s Samsung and Germany’s Infineon. (Source: WSJ)
12 Dec 05. Goodrich Corp. (NYSE:GR – News) on Monday forecast a range for its 2006 profit whose midpoint was below Wall Street’s average estimate, as the airplane-brake and landing gear maker factored in higher pension, foreign exchange and stock-based compensation costs. Goodrich, which saw its stock plummet in late October when it warned of higher costs but did not issue a profit forecast, said it expected 2006 earnings per share in the range of $2.20 to $2.40. Wall Street is expecting $2.34, on average, according to analysts polled by Reuters Estimates. (Source: Reuters)
22 Dec 05. Ericsson acquisition of Marconi key assets cleared by the European Commission. Ericsson has received the necessary clearances from a number of competition authorities, including the European Commission for the acquisition of key assets of Marconi Corporation plc’s telecommunications business, which was announced on October 25, 2005. The acquisition of key assets remains conditional on the approval of Marconi shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting on December 21, 2005 and on current consultations with trade unions. Subject to Marconi shareholders approving the transaction and trade union consultations being finalized, the transaction is expected to be completed in January 2006.
16 Dec 05. Lockheed Martin Corp. said Friday it has agreed to buy privately owned Aspen Systems Corp., a provider of business services, for an undisclosed amount. Aspen, based in Rockville, Md., mainly serves federal agencies, providing information technology support and records management, Lockheed said. The company added it does not expect the acquisition to have a material impact on its financial position or cash flows. Aspen’s revenue was about $165 million in 2004, Lockheed said, adding it expects to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2006.
18 Dec 05. MAN, the German engineering group, is to bring its steel trading business to an end, lopping €1bn ($1.2bn) off revenues from the company in an attempt to simplify a division known internally as “the conglomerate within a conglomerate”. Hakan Samuelsson, MAN’s Swedish chief executive, said the change in its Ferrostaal division would boost margins, meaning it could reach a targeted return on sales of 6 per cent in 2008 or 2009 at the unit. “Steel trading is no core business of MAN,” he said. The extremely low-margin operations would gradually cease and be transformed into a services operation for customers who will now have to pay for the steel themselves, removing at least €1bn in revenues but little profit from the division, he added. The end of steel trading forms part of Mr Samuelsson’s plans to simplify Ferrostaal – a sprawling division covering everything from the distribution of submarines to the planning of chemical plants which had a return on sales of 2.3 per cent last year – in an attempt to make it easie