MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Heinz to Buy Lea & Perrins Brand
H.J. Heinz agreed to buy the HP Foods brands, including Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, from Paris-based Group Danone for $855 million in cash. The deal, which also includes a perpetual license to market Amoy Asian products and sauces in Europe, will strengthen the Pittsburgh-based company's global condiments business and make it Britain's leading sauces supplier, Heinz said in a statement. The brands produce about $300 million of revenue annually, it said. The companies expect to complete the deal in the next few months.
Maytag to Review Buyout Offer
Appliance maker Maytag said two private equity firms and a rival Chinese manufacturer made a $16-per-share buyout offer for the company, $2 a share more than last month's bid by an investor group that wants to take Maytag private. The higher offer is from Bain Capital Partners, Blackstone Capital Partners IV and Haier America Trading. Haier America is the U.S.-based division of Qingdao Haier, China's largest appliance manufacturer. The offer tops a previous bid by a group led by Ripplewood Holdings. Maytag expects its review to take six to eight weeks.
Leading Indicators Fall
The index of leading economic indicators fell for the fourth month in five, pulled down by a narrower gap between short- and long-term bond yields. The Conference Board's index declined 0.5 percent in May after no change in April, the research group said. Adding to the index's decline was a drop in building permits, an increase in average weekly jobless claims, slower deliveries by vendors and a drop in consumer confidence. Nine of the 10 indicators that make up the index fell last month.
GE Gets Subpoena in Probe
General Electric said it received a subpoena from federal prosecutors in New York seeking documents related to its insurance business, after receiving a similar subpoena in May from the Securities and Exchange Commission. GE said it understands other insurance and reinsurance companies have been subpoenaed as part of an investigation of finite-risk products, often used by insurance companies to share risk.
Scrushy Jury Excused for Day
A juror's "emergency conflict" delayed deliberations for the day in the fraud trial of former HealthSouth chief executive Richard M. Scrushy, a court clerk said. The nature of the incident was not disclosed. Deliberations, which have been held for 16 days, are expected to resume today.
Carlyle Buys Manhattan Property
Carlyle Group and Extell Development of New York agreed to buy three apartment buildings and a tract of land on Manhattan's Upper West Side from a group of Hong Kong investors and Donald Trump for $1.76 billion. The buildings, which consist of 1,325 apartments and 40,000 square feet of retail, will be resold to Chicago-based Equity Residential for $816 million. The land can accommodate more than 10 buildings, District-based Carlyle said.
T-bill rates were mixed. The discount rate on three-month bills fell to 2.965 percent from 2.975 percent last week. Rates on six-month bills rose to the highest level in nearly four years, to 3.175 percent from 3.120 percent. The actual return to investors is 3.029 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,925.05 and 3.272 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,839.49. Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable-rate mortgages, rose to 3.39 percent last week from 3.30 percent the previous week.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.