Danone Stock Trades Under Scrutiny

The French stock market regulator opened an investigation into trading in shares of Danone in recent weeks.

Danone's stock price rose this month on speculation that PepsiCo was preparing to launch a takeover bid. PepsiCo said this week that it is doing no such thing.


Pernod Completes Allied Domecq Takeover

Pernod Ricard has completed its takeover of British rival Allied Domecq to become the world's second-largest wine and spirits maker, the company said.

Shareholders in Allied Domecq, maker of Beefeater gin and Stolichnaya vodka, voted this month to accept Pernod's $12.8 billion bid.

U.S.-based Fortune Brands teamed with Pernod to finance the takeover, contributing $4.9 billion in cash, and will take over several Allied brands under the deal.


Lexus Makes Japanese Debut

Toyota introduced the Lexus luxury brand to Japan, 16 years after it was rolled out in the United States.

For a combination of cultural and business reasons, Japan's No. 1 carmaker has avoided using the Lexus brand in its homeland, choosing instead to sell many of the same models under the Toyota name.


BP's Second-Quarter Profit Climbs

BP said second-quarter profit increased 29 percent, to $5.6 billion, as it took a $700 million charge to settle claims from a March 23 refinery explosion in Texas City, Tex., that killed 15 employees. Revenue rose 23.5 percent, to $87.8 billion.

Petro-Canada Results Released Prematurely

Petro-Canada's second-quarter results were released prematurely when a news service inadvertently posted them on its French-language Web site. Petro-Canada, one of Canada's largest oil and gas companies, had scheduled the release of its financial results before stock markets opened Thursday.

According to the release, the company's second-quarter profit fell 12 percent, to $345 million from $393 million in the year-ago period. Michelle Harries, a spokeswoman for Calgary-based Petro-Canada, said the results were unofficial but confirmed they had mistakenly been released by CNW Group, Canada's biggest news-release service.


Next Stop, Space Tourism

Russia is evaluating a plan to offer cruises around the moon for $100 million a person. The two-week tour package would include a visit to the International Space Station, said Mikhail Lichen, a spokesman for Russia's Federal Space Agency, who added that no funds would come from Russia's budget. OAO Energy, the Russian rocket maker spearheading the project, presented the idea to the space agency, an OAO Energy spokesman said.

Compiled from news service reports.

Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe.