MERGERS & ACQUISISTIONS

Maytag Backs Whirlpool Bid

Maytag agreed to a half-cash, half-stock buyout from rival Whirlpool, reversing an earlier recommendation to shareholders to accept a New York investment group's all-cash deal. Whirlpool on Wednesday increased its offer for a third time, proposing to buy Maytag for $1.79 billion, or $21 a share. Including the assumption of $977 million of Maytag debt, the entire deal is valued at $2.7 billion.

Whirlpool's offer is a 50 percent premium over the initial bid of $14 per share, or about $1.13 billion, that Maytag received from investment group Triton Acquisition Holding. Maytag's board accepted the all-cash offer on May 19 and had recommended to shareholders approval of that deal.

TEXTILES

Job Loss Is Steepest in Virginia

Textile-mill employment in Virginia fell 15 percent in the past year, the sharpest decline among states with the largest concentrations of jobs in this sector. Half of the 1,800 jobs lost in Virginia were from Danville-based Dan River, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February. Nationally, the Labor Department attributed most of the losses to low-cost imports.

ENTERTAINMENT

TiVo to Test Download Service

TiVo agreed with the Independent Film Channel to transmit several of the cable channel's shows through a broadband connection as part of a trial program. Customers asked to participate in the test will begin receiving the IFC shows next week.

RESTAURANTS

Red Robin Executives Step Down

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers said its third-quarter and full-year profit would miss analysts' estimates, and that two executives, including chief executive Michael J. Snyder, left. Snyder retired after an internal investigation into travel and entertainment expenses, Red Robin said. Senior Vice President James P. McCloskey, who stepped down as chief financial officer in June, chose to resign after he was notified of the investigation results.

CHINA

Banker's Sentence Suspended

A former president of state-owned Bank of China's Hong Kong branch received a suspended death sentence for embezzlement. Liu Jinbao, who was fired in May 2003, was given a two-year reprieve, which could be commuted to life in prison. Despite a series of such scandals, China's state banks are pressing ahead with plans for initial public offerings, and a Bank of China vice president said its IPO could come by the end of this year.

BRAZIL

More Cash Recovered From Heist

Police said they have detained four men in connection with one of the world's biggest heists and recovered more than $2 million of the nearly $70 million stolen from Brazil's central bank. The cash was found hidden in three pickup trucks that were on a vehicle transporter truck located several hundred miles from the ransacked bank in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.

MARKETS

Global Secure Plans IPO

Global Secure, a two-year-old Washington company that provides security products and services to local and state governments, registered to sell up to $100 million of stock in an initial public offering. According to its Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Global Secure's services are designed to respond to "acts of terrorism, natural disasters and other threats to public health and safety." Including companies it recently acquired, Global Secure had $12.6 million in revenue in the nine months ended March 31 and lost $2.8 million. The company was formed with backing by New York investment firm Sky Capital and was co-founded by former congressman C. Thomas McMillen.

Cogent Communications Group of Washington narrowed its second-quarter loss to $16.2 million (47 cents a share), from $22.2 million (a loss of $29.51) in the corresponding quarter last year. Revenue rose 66 percent, to $33.8 million. The company also lowered its 2005 revenue estimates to $135 million to $140 million, from its previously issued guidance of $140 million to $150 million. Cogent stock fell $1.66, to $5.75 a share.

Spherix, a Beltsville biotechnology and information technology company, earned $228,036 (2 cents) on $7.1 million in revenue in its second quarter, up from a profit of $192,257 (2 cents) on $6.8 million in revenue. The company attributed the improved results to more government contracts.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

Maytag agreed to be acquired by Whirlpool after Whirlpool sweetened its offer a third time.