MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Whirlpool and Maytag Sign Deal
With a rival bidder backing away from the table, Maytag embraced a buyout offer of more than $1.7 billion in cash and stock from Whirlpool. As the companies announced they had signed a formal agreement, Whirlpool chief executive Jeff M. Fettig offered reassurances that the combination of Whirlpool and Maytag will gain approval of federal antitrust regulators.
Under terms of the deal, Maytag would be acquired for $21 a share and Whirlpool would assume $977 million of Maytag debt.
A statement released by both companies said regulatory approval and closing of the deal could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2006. Maytag shareholders, who also must approve the deal, will vote on the proposal before the end of the year, the company said.
Home Loan Banks' Restatements
The Federal Home Loan banks of Atlanta and Dallas will restate earnings to correct errors in accounting for financial contracts used to protect against swings in interest rates. The Dallas bank restatement will probably lower earnings from 2001 to the first quarter of 2005 by $25 million to $30 million, the office of finance for the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks said in an e-mailed statement. The Atlanta bank restatement will be material to profit for individual periods, though in sum not to operations, the office said.
Top Executive Leaving Citigroup
Citigroup said its chief of consumer banking, Marjorie Magner, is leaving the New York firm. Magner, 56, is considered one of the most powerful women on Wall Street. Her departure from the world's largest financial services company follows last month's resignation of Robert B. Willumstad as Citigroup president.
GE Engine Contract Extended
General Electric, the world's biggest maker of jet engines, said its partnership with Rolls-Royce won a $2.47 billion contract extension from the U.S. Navy to develop an engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. The companies will design and build prototypes for the plane to compete with one being developed by United Technologies, the Defense Department said in a statement.
United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney unit has exclusive rights to power the Joint Strike Fighter until 2012. After that, the GE-Rolls venture can vie for engine orders.
Bamboo Torches Recalled
Lamplight Farms recalled about 963,000 Tiki bamboo torches and about 18,000 replacement fuel canisters because their metal flame guards can catch fire. The products, made in China, were sold at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe's and other home and hardware stores nationwide from December 2004 through July 2005. For more information, call the company at 866-239-6664 or go online to www.lamplightfarms.com.
Emmis Sells Nine TV Stations
Emmis Communications will sell nine of its 16 television stations for $681 million to reduce debt and foster growth in radio. LIN TV will buy five stations, Journal Communications will buy three and Gray Television will buy one.
T-bill rates fell. The discount rate on three-month Treasury bills auctioned yesterday decreased to 3.46 percent from 3.47 percent last week. Rates on six-month bills fell to 3.69 percent from 3.705 percent. The actual return to investors is 3.539 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,911.58, and 3.812 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,813.45. Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, dipped to 3.89 percent last week from 3.9 percent the previous week.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.