Toshiba: Big 3D TVs, Without the Glasses
Toshiba plans to sell the world's first large 3D TVs that don't require viewers to wear special glasses. The electronics giant, which began offering glasses-free 12-inch and 20-inch 3D sets in Japan in December, will introduce screens that are 40 inches or larger sometime after April. Toshiba expects the new models to boost TV sales by 33 percent next fiscal year, with its North American market share rising about 2 points to 10 percent. Larger rivals Samsung and Sony sell 3D TVs, but viewers must use eyewear. Toshiba also plans to introduce TVs with Google software for Internet browsing.
Fiat: Mulling Control of Chrysler
Italian carmaker Fiat, which owns 20 percent of Chrysler, may boost its stake to over 50 percent if the U.S. automaker opts for an initial public offering in 2011, says Sergio Marchionne, who helms both companies. Fiat acquired its stake as part of Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy and has an option to buy an additional 16 percent after Chrysler repays U.S. and Canadian loans. Fiat could save as much as $2.7 billion if it exercises that right ahead of an IPO, according to UBS analysts. There are no plans to merge the companies, Marchionne says.
J. Crew: This Deal Isn't Wrapped Up Yet
Urban Outfitters, Sears, and at least two private equity firms are considering bids for clothier J.Crew in a potential challenge to TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners' $3 billion buyout offer, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Rival offers may validate J.Crew's strategy of using a go-shop period to solicit competing offers after signing a preliminary agreement with the two firms in November, rather than conducting an auction. The New-York based clothing retailer, which is facing over a dozen lawsuits from shareholders over the terms of the November deal, must pay TPG and Leonard Green $27 million if it accepts a higher offer.
Thomas H. Lee Partners: More Deals Between Buyout Firms
Thomas H. Lee Partners is buying food marketer Acosta from private equity firm AEA Investors in a deal that values the company at more than $2 billion. Acosta, which helps companies promote and market their products, is at least the second such company in two months to switch private equity owners. Private equity firms are making deals with rivals after a two-year decline in leveraged buyouts left some firms with spare money to invest and others seeking to exit older deals. Secondary buyouts accounted for a record 24 percent of all leveraged buyouts by value last year, up from 8 percent in 2006, according to data compiled by Preqin.
Petrobras: Negotiating a Path to Europe
Petrobras has confirmed it is in talks to buy Eni's $5.5 billion stake in Portugal's Galp Energia. Brazil's state-controlled oil company is offering $4.7 billion for the 33 percent holding, according to reports in the Portuguese press. Petrobras and Galp are partners in oil reserves off Brazil's coast, including the Lula field, which contains an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil and equivalents. The purchase would give Petrobras access to Galp's refineries in Portugal, allowing it to sell gasoline in Europe.
On the Move
— LVMH: Eric Marechalle named CEO of Kenzo
— Bank of Montreal: Chief Risk Officer Tom Flynn to become CFO in March
— Aveva Group: James Kidd appointed CFO
— BJ's Wholesale Club: Robert W. Eddy named CFO