Tyco International: Biding Time in Hope of Better Markets
Tyco International, the world's largest maker of security systems, agreed to sell a majority stake in its electrical and metal products unit to buyout firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice for $720 million, withdrawing plans to spin off the division. Proceeds from the sale of the 51 percent stake will go toward accelerating share buybacks under a $1 billion program annonced on Sept. 8. The unit, which will operate as a standalone entity called Atkore International, makes items such as barbed razor ribbon and metal-clad electrical cables and had revenues of $1.4 billion in 2009. The decision to divest means Tyco could profit more by selling the remaining 49 percent when markets improve.
Google: Fatter Paychecks for All
In a bid to retain talent, Google (GOOG) plans to give 10 percent raises to all of the company's 23,000 employees worldwide, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing an e-mail from Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt. The increases will take effect in January. Googlers have been decamping to Facebook and other Silicon Valley outfits in increasing numbers. The company posted strong third-quarter results, but the across-the-board pay hike may heighten investor concerns over expenses.
General Electric: $2 Billion—and 1,000 Jobs—in China
General Electric says it plans to invest more than $2 billion in China, creating 1,000 jobs in the country. The investments include $1.5 billion in joint ventures with Chinese state-owned tech companies and roughly $500 million for product development and a half-dozen innovation centers. CEO Jeffrey Immelt is targeting China and India because they will likely lead global growth in energy demand. GE rival Siemens, meanwhile, is close to signing a contract to supply a still-to-be-named Chinese city with electric-vehicle charging infrastructure. The chargers will be installed in the next three months, Siemens says.
Eli Lilly: Investing in Disease Diagnostics
Eli Lilly (LLY) agreed to buy Avid Radiopharmaceuticals for $300 million. The deal gives Lilly Avid's molecular imaging agent, florbetapir, which is thought to detect amyloid plaque, a substance scientists suspect is the main cause of Alzheimer's disease. Avid is also developing diagnostic compounds for Parkinson's disease and diabetes. All shares of closely held Avid will be acquired, and Avid stockholders will be eligible for as much as $500 million in additional payments, according to Lilly.
E.On: U.K. Grid Assets in Play?
German utility E.ON (EONGY) is considering the sale of its U.K. electricity grid to help weather a slump in natural gas prices and to pay for a planned German tax on nuclear power stations, people familiar with the matter say. London's Sunday Times reports that E.ON is in advanced talks to sell the network for up to $5.7 billion to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Macquarie Group (MGU).
On the Move
— Northern Rock: CEO Gary Hoffman to step down
— New England Sports Ventures: Spencer Stuart retained to find a CEO for Liverpool soccer club
— News Corp. (NWS): Ex-CNN anchor Lou Dobbs to host program on Fox Business