Company News: Barnes & Noble, NYSE Euronext, Nestlè, Abbott Laboratories, Danone, Tribune, Hedge Funds

William Lynch’s exit throws Barnes & Noble into further disarray; NYSE Euronext takes over Libor rate setting; and more

• Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch stepped down on July 8 and won’t be immediately replaced, fueling speculation that the company will split its bookstores from its digital division. Lynch oversaw the company’s foray into e-readers and tablets, which had initial success but has since seen sales tumble. In June, Barnes & Noble said it would stop making its Nook tablets. Profits in the retail division, however, are growing.

• NYSE Euronext will take over the setting of Libor interest rates, after U.K. regulators stripped those duties from the British Bankers’ Association. The exchange operator vowed to restore confidence in the financial benchmarks following a scandal that found banks rigged Libor rates to drum up trading profits.

• Three big players in child nutrition—Nestlé, Abbott Laboratories, and Danone—said they will slash prices of baby formula in China by as much as 20 percent as they face a price-fixing probe from Chinese regulators. The baby food market in China is about four times larger than it is in the U.S. and growing quickly.

• Tribune says it will spin off its eight daily newspapers from its burgeoning broadcast empire. The company’s publishing unit accounts for nearly two-thirds of revenue but isn’t nearly as profitable as its TV assets. Tribune has been trying to sell its newspapers since exiting bankruptcy late last year.

Photograph by Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

• Hedge funds, startups, and other companies seeking private investments can advertise publicly to raise money under a new rule approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The change eases 80 years of ad restrictions intended to protect small investors from taking inappropriate risks.

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