Men’s Wearhouse rejects bid by Jos. A Bank
Men’s Wearhouse rejected an unsolicited $2.3 billion takeover bid by Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, calling the proposed deal “highly opportunistic” and likely to draw antitrust scrutiny. Jos. A. Bank proposed paying $48 a share in cash for Men’s Wearhouse, 36 percent above its closing stock price Tuesday. But the Men’s Wearhouse board said the bid undervalued the company and was not in the best interests of shareholders. “The board and management team are confident that continuing our strategic plan will create more value for shareholders than Jos. A. Bank’s inadequate, highly conditional proposal,” Douglas Ewert, the chief executive of Men’s Wearhouse, said in a statement. The rejection sets up a potential battle between two of the country’s biggest retailers of men’s suits.
Wal-Mart pulls back from move into India
Wal-Mart Stores gave up on India’s huge market, announcing that it had indefinitely delayed its once-ambitious plans to open hundreds of superstores across the country. Wal-Mart’s chief executive for Asia, Scott Price, said this week that the Indian government’s regulations requiring foreign retailers to buy 30 percent of products from local small and midsize businesses were the “critical stumbling block” to opening its trademark consumer stores. Wal-Mart also said it was ending its joint effort with Bharti Enterprises of India to operate 20 wholesale “cash-and-carry” stores. Wal-Mart plans to buy Bharti’s 50 percent stake in the venture, and the two companies will operate independent businesses in India.
3rd-quarter PC shipments lowest since 2008
Personal-computer shipments worldwide declined in the third quarter, reaching their lowest level for the period since 2008, amid lackluster demand from students returning to school, market researcher Gartner Inc. said. In the sixth consecutive quarterly decline, global unit sales fell 8.6 percent to 80.3 million, Gartner said. Growth in the U.S., where shipments climbed 3.5 percent, helped make up for weak volume in other regions, the firm said. Lenovo Group Ltd. maintained its No. 1 spot in the worldwide market, followed by Hewlett-Packard Co., which was the top seller in the U.S. Researcher IDC, which also released its third-quarter PC rankings, said the global market shrank 7.6 percent to 81.6 million units, compared with its earlier prediction for a 9.5 percent contraction.
Financial Times plans to shift focus to digital
The Financial Times, signaling a tighter focus on digital publishing, plans to stop printing regional editions and produce only a single global daily newspaper. In a memo to the newspaper’s employees, The Financial Times’ editor, Lionel Barber, said the London-based publication would make the change during the first half of next year. Regional editions are printed for Britain, Continental Europe, the United States, Asia and the Middle East. As part of that move, Financial Times reporters are to put increasing emphasis on writing for the news organization’s website as more of its readers turn to online sources for breaking news.
T-Mobile slashes fees for international use
T-Mobile is eliminating fees for using data and texting services in more than 100 countries and capping charges for international voice calls. Starting Oct. 31, customers of T-Mobile’s flagship Simple Choice plan won’t have to worry about getting hit with so-called roaming fees if they fail to sign up for an international plan before they travel abroad. Those fees can reach hundreds or thousands of dollars for a trip, even to neighboring Canada or Mexico. T-Mobile, the No. 4 U.S. cellphone carrier, has been trying to differentiate itself from bigger rivals by shattering long-standing industry practices.
HP’s Whitman sees revenue stabilizing soon
Hewlett-Packard Co. expects to return more cash to shareholders and revenue to stabilize after a two-year drop, Chief Executive Meg Whitman said. “I’ve got real confidence that we’re headed in the right direction and we will turn this thing around,” Whitman said at a meeting with analysts in San Jose, Calif. As Whitman enters her third year at the helm, she’s contending with declining sales from slack demand for personal computers and stepped-up competition in the business-technology market. While analysts are projecting a 3 percent drop in 2014 sales to $107.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, Whitman said she expects “revenue to stabilize.”
FROM NEWS SERVICES