Disney wants to unload its stake in Fusion
A few years ago, Fusion, a cable network aimed at millennials and young Latinos who make up a growing portion of the U.S. population, seemed like a good idea to the Walt Disney Co. Now — in an age of cable-cord cutting, "cord-nevers" who don't sign up for cable and the emergence of streaming online video services — not so much. Disney is looking to unload its 50 percent stake in the channel and digital content provider it co-owns with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision. A spokesperson for Disney declined to comment, but executives inside the company confirmed news of the possible sale first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Univision handles the programming and editorial operations of Fusion, which carries a weekly show with the parent company's Spanish-language TV news anchor Jorge Ramos. Univision appears to be the likely candidate to take over Disney's interest in the venture, which was launched in 2013.
Orders for durable goods flat in Nov.
Factory orders for long-lasting goods such as autos, airplanes and electronics were flat in November, as the impact of a strong dollar and struggling global economy weigh on U.S. manufacturers. Orders for durable goods were nearly unchanged in November after a 2.9 percent increase in October, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Demand for autos, electronic products and fabricated metals accelerated last month, but their gains were offset by declines in machinery and nondefense aircraft. Orders for capital goods not including aircraft — a key proxy for business investment — fell 0.4 percent. Durable goods orders have tumbled 3.7 percent year-to-date.
Northern Southern rejects sweetened offer
Norfolk Southern still isn't interested in Canadian Pacific's sweetened offer of roughly $31 billion to buy the railroad. Norfolk Southern's board unanimously rejected the latest offer Wednesday, calling the bid "grossly inadequate" and unlikely to pass muster with regulators. Norfolk Southern said if Canadian Pacific is serious about the offer, it should ask regulators for preliminary approval of the deal's proposed structure. Canadian Pacific rejected that request last week, saying that it was unnecessary. Canadian Pacific said in a statement that it was disappointed with the rejection and that Norfolk Southern won't negotiate, so it will evaluate its strategic alternatives.
KaloBios says it will be delisted by Nasdaq
One of the biotech companies run by Martin Shkreli, charged with securities fraud last week, has been told that its stock will be delisted by Nasdaq because of Shkreli's arrest and other factors. KaloBios Pharmaceuticals was out of money and planning to shut down when Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, gained controlling interest in KaloBios in November and took over running the South San Francisco, Calif., drug developer. KaloBios says Nasdaq wrote that it will be removed from trading on Dec. 30 if KaloBios doesn't appeal. Nasdaq informed the company it would be delisted due to reasons including the indictment and arrest of both Shkreli and an outside attorney for KaloBios. Shkreli became notorious after hiking the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent.
Icahn willing to go higher for Pep Boys
The Pep Boys auto service chain with 800 stores and garages, said investor Carl Icahn's latest proposal to buy the company, for $16.50 a share, beats the previous offer from Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC. Icahn has also pledged to pay "10 cents more per share" than Bridgestone, "up to a maximum of $18.10," which would bring the value of the deal above $1 billion. Pep Boys says Bridgestone has until 5 p.m. Christmas Eve to beat Icahn's offer. Icahn says Pep Boys has until 8 p.m. that night to accept it or his proposal expires. Bridgestone agreed in October to pay $15 a share, or more than $800 million, for Pep Boys, which reports sale of over $2 billion a year but is only marginally profitable.