Liberty Global signs Latin American deal
John Malone's Liberty Global agreed to buy Cable & Wireless Communications in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $5.3 billion, extending the U.S. billionaire's European cable empire deeper into Latin America. The deal represents a multiple of 10.7 times Cable & Wireless Communications' adjusted annual earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization, after taking into consideration cost synergies, according to a statement. The purchase would give Malone a critical mass in Latin America, where he created a tracking stock in July called LiLAC for Liberty Global's assets in Chile and Puerto Rico. Malone, who has spent more than $50 billion the past decade amassing cable companies across Europe, looks to do the same in faster-growing economies in Latin America, and may even spin off that unit in the future, people familiar with the matter said in September, when the companies announced they were in talks.
Taco Bell making swap to cage-free eggs
Taco Bell says it will serve only eggs sourced from hens not raised in cages in more than 6,000 corporate and franchise-owned restaurants, according to a company statement. Though late to the game when compared with some competitors, like McDonald's, Taco Bell's plan from start to finish is much quicker than most: The chain will carry out the promise by the end of 2016, No other company has committed to do the same in fewer than five years. McDonald's announced in September that it would switch to serving cage-free eggs at its 16,000-plus restaurants in the U.S. and Canada within the next decade. Compassion in World Farming launched a change.org petition three weeks ago calling on Taco Bell to serve cage-free eggs. The petition had almost 167,000 signatures Monday morning.
Urban Outfitters pact unites food, retail
Creating an unprecedented intersection of food and retail, Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin have agreed to sell their restaurant group, the Vetri Family, to Urban Outfitters Inc. The deal between the two Philadelphia-based companies, expected to be completed by the end of the year, includes Osteria, Amis, Alla Spina, Lo Spiedo and Pizzeria Vetri. Vetri, the boutique Italian restaurant that was their first business when it opened in 1998, will not be included in the sale. The business partners will also continue to run their Vetri Foundation for Children. Restaurant patrons will not notice a thing, Vetri said in an interview. "Nothing is changing. In meetings, everyone from Urban kept saying, 'It's more crucial than ever that you guys are at your restaurants.' " Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
Apigee keeps spot on Deloitte's top 100 list
Apigee, developer of an intelligent API platform for digital business, Monday announced it has been recognized for the third consecutive year as one of the top 100 fastest growing companies on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 T, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. "Behind every mobile app, smart device and connected experience sits at least one API," said Apigee CEO Chet Kapoor.
Pandora snaps up tech assets of rival Rdio
Pandora says it is acquiring technology and intellectual property from Rdio and will add new features to its Internet music streaming service by late next year. The $75 million cash deal depends on Rdio seeking bankruptcy protection and gaining court approval for the deal. Rdio will wind down its service. It would be the second big purchase by Pandora following its agreement to buy ticket seller Ticketfly last month for $450 million. CEO Brian McAndrews said Monday that Pandora wants to redefine itself. It's primarily a U.S. service today known for its Internet radio. McAndrews wants to make it a global operation, add live events and give users more control. Services like Spotify that let you request specific songs typically cost $10 a month. Pandora radio is free, with ads. There's a $5-a-month option that strips out ads.
Constellation to buy craft brewer for $1B
Constellation Brands placed a big bet on the booming craft beer market Monday, announcing an agreement to purchase San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits for $1 billion. The deal is the latest example of how large beer companies are seeking to capitalize on the craft beer craze through acquisition, and shows that Constellation intends to compete in both craft and imports. As mainstream domestic beers have struggled in recent years, Constellation has grown to become one of the nation's beer giants by selling Mexican imports including Corona, Modelo Especial and Pacifico. It had already branched out into craft beers, teaming up with Chicago celebrity chef Rick Bayless and Chicago-area craft brewery Two Brothers to launch Tocayo Hominy White Ale, a Belgian White-style beer, earlier this year.