Activision to buy 'Candy Crush' creator King
Video game maker Activision Blizzard Inc. said it will buy "Candy Crush Saga" creator King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion to strengthen its games portfolio. Activision, which owns popular game franchises such as "World of Warcraft," "Call of Duty" and "Diablo," will pay $18 in cash per King share, a premium of 16 percent to King's closing price on Monday. The addition of King's complementary business will position it as a global leader in interactive entertainment across platforms, Activision said. King will be led as an independent operating unit by Chief Executive Riccardo Zacconi.
Apartments push construction spending up
U.S. construction spending rose 0.6 percent in September to the highest level since March 2008, pushed up by a surge in apartment building. The Commerce Department said that spending on construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.09 trillion. Construction of apartments and condominiums jumped 4.9 percent in September from August, while construction of single-family homes rose 1.3 percent. Overall, private residential construction rose to the highest level since January 2008. The housing market has proved relatively resilient this year amid economic weakness overseas that has hurt American manufacturers and limited hiring.
ConAgra selling private-label operations
ConAgra Foods Inc. is selling most of its private label operations to TreeHouse Foods Inc. for about $2.7 billion as part its plan to focus more on name brands including Chef Boyardee and Slim Jim. Omaha-based ConAgra initially announced plans to sell the unit in June and the deal is expected to close in the first quarter. It will keep some minor private label operations including its canned pasta, cooking spray, and peanut butter and pudding offerings. Oak Brook, Ill.-based TreeHouse Foods, which already focuses on store-brand food products, said it expects the newly acquired operations to boost its annual sales to nearly $7 billion.
JPMorgan Chase settles debt collection suit
The nation's largest bank will pay $100 million to settle a California lawsuit alleging it used illegal methods to collect debts from more than 125,000 credit card holders, the state's attorney general announced. JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank by assets, will pay an estimated $10 million to consumers in California as part of a previously announced $50 million national agreement, and will pay another $50 million in penalties to the state to settle a 2013 lawsuit. It is agreeing to change practices that the state says violated California law and led the company to file thousands of debt collection lawsuits between 2008 and 2011.