Quick view: Whitehaven in $2.5b deal to create top Oz coal miner

Updated: Dec 13 2011, 07:10am hrs
Australias Whitehaven Coal agreed a $2.5 billion takeover of Aston Resources and a local coal explorer on Monday, creating the nations biggest independent coal miner which could itself become a target for global predators. The tie-up, designed to tap booming Asian coal demand, is the latest in Australia's hottest deal sector and involves one of the countrys most colourful rags-to-riches mining magnates, former electrician Nathan Tinkler.

Goldman banker to retire from Asia post, says memo

The Goldman Sachs banker and co-head of the firms Asia investment banking operation for six years is retiring, according to an internal memo obtained on Monday. He is the second senior Asia banker to depart Goldman in the last month. Mark Machin, whose most recent title was Asia-Pacific ex-Japan vice-chairman, is retiring from the firm after 20 years, the memo said. Machin had spent past few years in Beijing, where he was involved with banks joint venture Gao Hua Securities.

Time Warner offers $1.3b for Big Brother maker

Time Warner made a $1.3 billion all-cash offer for Endemol NV as the Dutch producer of Big Brother TV shows seeks to reach an agreement with lenders over reorganising its debt. The revised bid has the same value as Time Warners previous offer, Charles Armitstead, a London-based spokesman for Endemol, said. New York-based Time Warners earlier offer of about 1 billion euros included debt, people familiar with the matter said last month.

Olympus ex-CEO to meet MPs, push for Japan reform

The whistleblower in a $1.7 billion accounting scandal at Japan's Olympus Corp, ex-CEO Michael Woodford, plans to meet ruling party lawmakers in Tokyo as he lobbies for reforms to Japanese boardrooms, source said on Monday. Woodford, an Englishman who was sacked as chief executive by the firms board two months ago, will arrive on Tuesday on a mission to persuade employees and investors that he is the right person to return to his old job and get the firm back on track.

Boost in Saudi oil output to revive global economy

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said a boost in Saudi oil output would provide relief from the threat that high fuel prices pose to efforts to revive the global economy. The IEA had warned that Brent prices over $100 a barrel are a threat to the global economy. Brent traded above $108 a barrel on Monday and has averaged over $111 for the year.

To keep standing up to Congress on taxes: Obama

US President Barack Obama defended his leadership style and said he would keep standing up to Congress as another stand-off over taxes and deficits brewed on Capitol Hill. In an interview on CBS 60 Minutes, Obama suggested his wife, Michelle, had mixed feelings about their time in the White House but said he had no hesitation about seeking re-election next year, saying he wanted to finish the job of putting the US economy on stronger, and fairer, footing.

Virgin Atlantic makes rival bid for BMI in UK

Richard Bransons Virgin Atlantic is seeking to trump a bid from British Airways for Deutsche Lufthansa AGs BMI unit after persuading the German carrier to grant due diligence for a rival offer. The books of Castle Donington have been opened to both carriers and their proposals have an equal chance of success, Lufthansa spokeswoman Claudia Lange said.

Lufthansa has been seeking a buyer for BMI after failing to revive an airline added under duress in 2009.