Dole Food Company will sell two businesses to Itochu for $1.7 billion in cash — a deal that will help the world's largest fruit and vegetable producer pay down its heavy debt load while expanding Itochu's food presence in new markets such as China. Dole has been struggling with volatile demand and low prices for bananas, its biggest-selling product. The sale of its worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses is set to result in a significant reduction in its $1.7 billion of net debt, as well as pay for restructuring costs.
By contrast, Japanese trading houses are keen to diversify their profit streams away from energy and mining-related businesses and have stepped up overseas acquisitions thanks to a strong yen and flush reserves of cash.
German investor confidence rises first time since April
German investor confidence rose for the first time in five months in September after the European Central Bank unveiled a plan to buy government bonds to stem the sovereign debt crisis. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, climbed to minus 18.2 from minus 25.5 in August. Economists forecast a gain to minus 20, according to the median of 41 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.
MS urges customers to install security tool
Microsoft Corp urged Windows users on Monday to install a free piece of security software to protect
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