US conglomerate General Electric has agreed to buy the aviation business of Italian aerospace company Avio for 3.3 billion euros ($4.3 billion), or 8.5 times Avio’s 2012 Ebitda, the companies said on Friday. Avio will strengthen GE’s global supply chain capabilities as its engine production rates continue to rise to meet growing customer demand. Avio, which supplies engine parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon and engine makers GE and Rolls Royce Holdings, was acquired in 2006 by Cinven in a deal that valued the company at about 2.6 billion euros. The deal will not include Avio’s aerospace unit. Avio’s revenues in the aviation sector were 1.7 billion euros in 2011, with more than 50% derived from components for GE and GE joint venture engines.
Panasonic to appeal EU ruling on tube cartel
Japan’s Panasonic said on Friday that it would appeal a decision by the European Commission to fine it 252 million euros ($327 million) on charges of fixing prices for TV and computer monitor cathode-ray tubes along with five other companies. The European Commission fined six firms, including Philips, LG Electronics, Toshiba, Samsung, SDI and French company Technicolor, a total of 1.47 billion euros, its biggest antitrust penalty in history. The Commission on December 5 said executives from the European and Asian companies had met until six years ago to fix prices and divide up markets for TV and computer monitor cathode-ray tubes, a business that has since been replaced by flat panel displays.
Panasonic to sell Sanyo digital camera business
Panasonic said on Friday that it would sell its Sanyo digital and digital movie camera business to Japanese private equity fund Advantage Partners for an undisclosed sum. Panasonic aims to sell 110 billion yen ($1.30 billion) of assets, including buildings and land, by the end of March to boost free cash flow to 200 billion yen for the business year. Panasonic acquired rival Sanyo, a leading maker of lithium ion batteries and solar panels, in 2010. Sales of compact digital cameras are under pressure from increasingly powerful smartphones.
Apple presses case for Samsung sales ban
Tech giant Apple, battling Samsung Electronics over patents in several countries, argued on Thursday that a US appeals court should reconsider its decision to overturn a pretrial sales ban on Samsung for infringement. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in October overturned a pretrial sales ban ordered by a lower court in California. The order was to stop sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Apple argued that this was inappropriate and asked for an “en banc review,” which means that a larger panel of judges would reconsider the decision made by the three-judge panel in October.
BAE signs $4.1-billion aircraft deal with Oman
UK aerospace and defense company BAE Systems has agreed a £2.5-billion ($4.1-billion) deal with Oman for 20 aircraft. BAE says Oman has signed the contract for 12 Typhoon fighter jets and eight Hawk aircraft, with deliveries expected to start in 2017. The contracts cover the supply of the aircraft and in-service support, BAE added. The deal is the latest in a series of contracts supply Oman: the country currently operates Jaguar fighter aircraft and trains pilots on an earlier variant of the BAE Systems Hawk.
RIM loses BlackBerry subscribers for 1st time
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, which is already struggling with plunging sales, said Thursday it lost subscribers for the first time in the latest quarter, as the global number of BlackBerry users dipped to 79 million and the stock plunged in after hours after the company said it will change the way it shares revenue with carriers. The Canadian company did add to its cash position as it prepares to launch new smartphones on January 30 that are deemed critical to the company’s survival.
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