By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Troy, Mich. — Kmart and Sears voluntarily agreed to withdraw their previously filed Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) notification and report forms, and re-filed these late in December when the 30-day waiting period recommenced. The two retailers have been cooperating with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as it conducts its review of the merger. The retailers and FTC remain confident the HSR review will be concluded without causing any delay in the transaction and expect the transaction to close by early March.
Seoul, South Korea— Current price declines should lead to increased consumer demand in 2005, particularly for LCD televisions, said LG.Philips LCD. The TFT-LCD-panel maker said it is experiencing greater-than-expected panel price declines, which, combined with the strengthening of the Korean won and the company's ongoing cost-reduction efforts, will affect fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin, which should come in at close to 20 percent. The combined LG Electronics and Philips manufacturing operation also said it believes the supply/demand balance will first stabilize, then tighten in the second half of 2005.
Irvine, Calif. — Gateway has closed on a previously announced agreement with America Online (AOL), where Gateway repurchased all of the Gateway Series A and Series C preferred stock and about 2.7 million shares of Gateway common stock currently held by AOL for an aggregate purchase price of $315.6 million. Gateway paid about $280 million in cash. It also issued a credit of about $35.6 million against normal quarterly payments due from AOL to Gateway under a strategic alliance agreement that calls for Gateway to offer subscriptions to customers who buy Gateway's desktop and notebook PCs.
Washington— XM Satellite Radio Holdings has declared a quarterly dividend on its 8.25 percent Series B Convertible Redeemable Preferred Stock. The dividend is payable in shares of the company's Class A Common Stock, as of Feb. 1, to Series B convertible preferred stockholders of record at XM, as of Jan. 21.
Atlanta— Battery maker Rayovac intends to offer $500 million aggregate principal amount of new Senior Subordinated Notes, due 2015, through a private placement. The expected net proceeds of the offering, together with Rayovac's anticipated new senior secured credit facilities, will be used to finance the previously announced acquisition of United Industries.
Washington — Panasonic has been presented with a Program Champion award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for sponsoring more than 160 collection events in 2003, diverting nearly 3,000 tons of used CE from landfills and incinerators. The company is a charter member of EPA's Plug-In To eCycling, a program that encourages consumers, municipalities, retailers and electronics makers to share in the responsibility of properly managing the disposal, reuse and processing of obsolete or unwanted CE products.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.