By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK —In order to have sufficient funds available for the continued progress of its marketing and service activities, while ensuring uninterrupted continuation of its satellite-based communications services and further deployment of these services around the world, Globalstar has suspended, indefinitely, principal and interest payments on all its funded debt. This includes its credit facility, vendor financing agreements and senior notes, as well as dividend payments on its preferred stock. Globalstar believes suspension of these payments will enable it to have sufficient cash to fund its operations into 2002, giving its partners additional time to implement their new marketing initiatives. Globalstar missed a $45 million interest and principal payment earlier this month. One of its partners, Qualcomm—which, with the other partners, endorsed Globalstar's suspension plan—was supportive, saying it believes current and new product offerings support an expanding market for Globalstar service and that it expects the system to continue to operate into the future. Globalstar has retained The Blackstone Group as its financial adviser to assist in restructuring debt, identifying funding opportunities and pursuing other strategic alternatives.
OSAKA, JAPAN —Matsushita Electric Industrial (MEI), Matsushita Group's parent company, will absorb Matsushita Electronics Corp. (MEC), a wholly owned subsidiary, subject to new Japanese tax regulations expected to be enacted early this year. As part of Matsushita's three-year plan, MEC's semiconductor and display device operations will be combined with MEI's corresponding operations, resulting in several new internal divisional companies within MEI. For instance, the development, production and sale of semiconductors, currently spread over both MEI and MEC, will be merged into a new semiconductor divisional company, eliminating inefficiencies and increasing Matsushita's competitiveness, said the company. As part of its three-year plan, called Value Creation 21, Matsushita said the sales goal for 2004 for the new AVC Networks segment, which will be fueled by expansion of digital A/V and mobile communications, is set at about $42.6 billion. The sales goal for the Home Appliances segment is set at about $11.9 billion.
WASHINGTON, D.C. —XM Satellite Radio has declared a regular 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 at a rate of $1.0313 per share of Series B Preferred Stock owned, with fractional shares to be paid in cash. The shares of Class A Common Stock to be issued will be valued at 95 percent of the average daily price of the Class A Common Stock for the 10 consecutive trading days ended Jan. 12. The dividend is payable on Feb. 1 to Series B convertible preferred stockholders of record of XM Satellite Radio as of Jan. 22.
PARSIPPANY, N.J. —Emerson Radio has offered to purchase an additional 1.6 million shares of common stock directly from Sport Supply Group (SSG), a Dallas-based direct marketer of sporting-goods equipment, for $2.2 million. Emerson previously owned about 36 percent of SSG. The purchase was expected to be finalized this month. Upon completion of the deal, Emerson will own about 48.3 percent of SSG's issued and outstanding shares. This past year, SSG made sizable investments in its Internet and information platform, enabling it to compete with companies entering the sporting-goods industry on a B2B Internet platform.
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.