Markets News 

Chinese phones now account for a third of the European market, with Huawei leading the way

“The US administration is causing Chinese companies to invest in Europe over the US. The European market is mature, and replacement rates have lengthened, but there is an opportunity for Chinese brands to displace the market incumbents” writes Feb Est for theverge.com. Despite — and to some extent, perhaps because of the United States’ current antipathy to Huawei and other Chinese brands — China’s smartphone leaders are finding great success elsewhere.The latest figures from market analysts Canalys have quantified a trend that many of us might have sensed in 2018:…

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Virgin Media considering takeover of Hull’s KCOM

“Virgin Media is exploring what would be a historic takeover of KCOM, the monopoly telecoms provider in Hull, in an attempt to accelerate its network expansion programme” writes Ben Marlow for telegraph.co.uk. The cable operator, controlled by US billionaire John Malone, is considering a bid to add KCOM’s 200,000 “full-fibre” broadband lines to its network, according to multiple sources.Virgin Media could yet decide not to make a bid for KCOM, sources said. Source: telegraph.co.uk

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U.S. bankruptcy judge approves sale of Sears to Chairman Lampert

“Judge Robert Drain approved the sale after a hearing spanning several days in a White Plains, N.Y., federal bankruptcy court” reports businessinsider.com. Those creditors, including vendors and landlords, argued they would fare better in a liquidation and that the process for selling Sears was unfair.NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved Sears Holdings Corp Chairman Edward Lampert’s $5.2 billion takeover of the beleaguered retailer, allowing the department store chain to narrowly avert liquidation and preserve tens of thousands of jobs. The takeover aims to preserve about…

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BB&T’s SunTrust takeover doubles size without scraping ‘too big to fail’ barrier

“SunTrust shares rose 6.8 percent to $62.85 in New York trading on Thursday, while BB&T gained 1 percent to $49.02” reports washingtonexaminer.com. While BB&T’s $28 billion purchase of SunTrust will create the sixth-largest bank in the U.S., federal regulators are unlikely to view the combined company as too big to fail, a concern that dates to financial crisis bailouts.”It’s an extraordinarily attractive financial proposition that provides the scale needed to compete and win in the rapidly evolving world of financial services.”. “This deal will trigger some political criticism on Capitol…

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The food delivery robot take-over continues at yet another college campus

“The fleet autonomously (naturally) brings food to students and teachers on a campus meal plan run through food services company Sodexo” writes Sasha Lekach for mashable.com. Starship Technologies has a fleet of 25 mini robots descending upon the George Mason University campus, in Fairfax, Virginia, on Tuesday.Make way for more robots bearing lattes and doughnuts for college students. Source: mashable.com

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Orange not considering full takeover of Euskaltel

“Orange SA (ORA.FR) said Monday that it isn’t currently considering a full takeover bid for Spanish telecommunications group Euskaltel SA (EKT.MC), following media speculation” writes Alberto Delclaux for marketwatch.com. News portal TMTFinance reported last week that Orange was considering a takeover bid for Euskaltel and had hired Credit Suisse as an adviser. Source: marketwatch.com

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Sainsbury’s-Asda tie-up not a done deal yet, experts warn

“He believes the CMA will not pass the deal without substantial conditions, and that it could even be blocked in its entirety” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Coupe and Roger Burnley, chief executive of Walmart owned Asda, have said they do not expect the CMA to make the deal unpalatable.Rivals and suppliers have made a raft of submissions to the regulator opposing the deal. Source: 95kqds.com

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Flybe’s largest shareholder threatens to block Virgin deal

“Flybe’s largest shareholder is threatening legal action to block a Virgin Atlantic-led takeover of the airline after reportedly accusing its bosses of neglecting their duty as directors” writes Jack Torrance for telegraph.co.uk. Hosking Partners, a London-based asset manager that owns almost a fifth of Flybe’s shares, has written to its board and City watchdogs to complain about the cut price £2.2m deal announced earlier this month.The offer from Connect Airways, a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, Southend Airport-owner Stobart Group and investment firm Cyrus Capital Partners, came at a major discount…

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EU court annuls 2013 Commission decision that blocked UPS takeover of TNT

“UPS has said it is seeking 1.74 billion euros ($1.99 billion)” reports businessinsider.com. The EU veto paved the way for U.S. rival FedEx Corp to acquire TNT for 4.4 billion euros in 2016 in a deal approved by the Commission.The Commission had rejected UPS’s planned 5.2 billion euro acquisition of TNT saying UPS had not offered sufficient concessions to allay concerns that the deal would hurt consumers.A courier van of UPS is seen in front of the head office of TNT in Hoofddorp Thomson Reuters BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European…

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Sears chairman’s takeover proposal faces moment of truth

“After two days of haggling, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain set a Wednesday deadline to complete the bankruptcy auction for the 126-year-old retailer, the people said” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Last week Lampert, through his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc, made an improved $5 billion offer for Sears after the company turned away his earlier $4.4 billion bid.The bankruptcy auction for Sears began on Monday morning in Manhattan at the offices of law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, which is representing the retailer.On Tuesday, representatives for Sears…

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