Icahn ends takeover battle for Dell
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has given up his bitter takeover fight for Dell Inc. a few days before shareholders are scheduled to consider the latest buyout offer from the struggling computer maker’s founder Michael Dell.
Icahn said Monday in a letter to shareholders that he still thinks Michael Dell’s bid to take his company private undervalues the business and freezes shareholders out of any future gains. But Icahn also said it would be "almost impossible" to defeat that offer in a vote scheduled for Thursday.
Icahn and another major Dell shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management, said they won’t pursue additional efforts to defeat it.
"We therefore congratulate Michael Dell and I intend to call him to wish him good luck (he may need it)," Icahn wrote in the letter.
Michael Dell’s $24.8 billion bid to take his company private includes an offer of $13.75 per share plus a 13-cent dividend.
Dell raised that bid last month after previous offers also drew strong criticism from Icahn and other major Dell Inc. investors.
Koch buying Molex for $7.2 billion
LISLE, Ill. » Koch Industries Inc. is buying electronic components and cables maker Molex for $7.2 billion.
Koch — run by the billionaire brothers Charles and David — said Monday that it will pay $38.50 per Molex Inc. share. That’s a 31 percent premium to the company’s common stock price of $29.34 on Friday.
The companies put the deal’s total value at $7.2 billion when stock options and restricted stock for Molex are added to the valuation of its outstanding shares. Molex Inc. has about 178.2 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet.
Molex will remain headquartered in Lisle, Ill., and keep its current management team. Molex will also keep its company name and will run as a Koch subsidiary.
Consumer borrowing up by $10.4B in July
WASHINGTON » Americans cut back on using their credit cards in July for the second straight month while taking on more debt to buy cars and attend school. The decline in credit card use suggests consumers remain cautious, a trend that could hold back economic growth.
Consumers increased their borrowing $10.4 billion in July from June to a record high of $2.85 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. That followed a gain of $11.9 billion in June.
A category that includes auto loans and student loans increased $12.3 billion in July to a record $2 trillion. But a measure of consumers’ credit card debt fell $1.8 billion to roughly $850 billion. That followed an even larger $3.7 billion decline in the credit card category in June.
July’s pattern of consumers’ borrowing habits illustrated trends that have surfaced in the post-recession economy: Americans are using credit for their most urgent needs while foregoing debt for discretionary purchases.
Facebook, Yahoo want to disclose data
WASHINGTON » Facebook and Yahoo asked a secret court Monday to allow them to disclose data on national security orders the companies have received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The two tech companies filed separate, similar motions Monday with the secret court that oversees that law. Two other companies, Google and Microsoft, have similar motions pending with the court.
All four companies were among several U.S. Internet businesses identified as giving the National Security Agency access to customer data under the program known as PRISM. Facebook and Yahoo say they want to correct false claims and reports about what they provide to the government.
They argue they have a free-speech right to publish aggregate data on national security orders.
Revelations about the program by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have prompted a broader debate about government monitoring and the privacy of Americans’ communications.
Retailer wrongly fired Muslim, judge rules
SAN FRANCISCO » A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that trendy clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch wrongly fired a Muslim worker who insisted on wearing a head scarf.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said the company violated anti-discrimination laws when it fired Hani Khan from its Hollister store in San Mateo, Calif., in 2010. Rogers issued the ruling Tuesday.
The company claimed the head scarf violated its policy governing the look of its employees, which it said was part of its marketing strategy. The store argued that deviating from its look policy would affect sales.
But the judge said Abercrombie & Fitch offered no "credible evidence" that Khan’s head scarf cost the company any sales.
ON THE MOVE
Sunetric has announced the appointment of Aaron Kirk to the 2013 board of Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau. He is Sunetric’s chief operating officer and joined the company as director of sales in 2011. Kirk also has 20 years of managerial experience, including as vice president of sales and operations for Oceanic Values and vice president of operations at Toreador.
RevaComm has hired John Wingard as its creative and user experience design director. Wingard previously owned his own design firm and has more than 15 years of experience working for numerous Hawaii businesses and corporations.