Dow Jones, News Corp. Set Deal (WSJ)
Pinch us. No, really, pinch us. It's early in the morning, so there's an off chance that we're still sleeping, or that our reading comprehension is bad. But it looks like this articles says that News Corp. and Dow Jones are just about set on a deal. It's still tentative, according to the Journal itself, but it will be put up for a vote tonight, and the indications are that it will go through. If so, Rupe's gonna be partying tonight. Honestly, the best part here is not the change of ownership. Not that big of a deal to us. But it's gonna be great seeing all of the anti-Rupe forces and CJR-types squirm and cry bloody murder. Schadenfreude, basically.
Live at Apollo Management: Plan to Cash In, Limit Scrutiny (WSJ)
Now here's a private equity firm that actually still cares about the meaning or "private". Apollo management isn't buying into this "privlic" nonsense, as espoused by Blackstone and its ilk. Of course, it still wants to rake in some fat moolah and offers its owners a bit more liquidity. So the company is going to list on a new Goldman Sachs-run exchange, only open to institutional investors, which will allow companies to avoid regulatory scrutiny.
Ad Downturn Threatening the Survival of Business 2.0 (NYT)
To us, the magazine Business 2.0 has always seemed like business porn. It's not particularly satisfying or fulfilling, but if you're looking for a cheap, easy thrill that won't stress you out too much, it's an okay read. The only times we've ever bought it were at airports, when we make our pre-flight pilgrimage to Hudson News. Word is that the company is running out of advertisers and may be winding down. If true, this would represent the second bust cycle for tech magazines this decade. The first one was caused by the downturn, as magazines like The Industry Standard and Red Herring (which has been revived in recent years) lost all of their advertisers. This time, the problem is that the industry they're covering is too successful. It's the growth of tech, the internet in particular, that's causing troubles at these magazines (Red Herring, as you know if you read Vallewag, is also in its death throes). So what are we going to read on airplanes now? Wired? Harpers?
Basell to Buy Lyondell In $12.66 Billion Deal (WSJ)
Are chemicals sexy? We've always thought they kinda were, since they're, you know, straight up science. Still, it seems like it's not considered to be a particularly sexy sector these days. People are more interested in science at the cellular and nano level, which is fair enough. Anyway, it looks like this sector is going to get hot like the metals have been, at least in terms of M&A. A week after losing out to Hunstman, Basell is going to purchase Lyondell for $12.66 billion. Will another party step in and ruin it once again for Basell? One hopes. Lyondell, for its part, operates in three segments: ethylene, propylene oxide, and refining. Sexy, right?
Internet Phone Company Halts Operations (NYT)
Vonage isn't the only company that's screwed on crack and hung out to dry. It's little cousin, SunRocket, a private firm doing the exact same thing has already seen the end of the road. Word of its demise had been spreading for the last few months, but now it's made it official. So how long before Vonage does the same?
Alcoa Rises on Report BHP Billiton May Make a Bid (Bloomberg)
Alcoa has learned the hard way that nobody wants its grimy American dollars. But does it want others' shiny foreign dollars. Word is that Chip Goodyear's BHP Billiton, one of the major base metal miners along with Rio Tinto, is pondering a bid for the American aluminum firm. Nothing official yet, but if a bid does come down, watch for it in the next two weeks.
Coca-Cola Profit Rises on Increased Sales in Europe, Japan (Bloomberg)
Slowly but steadily, Coca Cola keeps selling more fizzy, carbonated beverages. Whether they're sugar-free, green-tea infused, toffee flavor or whatnot, it is impressive that it's still growing after all this time. The good news is that it's doing particularly well in Europe and Japan, which means those countries might catch up in the waistline department to their American counterparts.
How to beat Yahoo at its own game (Business 2.0)
We're doing our part to keep Business 2.0 strong with a rare Opening Bell link. Anyway, not much there that jumps out, but this is amusing. It's a guide to keyword arbitrage, the practice of profiting by taking advantage of different prices charged by advertisers depending on the service. When you're hedge fund finally arbs away whatever disparity it originally profited from, this might be your next strategy. Buy up a bunch of domain names and engage in this.