BlackBerry Takeover Bid Collapses; CEO Heins Ousted (Bloomberg)
Fairfax Financial Holdings, BlackBerry’s largest investor, walked away from its bid for the company, opting instead for a $1 billion bond deal and a management shakeup. Fairfax will invest $250 million in the convertible debentures, according to a statement today. CEO Thorsten Heins will step down, while former Sybase Inc. CEO John Chen becomes executive chairman, putting him in charge of the company’s strategy.
‘Resolution’ reached in SAC Capital insider trading case (AP)
A proposed resolution has been reached in the insider trading case and related civil charges against Connecticut-based hedge fund giant SAC Capital Advisors, a federal prosecutor said Monday. A news conference was scheduled for 1 p.m. in Manhattan to announce details of the deal, according to a notice sent by the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The deal follows a separate agreement by SAC to pay a $615 million penalty to settle an insider trading claim by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Twitter Boosts IPO Range (Reuters)
Twitter Inc raised the price range for its initial public offering on Monday as it seeks to raise up to $1.75 billion, signaling strong demand for the most closely watched IPO since Facebook Inc's in 2012. The float comes during a red-hot market for IPOs, which have benefited as equity markets continue to climb and uncertainty has largely subsided around the debt ceiling crisis and political gridlock in Washington. The microblogging network expects to sell 70 million shares at $23 to $25 each, up from a prior estimate of $17 to $20, it said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Country’s most affluent opting for Teslas over Bentleys (NYP)
The top 1 percenters aren’t buying Bentleys, Lamborghinis or Ferraris.
Instead, the country’s most affluent car buyers are driving off in a Tesla or a Jeep. Two of the five most popular cars among residents in 15 of the 25 wealthiest US zip codes — where median home prices range from $3.4 million to $6.7 million — include those typically associated with middle-income buyers. Even buyers with plenty of disposable income to spare — think Silicon Valley — are opting for a luxury car that’s more of a social statement than a financial one. The Tesla Model S, the first luxury all-electric vehicle, accounted for the most car sales in eight of the 25 most expensive zip codes, according to the latest Edmunds report.
Feds: Navy secrets sold for hookers, Gaga tickets (AP)
Nicknamed “Fat Leonard,” the gregarious Malaysian businessman is well known by U.S. Navy commanders in the Pacific, where his company has serviced warships for 25 years. But prosecutors in court papers say Leonard Francis worked his connections to obtain military secrets by lining up hookers, Lady Gaga tickets and other bribes for a U.S. commander, in a scandal reverberating across the Navy...Navy commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz passed confidential information on ship routes to Francis’ Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA, according to the court documents...Misiewicz would refer to Francis as “Big Brother” or “Big Bro” in emails from a personal account, while Francis would call him “Little Brother” or “Little Bro,” according to the complaint. The company bilked the Navy out of $10 million in just one year in Thailand alone, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said...After Francis offered Misiewicz five tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in Thailand in 2012, Francis wrote: “Don’t chicken out bro we need u with us on the front lines,” according to court documents.
Muddy Waters Seen Right on NQ Mobile Payments, Wrong on Cash (Bloomberg)
Research firm Muddy Waters LLC was correct to focus on NQ Mobile Inc. (NQ)’s delays in collecting customers’ payments as part of an 81-page report that labeled the Beijing-based mobile service provider a “massive fraud,” according to three accounting experts. At the same time, accountants, professors and a lawyer interviewed by Bloomberg News said the report’s criticism of NQ’s cash accounting and the way the Chinese company got funds from its U.S. public offering may be unfounded. On other points Muddy Waters raised in its Oct. 24 report, it’s still hard for observers to gauge their validity.
U.S. justices decline to review Facebook 'Beacon' settlement (Reuters)
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand Facebook Inc's $9.5 million class action settlement over allegations the social networking company's defunct "Beacon" service violated its members' privacy rights. Although the court declined to hear the case, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement raising concerns about the particular type of settlement in the case and said the Supreme Court might take up another case in the future to clarify the law. The court's decision not to hear the case means the settlement is final.
Wall Street gets a sharp 20% cut for year-end bonuses (NYP)
The financial spiral could send overall 2012 bonuses down as much as 20 percent from a year ago, as industry profits are forecast to plunge by more than one-third from last year...The losers this year include fixed-income, currency and commodity traders. Their bonuses could be down as much as 15 percent, according to compensation consultant Johnson Associates.
Ohio zoo using beagle to detect bear pregnancies (AP)
Zoos around the country will soon find out whether a beagle named Elvis can let them know when their polar bears are pregnant. The 2-year-old has been specially trained for a year by a Kansas handler who has taught dogs to sniff out everything from explosives to bed bugs. A Cincinnati Zoo animal conservation scientist had the idea after reading about studies on using dogs to detect cancer. Confirming pregnancies of the massive bears, a threatened species, has been difficult, and zoo officials say knowing can help make sure they and the mama bears are ready for birthing and raising cubs. They separate them from males, get them into dens with extra bedding, step up video-camera monitoring, and line up staff and volunteers for 24-hour “cub watches” later. “It’s always nice to know in advance,” said Randi Meyerson of the Toledo Zoo, who coordinates polar bear species survival planning for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She praised the beagle project as “thinking outside the box” to provide a potentially important new tool. It’s non-invasive and simple for zookeepers, who pick up fecal samples for Elvis to check out...Rewarded with food and getting to play with his favorite squeaky duck toy, Elvis trained for months and was alerting to samples of previously pregnant bears with near-perfect accuracy before Curry drove out a cooler full of current samples last week. She watched as Elvis reacted to a control sample of a bear that had already delivered. “He sat right down. I thought, ‘Whew, this works!’” Curry said.