Valeant CEO Pearson Will Step Down, Ackman Added to Board (Bloomberg)
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mike Pearson will step down in a shakeup of the company’s board and management following a series of missteps and criticism at the drugmaker that culminated in a 61 percent drop in the company’s shares last week.
Starwood Agrees to Sweetened Merger With Marriott (WSJ)
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said it has agreed to a sweetened $13.6 billion deal with Marriott International Inc. that trumps last week’s boosted bid from a group led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. In the new deal, Starwood shareholders will receive $21 in cash and 0.8 of a share of Marriott for each share of Starwood. The deal values Starwood shares at $79.53, according to Friday’s closing prices.
M&A Bankers Saying No to More Junk Debt (WSJ)
Banks are increasingly turning down companies seeking financing to pay for debt-laden takeovers after the recent market rout left them saddled with debt from earlier deals. Credit Suisse Group AG, Jefferies Group LLC and Wells Fargo & Co. are among the firms turning down new requests for financing—typically from low-rated companies—as they retreat from the lucrative but risky business of backing debt-heavy buyouts, people familiar with the matter say.
Wall Street's Pile of Unwanted Treasuries Exposes Market Cracks (Bloomberg)
The 22 primary dealers held more Treasuries last month than any time in the last two years, Federal Reserve Bank of New York data show. While at first glance that may suggest a bullish stance, the surge in holdings is more likely the result of investors including central banks dumping the debt on the firms, said JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategist Jay Barry. Foreign official accounts sold a net $105 billion of the securities in December and January, an unprecedented liquidation, Treasury Department data show.
Texas man caught having sex on Las Vegas Ferris wheel killed in Houston carjacking (NYDN)
A Texas man who earned national notoriety for allegedly having sex on a Ferris wheel in Las Vegas just weeks ago was slain in front of his fiancée during a Saturday morning carjacking. One of the alleged carjackers told Philip Panzica to “come clean” before gunning down the 27-year-old in front of his bride-to-be at 5:15 a.m. in Houston, KTRK-TV reported, nearly six weeks after Nevada authorities arrested Panzica and his mistress on public sex charges. Panzica and Chloe Scordianos, 21, of Long Island, were arrested Feb. 5 on suspicion of a wild sex stunt on the High Roller Ferris wheel next to the Linq Hotel — the same day he planned to marry another woman.
Goldman Sachs probed in alleged Treasury rig: sources (NYP)
Washington’s probe into the alleged rigging of the $13 trillion US Treasurys market by Wall Street banks has narrowed its focus to a handful of firms — including Goldman Sachs, The Post has learned. In addition, European authorities have opened up their own investigation into possible Treasurys bid-rigging, sources said. Investigators in the fraud division of the Justice Department have obtained chats and e-mails from Goldman that appear to implicate the company in manipulating the price of Treasury bonds, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. Those chats and e-mails are being analyzed to determine if traders at other banks could be involved with any possible bid-rigging of US government debt, those two people said.
Apple to Upgrade Smaller iPhone (WSJ)
On Monday, Apple is expected to introduce a new version of its smallest current iPhone at an event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. The successor to the iPhone 5s will include an upgraded processor, improved camera and capability to use Apple Pay, the company’s mobile-payment service, according to people familiar with the matter.
At SEC, Petition Calls for Gender Pay Ratio Disclosure (WSJ)
Pay disparities between men and women are under scrutiny at the Securities and Exchange Commission, as a result of a new comment letter asking that public companies be required to furnish data on the subject.
China central bank to Fed: A little help, please? (Reuters)
Confronted with a plunge in its stock markets last year, China's central bank swiftly reached out to the U.S. Federal Reserve, asking it to share its play book for dealing with Wall Street's "Black Monday" crash of 1987. The request came in a July 27 email from a People's Bank of China official with a subject line: "Your urgent assistance is greatly appreciated!" In a message to a senior Fed staffer, the PBOC's New York-based chief representative for the Americas, Song Xiangyan, pointed to the day's 8.5 percent drop in Chinese stocks and said "my Governor would like to draw from your good experience."
Florida woman fights to keep potty-trained pet alligator (UPI)
A Florida woman fighting to keep her beloved pet alligator said 15-year-old Rambo "has never been a normal gator." Mary Thorn of Lakeland said Rambo, the only survivor of five alligators she adopted after they were found being kept in cramped and dark conditions 11 years ago, is house trained, understands sign language commands and loves to dress in costumes, which she said also serve a practical purpose because the pet is sensitive to light. Thorn said she obtained a license to keep Rambo as a pet in 2012, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is now trying to seize her pet because he has grown past 6 feet long, the maximum size allowed for someone living on less than 2.5 acres. "He's like my son. He's my family," Thorn told the New York Daily News. "He's not a normal gator. He has never been a normal gator."