Markets & Finance

Koch Industries to Buy Georgia-Pacific


Georgia-Pacific (GP) agreed to be acquired by Koch Industries via a $48 per share cash tender offer. The deal has total equity value of $13.2 billion and total enterprise value of $21 billion, including all Georgia-Pacific debt.

Host Marriott (HMT) agreed to acquire 38 luxury and upper upscale hotels from Starwood Hotels (HOT) for about $4.04 billion.

Knight-Ridder (KRI) is to explore alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including the possible sale of the company. It says it is working with Goldman Sachs on this process.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) posted 57 cents vs. 54 cents third quarter earnings per share on 3.8% higher total US same-store sales and a 10% total revenue rise. It sees 82 cents to 86 cents fourth quarter earnings per share and $2.64 to $2.68 in fiscal year 2006.

Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) Talks on CSC's sale have stalled over how the computer-outsourcing concern would structure a deal with Lockheed Martin (LMT) and three private-equity firms, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Lowe's (LOW) posted 81 cents vs. 65 cents third quarter earnings per share on 6.2% higher same-store sales and 17% higher total sales. It sees 77 cents to 80 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on 4% to 6% higher comparables, and fiscal year 2006 earnings per share of $3.37 to $3.40.

Google (GOOG) approached a book publisher to measure interest in renting online copies of books, which presents significant opportunity for publishers to tap the budding digital-book market, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Skyepharma (SKYE) says that following a recent unsolicited approach from a third party, it has decided to review all its strategic options, including inter alia offers for the company.

Pacificnet (PACT) posted 5 cents vs. 2 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 33% revenue rise. It cut its $45 million to $50 million 2005 revenue forecast to $41.6 million to $45 million, and its 25 cents to 38 cents earnings per share forecast to 23 cents to 25 cents. It expects 2006 revenue and profit to grow by at least 30% from 2005, without acquisitions.

Boston Scientific (BSX) The Food and Drug Administration is evaluating a situation in which, earlier this fall, a hospital temporarily suspended its use of a Boston Scientific stent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Embraer (ERJ) posted 63 cents vs. 65 cents third quarter earnings per American Depositary Share despite a 14% sales rise.

AVI Biopharma (AVII) could be the beneficiary of flu fears because its novel "antisense" drugs may be effective in combating flu virus, as well as Hepatitis C and a range of bio-terror threats, according to Barron's.

Sara Lee (SLE) agreed to sell its branded apparel business in Europe to an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners for EUR 100 million in cash plus the potential contingent payments based on future performance of its business under new ownership.

Martha Stewart (MSO)'s Apprentice show will not be renewed on NBC; the final show airs December 21, according to the NY Post.

Home Solutions Of America (HOM) posted 8 cents vs. 3 cents third quarter earnings per share on sharply higher sales. It raised its 23 cents to 25 cents 2005 earnings per share guidance to 25 cents to 27 cents. It sees 42 cents to 46 cents 2006 earnings per share.

Arch Capital Group (ACGL) said it expects after-tax earnings for the fourth quarter, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, to be negatively impacted by $40 million to $60 million due to Hurricane Wilma.

Gasco Energy (GSX) is to offer 12.5 million shares.

Compex Technologies (CMPX) agreed to be acquired by Encore Medical (ENMC) for $109 million. Encore Medical will issue Compex shareholders about 19 million shares of stock in exchange for all outstanding shares of Compex, and will also assume $15 million of Compex debt.

Lee Enterprises (LEE) posted 51 cents vs. 47 cents third quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on sharply higher total advertising revenue. Its current quarter excludes merger related costs.

Knight Transport (KNX) set a 3-for-2 stock split.

ePlus (PLUS) posted 21 cents vs. 22 cents second quarter earnings per share as higher costs offset a 14% revenue rise. It says the bottom line results may still be negatively affected by legal costs associated with its patent litigation over the next few quarters.

AVANT Immunotherapeutics (AVAN) says it has formed a research team to focus on the development of an avian flu vaccine utilizing in part AVANT's proprietary bacterial vectoring technologies and VitriLife preservation processes.

Canada Southern Petroleum (CSPLF) posted C$0.28 vs. C$0.11 third quarter funds from operation on sharply higher gross revenue.

Gilat Satellite (GILTF) posted 4 cents third quarter loss vs. a penny loss on 24% lower revenue.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT)shares were seen lower after reports that a study of the company's fenofibrate drug (Tricor) did not have a statistically significant positive outcome.

Enterasys Networks (ETS) agreed to be acquired by an investment group led by the private investment firms The Gores Group, LLC and Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC for $386 million. or $13.92 per share.


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