New ConAgra Foods bid for Ralcorp turned down
PORTLAND – ConAgra Foods Inc. made yet another try for Ralcorp Holdings Inc. with a $5.17 billion bid that was rejected on Friday.
Ralcorp said that it received the $94 dollar per-share offer from ConAgra on Thursday and decided that it is not in the best interest for the food company or its shareholders.
ConAgra offered $86 per share for Ralcorp in May and $82 per share in March, both of which were quickly refused.
Ralcorp, based in St. Louis, is in the process of spinning off its Post cereal business to focus on its core private-label foods and says this move will provide better value for its shareholders.
The latest offer is a nearly 19 percent premium over Ralcorp’s most recent closing price.
Kansas bank becomes 64th to close this year
WASHINGTON – Regulators on Friday shut down a small bank in Kansas, lifting to 64 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.
The pace of closures has slowed, however, as the economy has slowly improved and banks work their way through the bad debt accumulated in the Great Recession. By this time last year, regulators had shuttered 110 banks.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized First National Bank of Olathe, based in Olathe, Kan., with $538.1 million in assets and $524.3 million in deposits. Enterprise Bank & Trust, based in Clayton, Mo., agreed to assume the assets and deposits of the failed bank.
French growth dries up, adding pressure for cuts
PARIS – The French government was put under further pressure to cut deeper into spending after figures Friday showed growth in Europe’s second biggest economy ground to a halt in the spring, in another sign that the global economy is facing rising recessionary threats.
With the French growth figures suggesting a possible budget shortfall this year, government ministers may have to find additional savings ahead of a key meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy on Aug. 24.
Italy scrambles to get its budget balanced
ROME – The government held an emergency meeting Friday to approve new measures to balance the budget by 2013 and calm market concerns over Italy’s public finances.
Rome passed a $99 billion austerity package last month, but the government has said the financial situation has deteriorated significantly since then. Under intense pressure from the European Central Bank and other eurozone leaders, the government agreed to bring forward its goal of balancing the budget to 2013 instead of 2014.