Pandora Media IPO sells at $16 per share
SAN FRANCISCO – Pandora Media Inc. sold its initial public offering of stock at $16 per share late Tuesday, fetching twice as much as the popular but unprofitable Internet radio service expected less than two weeks ago.
The IPO’s completion means Pandora will make its stock market debut today with a market value of $2.6 billion.
Pandora started as a music recommendation site called TheSavageBeast.com 11 years ago and has morphed into a service that streams music over high-speed Internet connections to computers and a widening array of other devices to its 94 million registered users.
Google commits money to solar energy panels
NEW YORK – Google is making its largest investment yet in clean energy in an effort to help private homeowners put solar panels on their rooftops.
The $280 million deal with installer SolarCity is the largest of its kind. SolarCity can use the funds to pay for a solar energy system that it can offer to residents for no money down. In exchange, customers agree to pay a set price for the power produced by the panels.
Avis Budget reunites with Avis Europe
DETROIT – Car rental company Avis Budget Group Inc. said Tuesday it will take over Avis Europe in a $1 billion deal, raising the possibility that Avis Budget may back away from a bidding war for U.S. rival Dollar Thrifty.
The move reunites Avis Europe, which separated from Avis in the 1980s, combines the Avis and Budget brands worldwide, and creates what the company said is the largest publicly traded rental car business in the world.
Lockheed space division to shrink by 1,200 jobs
DENVER – Aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. plans to cut 1,200 employees in its space systems equipment division.
The company said Tuesday the cuts will be nationwide and trim the division’s 16,000-person work force by nearly 8 percent. The company said middle management will be reduced by 25 percent.
The cuts will most heavily affect areas where Lockheed Martin is winding down its contract work, such as Sunnyvale, Calif., the Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania, and Denver.
Lockheed said it will offer voluntary layoffs to eligible salaried employees to minimize involuntary job cuts.
Apple selling iPhones that are ‘unlocked’
NEW YORK – Apple Inc. on Tuesday started selling “unlocked” iPhones in the U.S. for the first time, allowing owners to switch carriers to a limited extent and save money when traveling.
Apple is selling them on its websites and its store for $649 and $749, depending on how much memory they have. They’re identical to the versions sold for use on AT&T Inc.’s network, but don’t require a two-year contract.
The buyer will separately have to buy a Subscriber Identity Module, or SIM card, from a carrier to activate the phone. Apart from AT&T, the only national U.S. carrier that’s compatible with the phone is T-Mobile USA, and it can provide only phone calls and low data speeds. Its U.S. “3G” wireless high-speed data network isn’t compatible with the iPhone.
Unlocked and no-contract phones are more expensive than phones sold under contract because carriers like AT&T subsidize phones that come with contracts, figuring that they will make their money back through service fees.