Human Genome OKs Glaxo takeover
TRENTON. N.J. – U.K. drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has secured its takeover of longtime partner Human Genome Sciences after agreeing to pay more, a move to expand GSK’s drug portfolio in crucial areas: biologic drugs and treatments for the hundreds of millions of people with diabetes and heart disease.
The two companies said Monday that GSK will pay $3.6 billion, or $14.25 per share, for the U.S. biotechnology company. Directors of both companies have approved the deal.
Human Genome Sciences, based in Rockville, Md., agreed to the acquisition following a prolonged battle in which it put up a “poison pill” defense. That would have diluted holdings if anyone attempted to acquire 15 percent or more of Human Genome stock without board approval.
CFPB to oversee credit reporters
NEW YORK – The companies that determine Americans’ credit scores are about to come under the oversight of the nation’s new consumer watchdog.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Monday that it will start supervising the 30 largest firms that make up 94 percent of the industry. That includes the three big credit reporting firms: Equifax Inc., Experian and TransUnion.
In remarks prepared for a speech Monday, Richard Cordray, the government agency’s director, said that scorekeeping by credit bureaus requires scrutiny because it plays such a big role in Americans’ financial lives.
The CFPB said its oversight may include on-site examinations, and that it may require credit bureaus to file reports.
Microsoft Office adapted for touch, Web
SAN FRANCISCO – New versions of Microsoft’s word processing, spreadsheet and email programs will sport touch-based controls and emphasize Internet storage to reflect an industrywide shift away from the company’s strengths in desktop and laptop computers.
The new offerings appear designed to help Microsoft retain an important source of revenue as more people access documents from mobile devices. The new Office suite also reflects the fact that people tend to work from multiple computers – perhaps a desktop in the office, a laptop at home, a tablet computer on a train and a smartphone at the doctor’s office.
Like an upcoming redesign of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, the new Office will respond to touch as well as commands delivered with a computer keyboard or mouse.
Your Baby Can Read company folding
NEW YORK – The company that persuaded hundreds of thousands of parents to buy Your Baby Can Read products is going out of business, citing the high cost of fighting complaints alleging its ads were false. Your Baby Can LLC announced the decision on its website.
“Regretfully, the cost of fighting recent legal issues has left us with no option but to cease business operations,” the notice says. “While we vehemently deny any wrongdoing, and strongly believe in our products, the fight has drained our resources to the point where we can no longer continue operating.”
Your Baby Can Read – consisting of interrelated videos, flashcards and books – was developed in the late 1990s. More than a million families have used the products since then, according to the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company.
The website had claimed the best time for children to learn to read is when they are infants and toddlers, before they go to school; it said they could start as young as 3 months old.
Moody’s downgrades 13 Italian banks
NEW YORK – Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service is downgrading the credit ratings for 13 Italian banks three days after cutting the Italian government’s bond rating.
The government’s lower rating means Moody’s believes it is at greater risk of defaulting on its debts and “indicates a similarly increased risk that the government might be unable to provide financial support to its banks in financial distress.”
Moody’s dropped seven banks by one notch, the other six by two notches. They all remain investment grade.
Clothing retailer Daffy’s to liquidate
NEW YORK – Daffy’s Inc., which sells national fashion brands at up to 80 percent off, is going out of business, a victim of a fiercely competitive landscape that has already claimed rivals Syms and Filene’s Basement as casualties.
The company confirmed Monday the Secaucus, N.J.-based retailer will be winding down business at its 19 stores, including eight in Manhattan, six in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia, over the next several months. About 1,300 employees will be affected.