Google exec to sell 40 percent of stock
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt plans to sell more than 40 percent of his stock in the Internet search leader this year.
The plan disclosed Friday calls for Schmidt to sell up to 3.2 million shares. If he were to sell all that stock at Google’s current price, Schmidt would realize a $2.5 billion windfall.
Schmidt ended December with 7.6 million Google shares, or a 2.3 percent stake in the Mountain View, Calif., company.
Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the only company executives who own more stock than Schmidt. Page controls an 8.7 percent stake and Brin holds an 8.5 percent stake.
The 57-year-old Schmidt was Google’s CEO for a decade before turning over the job to Page in April 2011.
Major shareholder balks at deal to sell Dell
SAN FRANCISCO – Dell Inc.’s decision to sell itself for $24.4 billion to a group led by its founder and CEO is being ridiculed as a rotten deal by a major shareholder who estimates the slumping personal computer maker is really worth $42 billion.
In a letter to Dell’s board of directors, Southeastern CEO O. Mason Hawkins threatened to lead a shareholder mutiny unless the company came up with an alternative to the deal announced earlier this week.
Under Dell’s proposal, Southeastern and other stockholders will be paid $13.65 per share to leave the company in control of Michael Dell, who founded the business in his University of Texas dorm room in 1984.
Hawkins derided the price of the proposed sale as “woefully inadequate” and laid out a scenario that values Dell at $23.72 per share, or about $42 billion.
Southeastern would lose about $270 million on its Dell holdings if the company is sold at $13.65 per share.
Coffee rust brews farming emergency
GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemala’s president has declared a national emergency over the spread of coffee rust, a fungus that is affecting 70 percent of the country’s crop.
President Otto Molina Perez also has ordered the release of more than $14 million to aid coffee growers.
He says the funds are aimed at helping 60,000 small farmers to buy pesticides and to teach them how to prevent the disease and stop it from spreading.
Coffee rust is currently affecting plantations in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica.
Bolivar to be devalued after Carnival
CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela’s government announced Friday that it is devaluing the country’s currency, a long-anticipated change expected to push up prices in the heavily import-reliant economy.
Officials said the fixed exchange rate is changing from 4.30 bolivars to the dollar to 6.30 bolivars to the dollar.
The devaluation had been widely expected by analysts in recent months.
It was the first devaluation to be announced by Hugo Chavez’s government since 2010, and it brought down the official value of the bolivar by 46.5 percent against the dollar. By boosting the bolivar value of Venezuela’s dollar-denominated oil sales, the change is expected to help alleviate a difficult budget outlook for the government, which has turned increasingly to borrowing to meet its spending obligations.
Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said the new rate will take effect Wednesday, after the two-day holiday of Carnival.