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New bidders may push price for Dell higher

Michael Dell may have to hike the price he’s willing to pay if he wants to take the computer company he founded private, thanks to competition from two new bidders.

A special committee of independent Dell Inc. directors said Monday that it will negotiate with buyout specialist Blackstone Group and activist investor Carl Icahn over bids that rival an offer of more than $24 billion from Dell, the CEO and chairman, and Silver Lake Partners.

The committee has determined that the bids could be superior to the proposal from Dell and Silver Lake, which amounts to $13.65 per share.

Policies aiding growth globally, Bernanke says

WASHINGTON – Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday that the Federal Reserve’s low-interest-rate policies are helping to boost growth around the world, rejecting criticism that they could lead to a global currency war.

In a speech at the London School of Economics, Bernanke staunchly defended the Fed’s policies and similar stimulus efforts pursued by other central banks since the 2008 financial crisis.

Last week the Fed stood by its policies to keep borrowing costs at record lows, saying the U.S. economy still required the support to help lower high unemployment.

OneTouch VerioIQ diabetic meters recalled

Johnson & Johnson is recalling all its OneTouch VerioIQ blood glucose meters in the U.S. because they do not provide a warning when a diabetic’s blood sugar level is dangerously high. Instead, at a certain sugar level, the meters turn off or display an inaccurate reading.

The meters are made by J&J’s LifeScan unit, which will issue a free replacement meter to all patients.

Carbonated drinks slip again with consumers

Americans’ consumption of fizzy soft drinks, on the decline since 2005, fell last year to its lowest level since 1996. If it weren’t for increasingly popular energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull, the decline would have been worse.

That’s according to Beverage Digest, an industry newsletter.

The trade journal also found that the pace of decline for carbonated beverages has sped up – down 1.2 percent last year compared with a 1 percent drop in 2011, and a 0.5 percent drop in 2010.

Brazil supermarkets to reject Amazon meat

BRASILIA, Brazil – A group representing Brazil’s supermarkets says its members are pledging to avoid selling meat from cattle raised in the Amazon rainforest.

The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets signed an agreement Monday with the Federal Public Prosecutor’s office to reject meat from areas of the Amazon where illegal activities such as logging or the invasion of public lands take place.

Under the deal, the group will share with its estimated 2,800 members the best practices for avoiding meat raised in the Amazon.

Most of the Amazon region is inside Brazilian territory, and authorities here are fighting to curb deforestation that has turned huge swaths of the forest into pastureland and soy plantations.

Best Buy co-founder back, in emeritus role

MINNEAPOLIS – Best Buy co-founder and former chairman Richard Schulze is returning to the Best Buy fold as chairman emeritus.

The move comes after Schulze considered making a buyout bid for the electronics retailer but never made a formal offer.

Best Buy has been working to turn around its results as it faces tough competition.


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