Business notes


Cliffs takeover of Alphacalled off, companies say

Cliffs Natural Resources' proposed $2.7 billion takeover of coal producer Alpha Natural Resources has been called off, the companies said Monday.

Terminating the deal is in the best interest of shareholders because of the faltering U.S. economy, uncertainty in the steel industry and other factors, the companies said in a joint news release. Cliffs agreed to pay Alpha a $70 million breakup fee. In turn, Alpha, which operates a division in Kentucky, agreed to drop a lawsuit filed against Cliffs for unilaterally delaying a shareholder vote on the proposed acquisition.

Alpha spokesman Ted Pile said the deal never overcame opposition from hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners.

Massey buying more coal reserves

Mine operator Massey Energy Co. is buying more coal reserves. The Richmond, Va.-based company said Monday it has acquired 14.4 million tons of coal reserves from security firm The Brink's Co. Massey says it's also agreed in principle to buy another 32 million tons of reserves from Richmond, Va.-based Brink's. Massey says it's paying $10 million in cash and assuming approximately $5 million in liabilities, including reclamation costs. Massey says the reserves are located near its Knox Creek mining complex in Virginia and Bandmill and Logan County operations in West Virginia. Massey also operates mines in Kentucky.


Yahoo co-founder stepping down

Yahoo Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang is stepping down as chief executive, ending a rocky reign marked by his refusal to sell the Internet company to Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion, more than triple Yahoo's current market value. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said it is interviewing candidates inside and outside Yahoo in a search led by its chairman, Roy Bostock, and the executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles. Yang, who started Yahoo with Stanford University classmate David Filo in 1994, will remain on Yahoo's board of directors.

UPS won't make busiest-day outlook

Weak October retail sales and the uncertainty of the upcoming holiday season amid the worst financial crisis to hit the United States in decades have prompted shipping giant UPS Inc. not to release a projection for the amount of packages it expects to deliver on its busiest day of the year. It's the first year since the world's largest shipping carrier went public in 1999 that it won't be making a projection for its peak shipping day, spokesman Norman Black said.

Kodak alleges patent infringement

Eastman Kodak Co. said Monday it is suing South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. for infringing various digital-camera patents it obtained between 1993 and 2001. The photography products company alleges that camera phones made by the Seoul-based electronics companies and their U.S. subsidiaries violate patents on its inventions related to image capture, compression and data storage, and a method for previewing motion images.

Target vows to cut prices

Target Corp. said Monday it will aggressively cut prices to give consumers bargains during the holiday season, even as weak sales of its apparel and home offerings led third-quarter earnings to fall 24 percent. The discount retailer also said sales in established stores have been weak so far in November, and if that persists it expects fourth-quarter earnings below analyst expectations.

Lowe's posts earnings of 33 cents a share

Lowe's Cos. Inc. posted better-than-expected third-quarter results Monday, even as profit slid more than 24 percent because shoppers postponed big-ticket purchases amid growing economic uncertainty. The nation's No. 2 home improvement chain said it earned $488 million, or 33 cents per share during the three months ending Oct. 31 — down from $643 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.

Industrial output increases

Industrial output posted a bigger-than-expected rebound in October after plunging in September by the largest amount in over 60 years. The Federal Reserve said Monday that industrial output rose 1.3 percent last month, reflecting a return to more normal operations after hurricanes and a strike at aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. the previous month. The 1.3 percent increase in October was bigger than the 0.2 percent rise that economists expected, but the September decline was worse than the 2.8 percent drop originally reported.

Oil prices fall below $56

Oil prices fell below $56 Monday, and gasoline futures plunged to a new low as Japan joined a number of European nations in recession and provided even more evidence of a broad deterioration in demand for energy.


Iceland seeks $6 billion in loans

Iceland moved to secure $6 billion in loans to refloat its collapsed financial system as Britain said Monday it would welcome a government promise to guarantee its citizens' deposits in collapsed internet bank Icesave. The International Monetary Fund agreed last month to lend Iceland $2.1 billion and help the country raise $3.9 billion worth of loans from other countries. But approval stalled because Britain argued that Iceland needed to first pay back its citizens' deposits in collapsed banks

Staff, wire reports