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Business news briefs — Nov. 15

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TIRE & RUBBER

Cooper court case continues

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. won expedited status for its appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court seeking to get Apollo Tyres Ltd. to complete a buyout at $35 a share, with arguments set for Dec. 19. The justices said Friday that preliminary briefings are to be completed by Dec. 16, and the hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. three days later in Dover, Del.

Apollo told the justices in a filing earlier that there was no need to fast-track the appeal. A Delaware Chancery Court judge ruled Nov. 8 that all contract conditions hadn’t been met, and that he couldn’t force Apollo, which seeks a lower price, to complete the $2.5 billion buyout. Cooper appealed and asked the state’s top court to rule by Dec. 31.

RESTRUCTURING

Health unit could go solo

Kimberly-Clark Corp., the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers, plans to spin off its health-care business, leaving management to focus on its consumer and professional brands. The tax-free deal would create a stand-alone, publicly traded company with about $1.6 billion in annual sales, Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark said.

The unit that would be separated makes products such as sterile wraps, surgical face masks and catheters. About 70 percent of its sales last year were in North America, with most of the rest in Europe and Asia. In the third quarter, revenue rose after the division posted declines in the previous four quarters.

GAMBLING

Banks balk at payments

Just as legal online gambling gets started in the United States, banks and payment processors are refusing to play. Credit-card issuers Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and American Express Co., along with eBay Inc.’s PayPal, aren’t allowing the transactions, according to the companies. Delaware and Nevada permit Internet wagering, with New Jersey poised to become the third and biggest state on Nov. 26.

The rejections threaten a nascent business with the potential to reach $7.4 billion in annual revenue in four years, the estimate of researcher H2 Gambling Capital. Some Visa and MasterCard issuers have concerns over potential liability for underage wagering or other violations, according to the American Bankers Association. American Express and PayPal say they don’t process gambling transactions of any kind.

VIDEO

Comcast plans to sell movies

The nation’s largest cable television company, Comcast Corp., plans to begin selling movies over its cable service before the end of the year. Bloomberg News reported the move would provide a new way for Comcast and Hollywood studios to make money.

Film sales would add to Comcast’s on-demand service, which currently lets viewers rent movies, not own them. Comcast reportedly is working with all the major studios, including 21st Century Fox, Time Warner’s Warner Bros. and its own Universal Pictures.

By joining with cable providers, studios could sell movies directly to pay-TV viewers at prices close to traditional DVDs, about $15 and $20 apiece. Films would become available a few weeks before they’re released on DVD, the person said.

PUBLISHING

Forbes Media explores sale

Forbes Media LLC, the closely held publisher run by former U.S. presidential candidate Steve Forbes, is exploring its options after receiving interest from potential buyers.

The New York-based publisher of 96-year-old Forbes magazine and operator of the website Forbes.com said it is working with Deutsche Bank AG on the sale, according to a memo sent to the company’s employees. Forbes is seeking at least $400 million, Bloomberg News reported.

LEGAL

Chase to pay fine

JPMorgan Chase & Co. says it has reached a $4.5 billion settlement with investors over mortgage-backed securities.

The settlement includes 21 major institutional investors. The mortgage-backed securities were issued by JPMorgan and Bear Stearns between 2005 and 2008. JPMorgan acquired the failing investment bank Bear Stearns in March 2008.

Compiled from staff and wire reports


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