FAST FACTS HAWAII
Nymex Holdings to sell more shares
NEW YORK » The New York Mercantile Exchange, the world's largest energy market, yesterday took the first step in a share sale that would allow its owners to unwind positions at a steep profit.
Nymex Holdings Inc. shares have more than doubled since the company went public on Nov. 16, when fewer than 10 percent of its outstanding stock was floated. However, the exchange's 816 seat-holders -- the members, traders, and investors who control more than 60 million shares -- have been restricted as to when they could unload their stakes.
The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday signaled that the Nymex is ready to increase the amount of stock traded publicly. This secondary offering could free up billions of dollars worth of stock held by owners sooner than anticipated.
Nymex said it had yet to determine how many shares would be released in the secondary offering.
United and pilots in work-rule deal
CHICAGO » United Airlines parent UAL Corp.
reached an agreement with its pilots union that gives the world's second-largest carrier staffing flexibility and the pilots better working conditions.
UAL and its chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association are close to finishing the final language on the agreement, the union said.
The union has demanded the airline renegotiate contract terms as UAL posted consecutive quarterly profits after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy Feb. 1. The pilots took pay cuts of 40 percent and allowed the airline to terminate their pension plan to help the carrier survive.
The contract changes, if approved by the union's 7,000 active pilots, raise the minimum number of hours pilots must fly a month and lowers the maximum, the union said.
In exchange, the pilots will see improvements in "key quality of life issues" said United spokeswoman Jean Medina.
Caremark-CVS breakup fee upheld
WILMINGTON, Del. » A Delaware judge yesterday refused to invalidate a $675 million breakup fee aimed at protecting the proposed acquisition of pharmacy benefits manager Caremark Rx Inc.
by drugstore giant CVS Corp.
The ruling by Chancellor William B. Chandler III helps clear the way for shareholder votes to approve the deal.
Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS, the nation's largest retail pharmacy chain, announced Nov. 1 that it planned to acquire Nashville-based Caremark for about $21.2 billion in stock.
Attorneys for rival benefits manager Express Scripts Inc. and two Caremark institutional shareholders had argued that Caremark directors had failed to negotiate the best deal for their shareholders, and that the proposal contained unfair protection measures aimed at dissuading other bidders for Caremark.
Sony offers freebies with PlayStation 3s
TOKYO » Sony is giving away freebies to woo buyers to the new PlayStation 3 video game machine whose hefty price appears to be scaring away shoppers.
The latest giveaway from the Japanese electronics and entertainment company is being promised for the Australia launch for the PlayStation 3 set for March 23 -- a Blu-ray Disc version of the Sony Pictures James Bond movie "Casino Royale," for the first 20,000 buyers.
Tokyo-based Sony Corp. has long had a proprietary reputation, and the flurry of free entertainment content doled out with the PlayStation 3 seems a bit out of character.
"They have to sweeten the deal a little bit," said Hiroshi Kamide, director of research at KBC Securities Japan in Tokyo. "The problem with the product so far is that no one has fully understood why it's so expensive."