Like Pizza for ChocolateKraft ( KFT) is being anything but crafty in its latest maneuver to buy Cadbury ( CBY). But don't take our word for it, just ring up Warren Buffett. In yet another twist to the long running saga, Kraft announced this week its plan to sell its North American frozen pizza business to Nestle for $3.7 billion. Kraft said it plans to use the proceeds to raise the cash share of its $16.4 billion bid for British candy maker Cadbury. Boy, those two companies must have bonded over some late night pizza negotiations, because Nestle also conveniently declared it is not interested in acquiring Cadbury on Tuesday. That leaves Hershey ( HSY) without a potential partner and Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld with a Jan. 19 deadline to raise her bid.
Beazer's New GlutA glut of unsold homes drove shares of Beazer ( BZH) as low as 24 cents a share last year. Now the homebuilder is trying to drown itself in a sea of stock. Beazer's stock price collapsed by nearly 12% to just under $5 on Wednesday morning, a day after the company stated its plans to offer 18 million common shares. Beazer investors afraid of massive dilution ran for the exits as a secondary offering of that size would boost the total outstanding shares in Beazer by approximately 45%. Certainly not the best way to start the new year, now is it guys?
Google's Nexus NonsenseGoogle ( GOOG) is looking to ring up big sales with its new Nexus One "superphone." Sadly, the company's first call may be to its attorneys. According to The Wall Street Journal, the family members of science-fiction author Philip K. Dick are charging that the name of Google's phone infringes on one of Mr. Dick's best-selling 1968 novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" The book later served as the basis for the 1982 cult film "Blade Runner," which followed a bounty hunter played by Harrison Ford chasing androids called "Nexus-6 models." "Our legal team is dealing head-on with this," said Isa Dick Hackett, a daughter of Mr. Dick and the CEO of Electric Shepherd Productions, an arm of the Dick estate devoted to adapting the late author's works.
Levin's Guilt TripPack your bags, all you failed CEOs out there. Jerry Levin wants to take you on a guilt trip. Levin, who disastrously sold Time Warner ( TWX) for inflated AOL shares a decade ago, marked the anniversary of the devastating $164 billion deal with a call for today's disgraced corporate titans to join him in accepting responsibility for their own debacles. The former Time Warner CEO issued this request, as well as a long awaited apology to devastated shareholders, in a CNBC appearance on Monday. "I presided over the worst deal of the century, apparently, and I guess it's time for those who are involved in companies to stand up and say: you know what, I'm solely responsible for it," said Levin, who now runs a new age healing center in California with his wife.