Aker Philadelphia Shipyard has entered into a loan agreement with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation (Cat Finance) to increase its line of credit to $150 million. Under the agreement, Cat Finance will fund up to $80 million per ship for the construction cost of seven consecutive product tankers, valuing the agreement at $560 million.
|Today in our manufacturing news we feature a press release from Africa and how the introduction of a new marine based Fibre Optic Cable will not only provide bandwidth capaciity but it may result in over capacity. For full press details please read on: Fibre Optic Cable will create overcapacity in East African bandwidth|
There is growing concern among western telecommunication experts that the planned marine-based fibre-optic cable link could come at a high price to the service provider. Despite the latest news carried in the Daily Nation’s sister paper, The East African this week – that the Government had turned down a proposal by the US company Seacom for a joint venture in the regional project – there remains four groups bidding to participate. (see report yesterday). East Africa is the only region in the world not yet connected to the global broadband network, and hence Internet connection in the region is notoriously poor. But the respected Financial Times newspaper, in a special report on the issue, said that in the medium to long term, the establishment of a fiber optic cable could bring problems for an eventual provider. “Some prospective investors worry that East Africa could swing from being starved of bandwidth to having a glut,” the FT report says. “Seacom alone is expected to add 640 gigabites of bandwidth, yet Kenya today uses a mere 1.2 gigabites. “Sceptics say the African projects risk repeating errors made during the Internet bubble (in the UK), when over capacity and intense price competition forced several groups with rival transatlantic cables into bankruptcy.” Seacom has said its cable will be operational by 2009 while the Kenyan government says that its shorter cable will be completed by the middle of next year. The East African report says that the U.S. company is ahead of all the others, having signed an engineering procurement contract. If they are the first providers of broadband to Kenya they are likely to have a distinct advantage, making it difficult for other companies to compete.
|Today in our communication news we feature a very interesting article from the News Corporation which features in the Times newspaper. A newspaper that they own. They are wanting to swap the Myspace web-site along with other digital assets, for a 25% share in the on-line giant Yahoo (which is approximately $12 billion), while this would give Yahoo the opportunity to try and catch up on Google. However the fact that Facebook the Number two in the social networking web-sites is gaining ground could also prove to be a problem. Never the less Rupert Murdoch is certainly going ot get a large return in his investement for purchasing myspace back in 2005. For full press article please read on:
News Corp explores swap of MySpace site for Yahoo
News Corporation has discussed swapping MySpace, its internet social networking unit, with Yahoo! in return for a 25 per cent stake in the enlarged group. The discussions remain tentative and could collapse after the departure of Terry Semel as Yahoo!’s chief executive and his replacement by Jerry Yang this week. Mr Yang, co-founder of Yahoo! and incoming chief executive, yesterday pledged to “dig in” to his new role, and acknowledged the difficult task he faces to arrest the decline in the internet portal’s shares.
News Corp, the parent company of The Times, is interested in a deal even if it means losing some control of MySpace because it would give the media group exposure to a far larger internet-based business.
Other News Corp digital assets, including the games network IGN, bought in 2005 for $650 million (£326 million), are also thought to have been offered to Yahoo!.
Yesterday Yahoo! was worth $37 billion. A quarter stake in an enlarged company would be worth $12.3 billion.
It is not clear whether Yahoo! was willing to accept the terms offered, even though it has been eager to break into social networking to catch up with Google. Yahoo! tried and failed to buy Facebook, the No 2 social networking site, for $1 billion last year.
A News Corp source said that Rupert Murdoch, the company’s chairman and chief executive, remained committed to the internet, although he has conceded in an aside in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal that the privately owned Facebook was gaining ground. Asked whether newspaper readers were drifting off to MySpace, Mr Murdoch joked: “I wish they were.
They’re all going to Facebook at the moment.”
The revelation of discussions with Yahoo! over MySpace comes as News Corp is pursuing a $5 billion bid for Dow Jones. Although Dow is best known for publishing The Wall Street Journal, News Corp believes financial information is a fast-growing digital business.
Meanwhile, Pearson, owner of the Financial Times, is in initial discussions with General Electric, owner of the NBC Universal media group, about a possible counterbid for Dow. Pearson and GE would, respectively, inject the FT and CNBC into an enlarged Dow, and take 45 per cent each, leaving Dow’s Bancroft family with a tenth.
The idea is to commit no capital from Pearson, a deal that could appeal to some shareholders unwilling to see the British company go head-to-head with News Corp with its own cash-based bid. Yesterday shareholders privately expressed support for Richard Buxton, of Schroders, who indicated he did not want to see a cash bid, but would be willing to look at a paper-based deal.
Separately, News Corp is hoping to raise $400 million by selling a quarter stake in its outdoor advertising business, operated out of Moscow and specialising in emerging markets.