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Minyanville's Business Briefs Exposed: Pfizer, Payless ShoeSource, Sharper Image...


Business briefs from a uniquely Minyanville perspective...


Don't Forget To Brush!

Outback Steakhouse's founders and their private-equity backers officially raised their takeover offer to $41.15 from $40 a share after stockholders complained that the original price was too low. The deal was sealed when a representative from Bain Capital, one of the buyout partners, accepted - and met - a challenge to eat sixteen Bloomin' Onions in eight minutes, breaking the old record by four onions.

If the Shoe Fits...

Payless ShoeSource
(PSS) will acquire Stride Rite for $800 million in cash, in an attempt to create a more upscale image for the discount retailer. Consumer reaction has been mixed, ranging from, "Jeez, where am I going to get my ill-fitting, plasticky, unfashionable footwear now?" to "Oh."

Drama King

(PFE) CEO Jeffrey Kindler has announced leadership changes in the research and finance departments, an act the Wall Street Journal has termed Kindler's "most dramatic move yet." Insiders dispute the story, saying that Kindler has always had a taste for the dramatic; regularly conducting meetings dressed as the Phantom of the Opera and dictating memos to his assistant in a breathy falsetto.

Mmm, Mmm, Profits!

Campbell's Soup has announced that its fiscal third-quarter profit rose 31%, describing its soup sales as "robust." Campbell's further went on to call its quarter "bold and hearty," "well-balanced," and one that "ate like a meal."

Watch This! No Really, Watch This!!!

The major television networks have begun experimenting with ways to hold viewers' attention during commercials, a tremendous concern for advertisers. Some techniques that have been tested so far: duct taping viewer's legs and mid-sections to their seats, nailing their feet to the floor with three-inch masonry brads, and most effectively, assigning network representatives to stand over individual viewers and beat them with gravel-filled tube socks if they attempt to get up during breaks.

Such a Deal!

A North Korean cargo ship arrived in South Korean waters for the first time in 50 years, marking the beginning of thrice-weekly runs between the two countries. South Korea will export food and medical supplies to the North. Meanwhile, the North will send back insane, paranoid rhetoric, appalling human-rights violations, and pallets stacked high with outrageously hostile belligerence.

Oooh, That's Cold!

Chinese authorities are investigating whether two companies in Danyang have exported toothpaste tainted with diethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze. When asked what the poisonous chemical was doing in the toothpaste, the manager of one of the firms, Danyang City Success Household Chemical Company, said, "What a stupid question. It's there to prevent overheating and corrosion in cold climates."

Things Looking Rosy For Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae's
(SLM) CEO, Thomas Fitzpatrick, quit under pressure from private-equity firm J.C. Flowers, which believes Fitzpatrick's resignation will help reduce congressional opposition to SLM Corp.'s privatization. Other companies involved in pushing Fitzpatrick out the door included: 1-800-Flowers, Marie's Floral Designs, and Flowers n' Things of Carbondale, Illinois.

Just Sound It Out

British Airways PLC
has joined TPG Capital and investment groups Vista Capital de Expansión, Inversiones Ibersuizas SA, and Quercus Equity to "investigate a possible consortium offer" for Spanish carrier Iberia. In a statement, Iberia said it would refuse to entertain any bids from British Airways until it receives substantiated proof that Willie Walsh, BA's CEO, can properly pronounce "Inversiones," "Ibersuizas," and "Quercus."

But Wait...There's More!

Donald Trump announced a partnership with The Sharper Image (SHRP) to sell a line of steaks called Trump Steaks. Trump reportedly felt it was time to lend his name to businesses beyond real estate, TV shows, vodka, casinos, men's clothing, motivational speeches, fragrances, bottled water, magazines, online travel, ice cream parlors, mortgage lending, golf courses, and board games.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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