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Minyanville's Business Briefs Exposed: Wendy's, JetBlue, DaimlerChrysler...


Business Briefs from a uniquely Minyanville perspective.

The largest institutional shareholder of Wendy's International (WEN) is urging the hamburger chain to sell itself to the highest bidder, according to the Wall Street Journal. Market insiders say a Wendy's sale could fetch as many as 200-245 million Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers, or the equivalent of 145-180 million Original Chocolate Frosty's.

Purdue Pharma
, the manufacturer of the potent painkiller OxyContin, and three current and former executives at the company yesterday pleaded guilty to falsely marketing the drug in a way that played down its addictive properties, prosecutors said. In a statement following the plea, the company admitted that perhaps they made an error when they claimed that OxyContin was "just like Tic Tacs but with less sugar, and not so much for bad breath as for massive and unbearable pain."

DaimlerChrysler AG's (DCX) Chrysler group is recalling 270,958 2005 minivans sold in the United States. The company said the recall had absolutely nothing to do with safety or mechanical issues. "We just wanted to take a closer look at some of the vehicles we've actually sold to see what we did right."

Three months after canceling almost 1,700 flights and stranding more than 130,000 passengers because of winter storms, JetBlue Airways Corp.'s (JBLU) board announced it is replacing founder David Neeleman as chief executive. The board said the departure of Neeleman was originally scheduled for February 17, but was delayed until this week due to unusual weather conditions in the Northeast and pending the arrival of an inbound aircraft from Tampa.

Under a preliminary agreement with the Department of Justice, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) said it would plead guilty to two counts of making false statements to a federal agency regarding the drug maker's efforts to preserve a lucrative monopoly on its anti-clotting drug Plavix. Martha Stewart quickly prepared a statement, in which she said, "Ripoff artists! Doesn't anyone have an original thought anymore? Making false statements to federal agencies is a total copy of my idea."

Joost, a start-up that delivers TV programming over the Internet, said it received $45 million in financing from venture capitalists and companies including CBS Corp. (CBS-A) and Viacom (VIA). When asked why they named the company Joost, a spokesman said, "We wanted to steer clear of confusing, hard-to-pronounce names like YouTube or Google Video."

Oleg Deripaska, a controversial Russian aluminum magnate with reported ties to organized crime, plans to buy a $1.54 billion stake in Magna International Inc. (MGA), a Canadian company that is also a leading candidate to bid for Chrysler. "This is a perfect opportunity for us," said Magna's CEO. "We get Chrysler, and if they don't perform, Oleg and his boy Sergei start busting heads. A dead fish or two in the CFO's mailbox and we're looking at record profits."
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