business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • Procter & Gamble Co. announced that it will spend $1.8 billion to acquire the 20 percent of a Chinese joint venture, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., that it doesn't already own. Hutchison Whampoa sells a broad range of P&G products in China including shampoo and conditioners, laundry detergents, toothpaste, facial moisturizers and feminine-care and baby-care items.

    The move by P&G comes earlier than most analysts expected; originally, P&G was believed to be likely to make the purchase sometime between 2006 and 2017, but the company said that the price was only going to get more expensive.

  • The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) says that attendance at its just-concluded annual show in Chicago was up about 55 percent over a year ago, owing in part to the co-location of other shows at the same time and place.

    Some 34,000 people attended the show, according to FMI.

  • A Michigan judge has ruled that six former Kmart executives accused in a lawsuit of essentially plundering and mismanaging the company while it descended into bankruptcy, including former CEO Charles Conaway, won’t have to face a jury.

    The judge ordered the case to binding arbitration, ruling that the executives’ employment contracts prevented a jury trial.

KC's View:
Too bad about the jury trial. If nothing else, we were hoping for tremendous damages against a bunch of guys who clearly put their own interests ahead of their company, ahead of their employees, ahead of their shareholders.