privatization

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Food Fight! Tomato Throwers Unload in Spain

Annual Spanish fiesta takes place amid local pols' objections about privatization

(Newser) - Corruption, alleged sweetheart deals, political infighting—exactly what you'd expect from a Spanish festival in which scantily clad participants gulp down sangria and paella and hurl tomatoes at each other. The annual Tomatina fiesta—sometimes referred to as the "world's biggest food fight"—took place today... More »

Dell Going Private in $24B Move

Founder looks to overhaul 30-year-old firm

(Newser) - Dell has reached a deal to go private, the company has announced. Shareholders will receive some $13.65 per share in a $24 billion deal, the New York Times reports, which marks a 25% premium over Dell's January share price. The privatization deal with Microsoft and private equity company... More »

Don't Be Duped By Privatization Proponents

Gail Collins reels off 'privatization disasters'

(Newser) - There's been a lot of talk about the benefits of privatization lately—particularly from Mitt Romney, who has appeared sympathetic to those who'd privatize Medicare, veterans' health care, and even public schools, via vouchers. "Birds do it. Bees do it. Even Harvard PhD’s do it,"... More »

Austria Yanks Alpine Peaks Off Market

Selling Alps is 'selling nation's soul,' say critics

(Newser) - The hills are still alive for the public. Austria has decided to yank prime real estate off the market after residents screamed about the nation's plans to auction off two alpine peaks. "We have suspended the sale to evaluate alternative possibilities," said a spokesman for the agency... More »

House GOP Eyes Medicare Privatization

Voucher plan would apply to those 54 and under

(Newser) - House Republicans slammed Democrats for making cuts to Medicare, but now the GOP is mulling a renewed effort to privatize the program, the AP reports. House budget leader Paul Ryan is assessing support for his voucher-based system, in which the government would give seniors a fixed payment; they’d then... More »

Dems Should Be Scared of This Man—and His Budget

Rep. Paul Ryan is offering a way to avoid deficit disaster

(Newser) - President Obama's outreach to the GOP is looking pretty hollow these days: Soon after Obama told Rep. Paul Ryan that there were some aspects of his budget blueprint he agreed with, Democratic lawmakers and progressive groups slammed the radical plan as a vicious, privatizing assault on Social Security and Medicare,... More »

Wanna Buy the Chunnel? Get it Now From Slash Gordon

Brown mounts $25.3B asset sale, including underwater rail link

(Newser) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is launching a massive $25.3 billion sell-off of Britain's assets, ranging from student loans to the Chunnel linking England and France, in order to reduce record deficits and maintain public expenditures. As the British election draws nearer, the Labor Party is attempting to burnish... More »

Privatize Abortion Funding to Save Health Care Reform

Independent fund could finance procedures, diffuse criticisms of govt. plan

(Newser) - Abortion threatens to derail the push for health care reform, as opponents use the prospect of subsidized procedures to turn pro-life Americans against the whole plan, writes Meredith Simmons for Slate. Progressives are indignant—abortion is a health procedure, they argue, and should be covered like any other. But excluding... More »

Lehman Bros. Pondering Privatization

Its stock in downward spiral, ailing firm looks to stave off scavengers

(Newser) - Lehman Brothers’ CEO is considering ways for the company to privatize itself, the New York Post reports. The financial-services firm has seen its share price fall 79% this year—including 15% yesterday—and Richard Fuld is hoping to ward off bargain-hunters. "The idea is why sell to someone else... More »

Social Security Reform Dicey for McCain

GOP candidate talks up privatization; Dems promise stiff opposition

(Newser) - John McCain has opened a political can of worms by embracing the polarizing issue of privatizing social security, the Los Angeles Times reports. McCain says making young workers pay into a plan unlikely to benefit them is a "disgrace." Counters a rep for one group planning to fight... More »

Senate Moves to Privatize Anemic Restaurants

Move takes money- losing subpar eateries off the taxpayer dime

(Newser) - The Senate has voted to privatize its restaurants after decades of losing money, the Washington Post reports. The decision comes after much wrangling among Democrats, split between the $250,000 taxpayer subsidy that keeps the restaurants afloat and the lower wages workers would receive. “You cannot stand on the... More »

$19B Buyout of Clear Channel Nearly Dead

Credit woes have sale of radio giant to private firms crumbling

(Newser) - A $19 billion bid to privatize Clear Channel appears likely to fall through as buyers and financiers bicker—with credit-crunch-induced liquidity woes a major stumbling block, the Wall Street Journal reports. A credit agreement between private equity firms and the banks funding the move has become shaky. “No one... More »

More US Troops Outfitting Themselves for Combat

With slow supply chain—and style—among concerns, market grows to $150M annually

(Newser) - US troops are increasingly augmenting their military-issue gear with higher-end commercial products to gain an extra edge—and look sharp, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The military has encouraged the trend, perhaps in response to the equipment shortages that have dogged the Iraq and Afghanistan war efforts, loosening procurement rules... More »

Hit the Road, Jack—or You Can Lease It

Critics balk as states privatize highways to raise capital

(Newser) - Cruising the Goldman Sachs Turnpike might not be as futuristic as it seems, Time reports, as more states lease highways to private companies to raise quick cash for infrastructure needs. And backlash didn't stop Indiana from grabbing $3.8 billion for a 75-year lease on the Indiana Toll Road. States... More »

Shareholders OK Tribune Takeover

But analysts say Zell's bid should be lowered

(Newser) - The Tribune Co.’s shareholders approved Sam Zell's $8.2 billion takeover today, nudging the publisher one step closer to private ownership. But some analysts remain skeptical that the deal will go through as planned—the company’s declining profitability since the April announcement has triggered speculation that the... More »

Blackstone Books Hilton For $26B

Offer represents 40% premium; chain to stick to hotel management

(Newser) - Blackstone moved to expand its hotel portfolio in a big way late today, making a deal to take Hilton private for $26 billion, including $7.5 billion in debt. The $47.50 per share offer, 40% more than yesterday's close, turned the head of the chain's CEO, who called it... More »

BCE Agrees to Landmark LBO

Ontario teachers' retirement fund lines up largest Canadian takeover ever

(Newser) - Canada's dominant telecom company will go private in the country's biggest takeover ever, and one of the largest LBOs in the world. A powerful teachers' retirement fund and two American private-equity firms made a deal yesterday for CBE, also known as Bell Canada. The $48.5 billion (C$51.7 billion)... More »

Wendy's on Block as Stale Sales Sink Earnings

High beef prices, tough competition take toll

(Newser) - Wendy's is looking for buyers as the hamburger chain's earnings and market share plummet. Aggressive competition from McDonald's and Burger King as well as soaring beef and dairy prices have taken a  big bite out of Wendy's bottom line, the Wall Street Journal reports. More »

Gambling Firm Agrees to Buyout

Penn National Gaming changes hands for $8.9B

(Newser) - The casino-operator buyout spree continued today as Penn National Gaming agreed to be acquired by two private-equity firms for $8.9 billion. The deal, which allows the company to solicit bids for 45 days, includes $2.8 billion in debt. News of the $67-a-share offer, a 31% premium over yesterday's... More »

Hot LBO Market Takes Hit

As big-time deals struggle to manage debt, beware the Trojan piggy bank

(Newser) - The red-hot market for LBOs may be hitting a long-awaited rough patch. Several big deals—including Apollo's $1.3 billion Linens 'n Things buy and the multigroup $17.6 billion acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor Holdings—have turned sour, with the companies struggling to generate enough cash to pay down debt... More »

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