Canadian Tire will expand their demographics in sporting good sales through the purchase of Forzani’s.
Updated: Mon May. 09 2011 17:16:25
The Forzani Group has been bought by another Canadian retail giant for almost $800 million in a friendly, all-cash deal. Canadian Tire will spend over $771 million to acquire the Calgary-based company.
Forzani’s operates some of the best known sporting goods retailers in the country.
The deal will see Canadian Tire take control of Forzani Group Ltd. which includes Sport Check, Athlete’s World, Nevada Bob’s Golf, and other retailers.
The Forzani Group started as the Forzani’s Locker Room in 1974 with one small store in Calgary.
The brainchild of John Forzani, he says the idea for the store started because the Stampeders couldn’t get proper footwear.
Within twenty years the group became the largest sporting retailer in the country.
By ANUPREETA DAS And NICK WINGFIELD
Microsoft Corp. is close to a deal to buy Internet phone company Skype Technologies SA for more than $7 billion, and a deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said.
Negotiations were wrapping up Monday evening, and a deal could still fall apart, the people cautioned. Representatives for Microsoft and Skype declined to comment.
A deal represents Microsoft’s most aggressive move yet to play in the increasingly-converged worlds of communication, information and entertainment. Skype connects more than 663 million users around the world via Internet-based telephony and video, making it a key technology platform for a new generation of Web-savvy consumers. During 2010, those users made 207 billion minutes of voice and voice video calls over Skype.
Buying Skype would give Microsoft a recognized brand name on the Internet at a time when it is struggling to get more traction in the consumer market. The company has invested heavily in marketing and improving the technology of its Bing search engine. While it has made some market share gains over the past year, Google Inc. still dominates the search market with more than 65% of U.S. searches going through its site.
At a value over $7 billion, the Skype deal would rank at or near the top of the biggest acquisitions in the 36-year history of Microsoft, a company that traditionally has shied away from large deals. In 2007, Microsoft paid approximately $6 billion to acquire online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. Many current and former Microsoft executives believe Microsoft significantly overpaid for that deal. But they are also relieved that Microsoft gave up on an unsolicited $48 billion offer for Yahoo Inc. nearly three years ago. Yahoo is valued at half that sum today.
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, though, sees the Internet as an essential battleground for Microsoft, a company that still makes the vast bulk of its profits from Windows and Office software systems. Investors have become increasingly concerned about Microsoft’s ability to squeeze continued growth out of those businesses, as rival technologies from Apple, Google and others put more pressure on profits.
The Microsoft division behind the company’s hugely lucrative Office suite of applications also makes a product, known as Lync, which ties together email, instant messaging and voice communications into a single application. Skype could strengthen that offering.
The deal shows how far Skype has come since it was launched in 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, two men who had created a file-sharing technology called Kazaa that became widely associated with music piracy. While Skype was initially popular with techies, it increasingly worked its way into the mainstream by offering free or cheap phone calls which were especially appealing to international callers.
When EBay purchased the company in 2005 for $2.6 billion in cash and stock, Skype was regarded as something of an experiment, in which EBay’s buyers and sellers would use the service to communicate about potential transactions.
What were you thinking, Warren? At his shareholders’ meeting, the oracle will have to answer for his biggest management bungle.
Illustration by Thomas Fuchs
America has a way of elevating its heroes beyond the realm of mere mortals. This has not been an issue on Wall Street, where heroes do not exist. Warren Buffett has been the glaring exception. An Omahan who was not of Wall Street so much as above it and who spoke in cracker-barrel English derived more from Twain than from J. P. Morgan, he fulfilled (I once wrote) America’s secular myth. He was the man from the Plains whose virtue offered an antidote to the corrupt Northeast and to Wall Street in particular. It is a measure of his reputation that a radio interviewer asked me whether Buffett had, until late, behaved in a “near perfect” manner. No flesh and blood, examined up close, can meet such a standard. As the saying goes, “No man is a hero to his valet.” The David Sokol affair, in which an executive of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was caught in a serious ethical trespass, and in which Buffett failed to deliver a rebuke, has shown us a bit of the great man’s undergarments. The question for the 40,000 shareholders converging on Omaha for Saturday’s annual meeting (a.k.a. Buffett’s “capitalist Woodstock”) is whether the Sokol business tells us anything new, and perhaps dispiriting, about Buffett.
When I was writing a biography on Buffett, in the early ’90s, the trait that most distinguished him was his searing independence. Buffett was a brilliant, socially responsible investor, who engaged with the world only on his terms. He refused to be co-opted or recruited, whether with regard to stocks, philanthropy, or politics. His aloofness often caused associates to suffer disappointment. He zealously protected his time and his money; even his children suffered from the billionaire’s reserve. In a not atypical incident, he could barely lower his newspaper to listen to his teenage daughter’s tearful rendition of how she crashed his car. Friends described how Warren had rebuffed their requests for even small donations, and to causes with which the liberal billionaire sympathized. More fundamentally, associates yearned for a closer emotional connection.
Read the full Article at >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A Newsweek Site
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Alokozay Group, a Dubai-based conglomerate, is seeking approval to buy a bank in Afghanistan as authorities there try to restore confidence in the scandal-tainted financial industry.
The CEO of Alokozay’s Afghan operations said in an interview Sunday the family company sees “great potential” in the nation’s banking sector despite nearly a decade of war and the near collapse of the country’s largest private lender amid corruption problems last year.
“We want to bring in professionals and set up a bank that’s basically recognized worldwide,” Jalil Alokozay told The Associated Press. “If someone comes in and has a proper plan and empowers the professionals, then there are lots of opportunities here in Afghanistan.”
Read the full article:>>>>>> Dubai-based suitor eyes bank in Afghanistan – Business – TheChronicleHerald.ca.
Business owners who put out feelers for new projects should keep in mind that it can take a long time for something to happen — but when it does happen, things can move quickly. You’ll want to be ready.
That was the experience of Lesley Armstrong, founder and head of Armstrong Textiles, who has worked on several large-scale projects over the years. One time when the Dartmouth company was exhibiting at the Interior Design Show in Toronto, the architect for the 32-storey Telus building approached Armstrong about creating draperies.
“When a multimillion-dollar highrise is planned, it often takes several years before final details get discussed,” she says. “So you just go about your daily work and try to keep in touch.”
And keeping the machinery oiled is a good idea, Armstrong says.
“Often, when you get the call to proceed with the job, time can be tight, so you have to get in gear pretty quickly. If you have to work long days and seven days a week, that’s what you have to do to get the job done.”
As corporate recruiters and hiring managers turn to social networking websites to source and screen candidates for jobs, what constitutes illegal discrimination? Find out what information about job seekers gleaned from social networking websites you can and can’t factor into your hiring decisions in this Q&A with HR expert Jessica Miller-Merrell.
CIO — Social networking websites are fast becoming a staple of corporate recruiting. Depending on which studies you read, anywhere from 39 to 65 percent of companies use social networking websites to identify and screen potential candidates for open positions.
Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Ning have made it easier and cheaper for recruiters and hiring managers to access a vast and receptive talent pool, says Jessica Miller-Merrell, an HR consultant who specializes in social media. She notes that there are 600 million active users on Facebook alone who spend between six and 12 hours each month on the site.