Company news in brief

12 October 2021 | Business

Lenovo withdraws listing application

Lenovo Group Ltd saw its stock fall more than 17% yesterday, its biggest intraday decline in over a decade, after the Chinese technology giant withdrew its application for a 10 billion yuan (US$1.55 billion) share listing in Shanghai.

The world's biggest personal computer maker on Friday said it would withdraw its application, days after it had been accepted by Shanghai's STAR Market.

On Sunday, Lenovo said it had done so because of the possibility of the validity of financial information in its prospectus lapsing during the application's vetting. It did not detail reasons why the information may no longer be valid.

It also cited "relevant capital market conditions such as the latest circumstances in connection with the listing."

"The group's business operations are in good condition as usual. The withdrawal of the application is not expected to give rise to any adverse impact on the financial positions of the group," Hong Kong-listed Lenovo said in the Sunday statement. – Nampa/Reuters

Volkswagen to decide on plant in 2022

Europe's largest carmaker Volkswagen plans to decide in the first half of 2022 on the location for a planned battery cell plant in eastern Europe, it said yesterday.

Volkswagen earlier this year outlined plans to build six large battery cell factories across Europe by the end of the decade, with Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in the running for one of them to be opened in 2027.

The company said that it was still planning to firmly settle on a location for the plant in the first six months of next year and that it had not delayed the decision.

"As you know, what has to be taken into account for this decision are the country's respective conditions, the economic environment, the e-mobility strategy and the subsidy framework," a spokesperson for the company said.

The spokesperson said that Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and Thomas Schmall, board member in charge of technology, were visiting the Czech Republic yesterday for an exchange with its Skoda unit as well as on the country's electrification strategy. – Nampa/Reuters

Aramco taps banks for pipeline loan

Saudi Aramco has asked banks to arrange a loan expected to be in the US$12 billion-14 billion range that it plans to offer to buyers of its gas pipeline network, sources said, as the oil giant advances plans to raise funds from asset sales.

Aramco could raise at least US$17 billion from the sale of a significant minority stake in its gas pipelines, sources have previously told Reuters. The stake would be offered with a loan financing package already in place, worth about 80% of the price.

Banks that financed a US$12.4 billion acquisition of the company's oil pipelines earlier this year received a request for proposals from Aramco last week, said three sources familiar with the matter.

That deal, which included all of Aramco's existing and future stabilised crude pipelines, was backed by US$10.5 billion financing from a large group of banks including Citi, HSBC and JPMorgan.

Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new financing for gas pipelines. It is working with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs on the gas pipeline deal, sources have said. – Nampa/Reuters

Honeywell raises outlook

Honeywell International Inc on Sunday raised its outlook for business jet deliveries, as the aviation sector shakes off the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and travel picks up with easing restrictions.

The US industrial conglomerate forecast up to 7 400 new business jet deliveries worth US$238 billion from 2022 to 2031, up 1% from the same 10-year forecast a year ago.

Wealthy travellers wanting to fly with fewer people during the pandemic has put pressure on the availability of new corporate aircraft and led to a shortage of pre-owned business jets.

"The increased demand for used jets is estimated at more than 6 500 units over the next five years, putting pressure on an already record low inventory and driving additional demand for new jets," said Heath Patrick, president of Americas aftermarket for Honeywell Aerospace. – Nampa/Reuters

Carrefour, Auchan end deal talks

French retailers Carrefour and Auchan have ended exploratory talks over a possible partnership, a source close to the matter said yesterday, adding that a potential equity deal had looked too complex in terms of valuation and structure.

The discussions, which started in the spring, reviewed various scenarios ranging from equity tie-ups to asset swaps and technological partnerships, the source said.

It was unclear at this stage if there was potential for talks to be revived.

Carrefour said in June it had started considering possible consolidation, divestitures or tie-ups of its foreign subsidiaries, but had not made a decision to sell any assets.

In January, Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard dropped its 16.2 billion euro bid for Carrefour after the French government opposed the deal, citing food security concerns. – Nampa/Reuters

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