Monday headlines include: Kinder Morgan combining units, Amazon halting pre-orders of some Disney titles, Chinese regulators looking into a Shenzen Walmart, a judge rejecting a settlement proposed by Apple, Google and others, and reports that ConAgra's CEO plans to step down.
Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan ( KMI ) announced Sunday that it plans to combined all of its various publically traded businesses into one unit. The $70 billion transaction is reportedly designed to respond to shareholder concerns about the company's prospects for growth and convoluted structure. The deal will involve shedding the Master Limited Partnership status of a number of units and combining all of the company's operations into one $92 billion company organized as a C corporation. The combined company will have $92 billion in market capitalization. The companies being rolled together include Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP ), Kinder Morgan Management ( KMP ) and El Paso Pipeline Partners ( EPB ).
Online retail giant Amazon ( AMZN ) has halted preorders of some Disney movies in what appears to be a contract dispute. "Maleficent" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" were among the titles that were unavailable for pre-order on Sunday, at least for physical copies, digital orders were still available. Amazon and Disney ( DIS ) did not comment on the issue.
Regulators in China are investigating a particular Walmart (WMT) store in Shenzen for reportedly violating food-safety regulators. According to the state-sponsored news service, the investigation was sparked by videos taken by an employee at the store. The retailer launched its own investigation, and said that based on an inspection, the problems documented in the video do not currently exist at the store.
A judge refused to sign off on a $324.5 million settlement proposed by four companies including Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOGL) to resolve a lawsuit brought by workers who claim the companies conspired to avoid taking workers from each other. The judge said the proposed amount was too low given the strength of the evidence against the companies. The suit also include Intel (INTC) and Adobe ( ADBE ). Judge Lucy Koh said evidence that late Apple founder Steve Jobs was a central figure in such a conspiracy is "substantial and compelling."
The CEO of ConAgra Foods (CAG) is likely to retire in the next several months according to media reports. Gary Rodkin's resignation will create an opportunity for new leadership to turn the ailing packaged food producer around.
This article was originally published on MarketIntelligeneCenter.com
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