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THE NEWS WRAP: Dick Smith IPO jackpot raises questions about Woolworths sale

Friday, 15 November 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Woolworths’ decision to sell Dick Smith Electronics for $20 million to Anchorage Capital Partners has been described as one of the worst in recent history, as the private equity firm files for a $345 million float before Christmas.


“The electronics industry is coming out of several years of deflation and coming into some positive tailwinds,” Dick Smith chief Nick Abboud says.


“And so if you look at it there is some inflation coming back into the category, you have got the launch of PlayStation 4 in December, the digital changeover for TVs for Victoria and New South Wales, that's happening over the next few months.


“We have a very strong housing market, low interest rates, which is good for retail, the Reserve Bank have left open the door for a potential further interest rate cut and actually, from a timing point of view, there are some good things happening in retail.”


Google wins landmark book-scanning lawsuit


Google has won a major lawsuit in the US upholding its right to scan millions of books, with Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan upholding its argument the practice constitutes a “fair use” under copyright law.


Advocacy group the Authors Guild first sued the tech giant in 2005, claiming that scanning books under copyright constituted a gross violation of the intellectual property rights of authors and publishers.


It demanded $US3 billion in damages, or $US750 per book, from the tech giant.


"This is a big win for Google, and it blesses other search results that Google displays, such as news or images," says James Grimmelmann, a University of Maryland intellectual property law professor who has followed the case.


Bega raises its offer for Warrnambool


Bega Cheese has increased its offer for Victorian dairy company Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, with its new offer coming just a day after an increased bid from rival Murray Goulburn.


Bega increased its offer from 1.2 to 1.5 of its shares plus $2 for every share of WCB, which works out to be $8.87 at current market prices.


The offer is significantly above Canadian food giant Saputo’s $8 per share bid for the company, but still less than the $9 bid from Murray Goulburn.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.36% to 15878.72. The Aussie dollar is down to US93.23 cents.