Holding off on their IPO for another nine months should also allow Ardagh reap the benefit of an expected acceleration of the US economy. Verallia’s customers include Anheuser-Busch InBev , Coca-Cola and L’Oreal, all of whom are directly exposed to the US consumer goods sector. Ardagh should also get something of a double whammy in this regard as the appetite for IPO’s should sharpen as the economy recovers.
Some of the IPO proceeds are earmarked for debt redemption but Coulson’s bondholders seem happy to go along with his strategy, although its worth noting that the new indicative timeframe for the IPO came via an update to debt holders indicating that some at least want clarity over their exit.
But all in all Couslon’s timing looks excellent which is no surprise as it has become something of a trade mark.
Chips are down as Intel struggles to adapt
The news that Intel is likely to record another fall in sales – the third straight quarter – isn’t doing much for the tech company’s image.
The chipmaker, which was once the darling of Wall Street and turned in quarter after quarter of growth that kept investors happy, is finding the current economic environment a little more challenging that it is used to.
The blame can be laid firmly at the feet of tablets and smartphones, or rather the demand for them. Consumers are snapping up the devices in huge numbers at the expense of more traditional machines. While others were busy adapting their business model and getting in with mobile device makers, Intel had less success, and it has fallen behind rival Qualcomm as a result.
And although its chips are still used in 80 per cent of the world’s PCs, the demand for the machines is falling off in the face of competition from more mobile devices. Although Intel tried to generate some buzz with Ultra Books, it hasn’t been as successful as it would like, if figures from iSuppli are to be believed.
So it’s a tough road for Intel to follow. The chipmaker this week said sales in the current quarter may decline, coming on the heels of a 3 per cent drop last quarter and a 5 per cent fall in the September quarter.
Intel notched up sales of $13.5 billion last quarter, and $2.47 billion in profit. But it still plans to invest about $13 billion in new plants and equipment this year.
Intel is trying to address its shrinking market issues. It is slowly inching its way into the smartphone market (the Motorola Razr is the first Intel-powered Android smartphone available here) and it recently announced its next generation of chips aimed at the mobile and tablet sector.
At the International CES in Las Vegas last week, Intel unveiled Lexington, a platform for smartphones that will aim at the lower cost end of the market.
Its new focus, coupled with chief executive Paul Otellini standing down in May 2013, will be a year of change for the high-tech manufacturer.