- - Monday, February 27, 2012

ILLINOIS

Motorola Solutions buys $1.17B shares from Icahn

SCHAUMBURG — Motorola Solutions Inc. is buying about $1.17 billion of its stock back from billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

The company, which sells communications equipment to government and corporate customers, also said Monday that board member Vincent Intrieri will resign as part of the transaction. Intrieri is general partner of Icahn Enterprises LP and an Icahn Enterprises G.P. Inc. director.

Motorola Solutions is purchasing approximately 23.7 million of its shares from Icahn at $49.15 apiece under an existing $3 billion repurchase program. Mr. Icahn will still hold a stake in the company after the transaction is completed.

The price of the buyback was 28 cents per share below Friday’s close of $49.43 for Motorola Solutions. The company’s stock fell 60 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $48.83 in morning trading Monday.

Mr. Icahn is known for buying and shaking up struggling companies, with mixed success. He pushed the original Motorola Inc. to split up, figuring that investors would find its parts more valuable than the whole. Motorola split into two companies in January 2011. Motorola Mobility consists of the consumer-focused cellphone and cable set-top box operations. Motorola Solutions Inc. sells products like police radios and bar-code scanners.

CUBA

Cigar sales increase 9 percent from 2011

HAVANA — Sales of Cuba’s famed cigars are hot, despite recession fears in Europe and a U.S. embargo that bars American aficionados from legally lighting them up.

Cuba’s national cigar maker Habanos SA says sales totaled $401 million in 2011, a 9 percent rise over the previous year.

While Europe remains the top market for such signature brands as Cohiba, Montecristo, and Romeo y Julieta, sales in Asian nations including China are increasing rapidly.

The figures were announced Monday by Ana Lopez, the head of marketing for the company, a joint venture between the Communist government and the Madrid-based tobacco giant Altadis. She says 2012 will be challenging because of the economic crisis in markets like Spain, and increasing restrictions on tobacco.

ENGLAND

WikiLeaks publishes leaked Stratfor emails

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