- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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Apple seeks to regain cool with $3B Beats buy

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) - Apple is striking a new chord with a $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, a headphone and music streaming specialist that also brings the swagger of rapper Dr. Dre and recording impresario Jimmy Iovine.

Wednesday’s announcement comes nearly three weeks after deal negotiations were leaked to the media. It’s by far the most expensive acquisition in Apple’s 38-year history, a price that the company is paying to counter a threat posed to its iTunes store.


The price consists of $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in Apple stock that will vest over an unspecified time period. The deal is expected to close before the end of September.

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Valeant raises cash-stock offer for Allergan

Valeant Pharmaceuticals has pumped more cash into its bid for Botox maker Allergan, and it also defended its business model on Wednesday, a day after its reluctant acquisition target aired more concerns about a deal.

The Canadian drugmaker said it will now offer $58.30 and a portion of its stock for each Allergan share. The revised bid could be worth more than $50 billion, based on Tuesday’s closing price for U.S.-traded shares of Valeant. But it still may not be enough to get Allergan to the negotiating table, analysts say.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. also threw in a contingent value right worth up to $25 per share and based on future sales of a potential eye treatment.

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Waiting game: Why small businesses won’t hire

NEW YORK (AP) - Even as the economy extends its growth and small businesses slowly add jobs, most owners are still holding off on hiring.

Many owners have no plans to add to their payrolls, according to recent surveys. In three released last week, the most optimistic reading came from Bank of America Corp., which found that 52 percent of owners plan to hire over the next 12 months. But Wells Fargo & Co. found only 21 percent planned to hire, and in a Citibank survey, 25 percent had plans - numbers consistent with other surveys in the past year.

Some owners who do want to hire face obstacles like finding workers who can and want to do the job. In monthly reports from the National Federation of Independent Business, owners have said they can’t find people with the skills they need.

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