Visa readies largest U.S. IPO
Visa International said it expects to earn up to $18.76 billion in its long-awaited initial public offering, making it the largest U.S. IPO on record. The previous record was AT&T Wireless in 2000, at $10.6 billion. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Visa said it would sell 447.2 million shares, including 406.6 million to the public, at between $37 to $42 a share. (AP in Yahoo! Finance) Visa will trade under the ticker symbol “V” on the New York Stock Exchange. (Fortune in The SEC filing also show that Visa beat rivals MasterCard and American Express last year in terms of number of transactions and dollar amount. (MarketWatch)
Electronic Arts bids on ‘Grand Theft Auto’ maker
Video-game maker Electronic Arts offered $2 billion to acquire Take-Two Interactive Software, the maker of top-selling game “Grand Theft Auto.” Take-Two rejected the offer over the weekend, and Electronic Arts moved yesterday to push the takeover bid through shareholders. (AP in The $26-a-share offer is 64 percent higher than the closing price before the bid. EA’s move follows Vivendi’s pending purchase of rival Activision, but comes before Take-Two’s release of expected blockbuster “Grand Theft Auto IV.” Still “the price is more than fair,” said Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter. “I’m quite confused why Take-Two would reject it.” (Bloomberg)
Adobe takes on PC-Internet divide
Adobe Systems is releasing its AIR software development system today, providing a way for programmers to create hybrid Internet-based applications that run on PC desktops when a computer is offline. Some companies have already developed AIR versions of their online services; eBay is offering eBay Desktop, for example, which allows auctions management offline. (BBC News) Adobe is facing off against Google, Microsoft, and others to blur the line between the PC desktop, smart phone, and Web browser. “This is a battle for the hearts and minds of people who are building things,” said Adobe chief technology officer Kevin Lynch. (The New York Times, free registration)
Tackle the ice, but hold the salt
Rock salt is plentiful and cheap, and cities have used it to de-ice roads since World War II. But several states and municipalities are looking to overthrow the salt regime, which is also harmful to roads, cars, and vegetation. Akron and other Ohio towns use a goo derived from sugar beets to de-ice roads, and New Jersey uses a rum derivative. And in Colorado, self-described “obsessive-compulsive” lab rat Steve Bytnar has developed a proprietary white liquid that is used in the Denver area. These goos and liquids cost more up front, but their proponents argue that they work better and save money over the long run. (The Wall Street Journal)