business news in context, analysis with attitude

• Published reports that as many as 15 entities, including both retailers and private equity groups, have shown interest in making a bid for Caprabo, the Spanish supermarket chain that could sell for as much as $1.5 billion (US).

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Coca-Cola “is once again scaling back Beverage Partners Worldwide, a joint venture created with Nestlé in 2001 to develop and market ready-to-drink teas and coffees.” The revamped deal will allow Coke and Nestlé to compete independently in the US, and some analysts believe it will revive the possibility that coke could move to acquire ice tea manufacturer Arizona.

• The Associated Press reports that Costco CEO Jim Sinegal has written a $200,000 check to the company – almost a full year’s salary for the company’s chief executive – saying that he wanted to avoid any appearance that he benefited from the backdating of a stock option. An internal investigation concluded that the change of date could have given Sinegal an extra $200,000, and he volunteered to write the check in order to resolve the issue.
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