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JPMorgan Makes Schwartz an Offer; Retails Sales Rise; Berkshire's Brandon Resigns; Brazilian GM Plant; Hungary for Oil; Denny's Reports 1Q Decline; Goldman Sachs to Cut More Jobs; Fremont Sells Assets to CapitalSource
- Chief Executive BSC) to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) in a fire sale less than three months into his tenure, has been invited to stay on as a senior dealmaker, Reuters reported, citing a person familiar with the situation. A formal agreement has yet to be reached and it is still possible Schwartz may leave the bank, the source said. , forced to sell liquidity-starved The Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. (
- The Commerce Department announced yesterday (Monday) that retail sales increased 0.2% in March, Bloomberg News reported, slightly exceeding economists' average expectations of no change. The increase was due to higher gasoline prices, as purchases excluding gas remained flat.
- Joseph Brandon has stepped down as CEO of General Re Corp., a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A, BRK.B) subsidiary. Brandon was once considered a potential successor to Warren Buffett, but prosecutors have named Brandon as an unindicted co-conspirator in a scam to defraud investors, Bloomberg News reported. Four other former General Re executives have been convicted.
- General Motors Corp. (GM) announced yesterday (Monday) that it would begin construction on a $200 million plant in Joinville City, Brazil. The plant will employ 500 workers and begin production of engines and other automotive parts by fourth quarter 2009, MarketWatch reported.
- Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) announced yesterday (Monday) that it would begin drilling in southeast Hungary in search of oil reserves. Exxon recently signed a $75 million new energy development pact with MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas PLC to begin exploration in Hungary's Mako Trough region, MarketWatch reported.
- Restaurant-chain operator Denny's Corp. (DENN) reported a 0.4% drop in first-quarter same-store sales for the first quarter. Same-store sales, or sales in stores open at least one year, rose 0.7% at company restaurants and fell 0.9% at franchised restaurants.
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) is slashing an undisclosed number of positions in mortgage and investment banking this month, Reuters reported. These latest cuts are in addition to the 1,500 employees, or 5% of Goldman's work force, who lost their jobs since December because they were deemed the company's poorest performers.
- Fremont General Corp. (FMT) will sell the its retail banking assets to CapitalSource Inc. (CSE) for as much as $198 million. The sale includes $5.6 billion in deposits, $3 billion in cash and liquid investments and Fremont's $2.7 billion stake in commercial real estate loans, Fremont said in a statement today. CapitalSource, the Chevy Chase, Maryland-based commercial lender, also agreed to loan Fremont as much as $200 million.