Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 1 2014: Jos. A. Bank Updates Poison Pill; Acquisitions: Bump and PopCap Fallout; Snapchat Data Security Fail; 2014 Economic Boost?

Mergers and Acquisitions

Jos. A. Bank Amends Poison Pill in Response to Men’s Wearhouse’s Unsolicited Bid
The clothing retailer Jos. A. Bank amended its shareholder rights plan today to prevent rival retailer Men’s Wearhouse from acquiring it without a “level playing field.” The amendment came in response to Men’s Wearhouse’s unsolicited bid to purchase Jos. A. Bank in November, which followed an attempt by Jos. A. Bank to takeover Men’s Wearhouse via an unsolicited bid in October.

3 of 3 Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) gives chase to a Bald

After Jos. A. Bank’s $2.3 billion October bid, which Men’s Wearhouse rejected, Men’s Wearhouse amended its shareholder rights plan to alter the poison pill threshold to apply if an outside investor acquires 10 percent or more of its common stock, or if an institutional investor takes a 15 percent stake. Men’s Wearhouse then executed the “Pac-man maneuver” and made an unsolicited  $1.5 billion bid for Jos. A. Bank, which prompted Jos. A. Bank to amend its shareholder rights plan to keep pace. Will the back and forth will continue? To read more about the saga, check out this article from the Wall Street Journal.

Bump Shuts Down; Popcap’s Leadership “Retires”
Google announced it will shut down the sharing app Bump it acquired only a few months ago. Google paid around $35 million for the file sharing technology company, and apparently started shutting it down shortly after acquisition. David Lieb, the CEO and Founder of Bump, explained the decision on the company’s blog, saying the talent was now “deeply focused on our new projects within Google.” All user data will be deleted and the apps will be no more starting January 31.

The CEO and another founder of the Seattle based game company, Popcap Games, announced they are leaving the company. This comes a little more than two years after it was acquired by games giant Electronic Arts for as much as $1.3 billion. CEO Dave Roberts said he is leaving effective January 10, and Chief Creative Officer Jason Kapalka will also be leaving. The company, which produced hit games Bejeweled and Plants v. Zombies, will now be run by the last remaining co-founder. To read more, check out this article from VentureBeat.

Data Security

“White Hat” Hackers Expose Snapchat User Data
Despite six months’ advanced warning about the potential security threat, Snapchat exposed users’ account names and phone numbers through a loophole in the “Find Friends” feature of the popular messaging app that was compromised by “hackers”. Coming just weeks after Snapchat spurned Facebook’s $3 billion buyout offer, the security breach has brought bad press for the app that is used frequently by people who don’t want others to know who they are. White hatSnapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has yet to offer an apology for the breach, which came after the company effectively dared hackers to attack what he called a “theoretical” vulnerability. Check out this article to hear why the group claiming responsibility for the hack allegedly carried it out.

Economic Outlook

2014 Economic Outlook Gets Boost from Manufacturing and Construction Data
Manufacturers and contractors spend more than expected in late 2013 according to the Seattle Times’ reporting. This generally bodes well for the 2014 economy, since spending in these sectors often indicates and influences growth in the larger economy. Here’s to a happy new year!

Photo: Mike Baird | Flickr
The Marmot | Flickr

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Gideon Dionne

Gideon has fly fished for trout in rivers on three continents.

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