AMD delays chip plant spin-off vote because of low turnout

Minggu, 15 Februari 2009 · 0 komentar

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. was forced to give its stockholders another week to weigh the chip maker's plan to spin off its manufacturing operations, after too few shares were voted at a meeting held this morning.

AMD announced that 97% of the shares voted at the meeting, which was held in Austin, were cast in favor of the spin-off plan. But votes were cast for only 42% of the company's shares. To reach a quorum, a majority of the shares needed to be voted.

As a result, the company decided to adjourn the meeting until Feb. 18 to give stockholders more time to vote on the plan, under which AMD's chip plants would be taken over by a new entity that will temporarily be called The Foundry Co.

The spin-off would be majority-owned by an investment firm controlled by the government of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. AMD would hold a 34.2% ownership stake, down from the 44.4% that it was originally due to own — a decrease that the parties agreed to in December after a drop-off in the value of AMD's stock.

Asked about the low number of votes that were cast at today's meeting, AMD said that it moved too quickly to close the deal and didn't give stockholders enough time to vote.

"In essence, we pursued too aggressive a timeline for the vote," AMD spokesman Michael Silverman said via e-mail. "All parties remain fully committed to closing the transaction and, pending the stockholder vote, expect to close the transaction in the next few weeks."

Doug Freedman, a financial analyst at Greenwich, Conn.-based Broadpoint AmTech, accepted the company's explanation. "I just think the timetable on the proxy to vote was too tight," Freedman said.

However, Wall Street punished AMD for the delay. The company's share price was down nearly 12% this afternoon, to less than $2.10 per share.

AMD has been struggling financially for several quarters, and the spin-off deal is intended to help turn around its fortunes by offloading the company's costly manufacturing operations and the substantial debt it has accumulated there.

If the deal is eventually approved by stockholders, AMD would essentially be broken into two separate parts. AMD itself would continue to design and market its chips, while the spin-off would own and operate the company's manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Germany.

AMD has cleared the major regulatory hurdles to the deal, making the stockholder vote its last big obstacle. The company expects to complete the spin-off within a few days of getting stockholder approval, according to company executives.

Read more.....

Microsoft Exchange 14 Webmail to get Gmail-like threads, Firefox support

· 0 komentar

Exchange 14, the next version of Microsoft Corp.'s market-leading corporate e-mail server software, will add support for Google Inc.'s Gmail-like conversation view, full support for the Firefox and Safari Web browsers, and integrated instant messaging, the company said Thursday.

The features will all be part of Exchange's revamped corporate Webmail service, Outlook Web Access (OWA), according to a blog and video posted by Microsoft's Exchange development team. OWA will be renamed Outlook Live in Exchange 14.

Microsoft has not set a release date yet, but it said last month that it had been beta-testing Outlook Live for more than a year with 3.5 million students and faculty at 1,500 schools.

Outlook Live is the Web-based counterpart to Microsoft's Outlook desktop e-mail client software. It is meant for users who are on the go or logging in from a smartphone. It is different from Windows Live Hotmail, Microsoft's consumer Webmail service.

OWA has been criticized by users for lacking the features of both Outlook and Gmail.

Besides adding full support for Firefox and Safari (in addition to its own Internet Explorer), Outlook Live will add an optional "conversation view" similar to Gmail's. E-mails will be grouped by senders and recipients, and can be hidden underneath the most recent one for a cleaner look.

Microsoft has not said whether e-mail threading will be available in the next version of the Outlook client. That feature is already available from a third-party software maker, ClearContext Corp.

Outlook Live will also let users see the "presence" of people such as co-workers on their contact lists, when those users are managed on the same Exchange 14 server. Users can then send IMs to people on the same network.

Read more.....

ShoutMix chat widget