Friday headlines include: Nevada's governor signing an incentive package for Tesla's gigafactory, state attorneys general investigating AT&T's bid for DirecTV, activists proposing a new board and less salad dressing at Darden Restaurants, Yahoo being sued by two Mexican firms, and Alcoa signing a big deal with Boeing.
Brian Sandoval, the governor of Nevada, signed a package of legislation on Thursday that will provide $1.3 billion in tax breaks and other incentives to Tesla Motors (TSLA). The package is part of the deal that lured the electric-car maker to build its giant battery plant, dubbed the “gigafactory,” in the state. The tax incentives will be available to the company to up to 20 years.
According to Reuters, a number of state attorneys general are investigating whether or not AT&T's (T) proposed acquisition of DirectTV (DTV) will be good for consumers. About two dozen states are already working with the Department of Justice to study a proposed merger between Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), which many believe will result in higher costs and a less competitive marketplace.
Fast-casual dining chain operator Darden Restaurants (DRI) is under fire from activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP. The hedge fund, which controls about 8.8% of the company's common stock, is proposing its own slate of directors for the company's board and has a detailed plan for turning the company around. In addition to suggesting some financial and structural changes typically expected from activist campaigns, Starboard Value's proposal also includes changes to the way the company's Olive Garden restaurants dispense breadsticks, cook pasta and dress salads. Darden also reported a loss of 14 cents per share from continuing operations in its first fiscal quarter. Revenue was $1.59 billion. Same-store sales at Olive Garden fell by 1.3 percent, while sales at LongHorn Steakhouse rose by 2.8 percent.
Yahoo (YHOO) and a law firm are facing a lawsuit in federal court brought by two Mexican firms that accuse them of trying to avoid a $2.7 billion judgment issued by a Mexican court in 2012. The Mexican companies, Worldwide Directories S.A. de C.V. and Ideas Interactivas S.A. de C.V. claim that Yahoo and Baker & McKenzie got a senior Mexican judge and other officials from the Mexican court system to “corrupt the appeals process and overturn the judgment.” The original suit stems from a contractual dispute between the two companies over a search project in Mexico.
Aluminum company Alcoa (AA) reached a long-term deal with Boeing (BA) to supply both sheet and plate aluminum to the aircraft maker. The deal is worth more than $1 billion. Alcoa said the deal is the largest ever between the two companies, which have worked together for a long time.