Nation and world business highlights for Oct. 3, 2013

Wall Street presses Washington for end to shutdown.
Modified: October 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm •  Published: October 3, 2013
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Monsanto reports losses

Agricultural business giant Monsanto Co. reported worse-than-expected losses for its fiscal fourth quarter on Wednesday, due to lower sales of its genetically engineered seeds. The company forecast for fiscal 2014 also came in below Wall Street expectations, and it revealed plans to buy farming software and data firm The Climate Corporation. The combination sent shares lower. Monsanto said separately it would pay $930 million in cash for the Climate Corporation, which was founded in 1996 by engineers from Google and other Silicon Valley companies. The company's technology uses weather forecasting and data analysis to help farmers plan their growing seasons.

Equity firm looks at BlackBerry

Private equity firm Cerberus is interested in taking a look at BlackBerry's books as a prelude to a possible bid for the troubled smartphone company. Cerberus is looking to sign a confidentiality agreement with BlackBerry that would allow it to access the company's private information, an official familiar with the situation said Wednesday on condition of anonymity. BlackBerry announced last month that Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. signed a letter of intent that “contemplates” buying BlackBerry for $9 a share, or $4.7 billion. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder, is trying to attract other investors. BlackBerry is allowed to look for other buyers while Fairfax conducts six weeks of due diligence.

Israel studies move by Google

Israel's antitrust authority has opened a review of Google Inc.'s nearly $1 billion acquisition of Israeli navigation app Waze. An authority official said Wednesday that the companies did not inform it of their merger plans, and it is now investigating whether the deal needs antitrust approval. Under Israeli law, the authority must approve deals that create companies with full or near-monopoly status in their industries, or have revenue of more than roughly $40 million a year.

From wire reports



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