Corporations and securities brief ~ Spitzer expands AIG probe

[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, the Financial Times is reporting [subscription req'd] that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer [official website] has expanded his inquiry into the corporate governance and accounting practices at American International Group (AIG) [corporate website] by looking at the company's relationship with Barbados-based Coral Reinsurance. Spitzer also requested information from the Delaware insurance regulator about C.V. Starr which has a majority-ownership by AIG executives. AIG's relationship with Coral was investigated by Delaware regulators in the mid-1990s but was cleared of any wrongdoing. Now Spitzer wants look at AIG's relationship with Coral as part of his broader inquiry into accounting practices in the insurance industry. CBSMarketWatch has more.

In other news...

  • Federated Department Stores Inc. [corporate website] has announced it will buy May Department Stores Co. [corporate website] for $11 billion in cash and stock. The deal will create a company which is better able to compete with discount giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. [corporate website] at one end of the retailing spectrum and upscale merchants at the higher end. This is the latest merger to occur in the department store industry which has steadily lost market share for more than a decade. Read the Federated press release. AP has more.

  • Drug maker Bradley Pharmaceuticals Inc. [corporate website] announced the SEC has started an informal investigation into the company over alleged violations of securities laws. The SEC is asking for documents relating to revenue recognition and capitalization of certain payments at the company. Read the Bradley press release. AP has more.

  • Biogen Idec [corporate website], the third-biggest US biotechnology company, and Irish partner Elan Corp. [corporate website] told doctors to suspend dosing of their multiple-sclerosis drug Tysabri until further notice after one death was reported. Tysabri [informational website], which was the first new type of drug in eight years to treat MS, just received US approval last November. Read the Biogen press release and listen to its webcast detailing the suspension. Bloomberg has more.

  • Shell [corporate website] announced it has signed a $6 billion deal with Qatar to supply liquid natural gas to North America and Europe. Shell will own 30% of the project with Qatar's state-owned oil firm running the rest. Read the Shell press release. BBC News has more. Also Qatar, France's Total [corporate website] and Exxon Mobil [corporate website] have agreed to a deal for the Qatargas-2 liquefied natural gas export project. Under the deal Total will own a 16.7% stake in the project while Exxon will own 18% of the project. Read the Total press release. Reuters has more.

  • Mylan Laboratories Inc. [corporate website] and King Pharmaceuticals Inc. [corporate website], two of the biggest generic drugmakers, announced they could not agree to terms for Mylan to buy King and have scrapped the deal. Read the Mylan press release. Reuters has more.
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