Zynga demands employees return stock or get fired – Tech Talk – CBS News

(CBS/CNET) – As if we needed another reason to loathe FarmVille and CityVille requests. Zynga chief executive officer Mark Pincus is allegedly asking early employees of the social gaming company to turn in their stock or get fired.

According to The Wall Street Journal’s sources, Pincus and top executives decided they have given away too many stock options to early employees of the company. Oops. Instead of eating their mistake, the executives pinpointed workers who they didn’t feel deserved the small fortune they are about to amass. Those chosen have been asked to return unvested shares in Zynga.

via Zynga demands employees return stock or get fired – Tech Talk – CBS News.

Alabama county files biggest municipal bankruptcy – Reuters

(Reuters) – Alabama’s Jefferson County filed for bankruptcy court protection on Wednesday in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Commissioners for the county, which is home to Birmingham, the state’s biggest city and economic powerhouse, voted 4-1 to declare bankruptcy after meeting behind closed doors for two days in a last ditch-attempt to restructure its debt out of court.

A tentative deal reached with creditors in September to settle $3.14 billion in red ink had been widely expected to avert bankruptcy. But the deal fell apart over what the commission described as creditors’ refusal to meet the terms of previously agreed economic concessions.

There was also frustration over the fact that the estimated savings from the September agreement had shrunk by about $140 million, commission sources said.

“In September 2011, the commission and receiver entered into a comprehensive term sheet setting forth a framework for the resolution of the sewer system crisis,” the commission said in a press release announcing the bankruptcy filing.

“Creditors ultimately were unwilling to make the economic concessions contemplated in the term sheet and the receiver made additional demands inconsistent with the term sheet that the commission was unwilling to accept.”

The commissioners, who are elected and not political appointees, are the final arbiters over much of the county’s business and day-to-day municipal affairs.

The bankruptcy filing by the southern U.S. county will add to concerns about the risks in the $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market, which was hit recently by the high-profile debt crisis in Pennsylvania’s capital of Harrisburg.

via Alabama county files biggest municipal bankruptcy | Reuters.

China National Biotec Said to Plan $2 Billion Hong Kong IPO – Businessweek

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) — China National Biotec Group, a unit of Sinopharm Group Co., plans to seek as much as $2 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company has hired China International Capital Corp., Morgan Stanley and UBS AG to manage the IPO and aims to start trading in the first half of next year, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is private.

National Biotec, based in Beijing, is the largest biotechnology company in China and the fourth-biggest vaccine maker in the world, according to the company’s website. It has about 8.6 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) of assets and annual sales of more than 5 billion yuan, the website shows.

via China National Biotec Said to Plan $2 Billion Hong Kong IPO – Businessweek.

Graff Diamonds Said to Prepare $1 Billion IPO for Hong Kong – Businessweek

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) — Graff Diamonds Ltd., the producer and retailer whose founder twice set records buying gems at auction, plans to raise about $1 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Graff plans to list next year, said the person, declining to be identified as the information is private. The London-based company, which runs a store in the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, will use the proceeds to increase production, the person said.

The business is following brands such as Prada SpA to Hong Kong, seeking to raise money in a region where demand for luxury goods is accelerating as the European and U.S. economies stall. Sales of luxury items in China such as clothes, handbags, fine jewelry and watches will more than double to about 180 billion yuan ($28 billion) in 2015 from last year, McKinsey & Co. says.

“This is yet another example of a Western brand seeking to list its shares on a Far Eastern stock market where it believes that it will not only achieve a higher valuation but it will also gain good PR in an increasingly important market,” Chris Searle, corporate finance partner at BDO LLP, said by e-mail.

via Graff Diamonds Said to Prepare $1 Billion IPO for Hong Kong – Businessweek.

Sina Weibo Reaches 250 Million Users | iChinaStock

CEO Charles Chao announced that Sina Weibo has reached 250 million users, in a conference call discussing the firm’s unaudited Q3 financial results.

Chao also discussed the release of the new version of Sina Weibo: ”Since the official launch of Weibo.com v4.0 in September, over half of the existing users have upgraded, and we continue to see rapid growth of new users. Our focus now turns to adding more social networking features to Weibo to increase user stickiness.”

via Sina Weibo Reaches 250 Million Users | iChinaStock.

Jobs Was Right: Adobe Abandons Mobile Flash Development, Report Says | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

In an abrupt about-face in its mobile software strategy, Adobe will soon cease developing its Flash Player plug-in for mobile browsers, according to an e-mail sent to Adobe partners on Tuesday evening.

And with that e-mail flash, Adobe has signaled that it knows, as Steve Jobs predicted, the end of the Flash era on the web is coming soon.

The e-mail, obtained and first reported on by ZDNet, says that Adobe will no longer continue to “adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations,” instead focusing on alternative application packaging programs and the HTML5 protocol.

“Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores,” the quoted e-mail says.

In the past, Adobe has released software tools for mobile developers that create a single platform programmers can use to make applications that work across three major mobile platforms: Android, iOS and the BlackBerry OS. While it’s seemingly easier than learning all of the native languages for each operating system, some developers have claimed a loss in app performance when coding in a non-native language that then gets translated into other languages.

The move indicates a massive backpedaling on Adobe’s part, a company who championed its Flash platform in the face of years of naysaying about its use on mobile devices. Despite Flash’s near ubiquity across desktop PCs, many in the greater computing industry, including, famously, Apple Computer, have denounced the platform as fundamentally unstable on mobile browsers, and an intense battery drain. In effect, Flash’s drawbacks outweigh the benefits on mobile devices.

via Jobs Was Right: Adobe Abandons Mobile Flash Development, Report Says | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

Imperva 5 Mln-Share IPO Prices At $18, Above Price Talk – WSJ.com

Cybersecurity company Imperva Inc.’s initial public offering of at least 5 million shares Tuesday priced at $18 apiece, above its expected range of $14 to $16.

The flotation comes after a glut of high-profile Internet sector debuts, including the IPOs of Internet radio company Pandora Media Inc. (P) and professional networking site LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD).

Imperva, in its prospectus, said it offers a “new category of data security” that homes in on visibility and control over business data within data centers. It said its SecureSphere suite of products protects against hackers and malicious insiders in database, file, web applications and various data-center systems.

The company, founded in 2002, has a history of losses, though revenue rose in both 2009 and 2010. In the first quarter, its loss narrowed slightly on higher revenue despite higher operating costs.

via Imperva 5 Mln-Share IPO Prices At $18, Above Price Talk – WSJ.com.

Kobo acquired: Japanese web retailer Rakuten paid $315M cash | VentureBeat

Rakuten, the largest online shopping mall operator in Japan, has acquired e-reader manufacturer Kobo for $315 million in cash.

In the deal, Rakuten has bought 100 percent of all issued and outstanding shares of Kobo, which makes products that compete with Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle product lines.

Around fifty-eight percent of Kobo was owned by Indigo Books & Music, a Canadian retail bookstore chain. Indigo chief executive Heather Reisman said today that the acquisition puts her company’s balance sheet in fine shape.

In a conference call to discuss the deal, Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani (pictured) said that while his company has created “a unique ecosystem” in Japan and internationally, “The e-commerce business is changing quite rapidly.

via Kobo acquired: Japanese web retailer Rakuten paid $315M cash | VentureBeat.

Yelp Hires Goldman and Citigroup to Lead I.P.O. – NYTimes.com

Yelp, the online reviews site for local businesses, has hired Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to lead its initial public offering of stock, according to several people briefed on the situation.

The offering, which is expected to value the company at $1.5 billion to $2 billion, will probably come to market in the first quarter of next year, a person close to the company said. Yelp is expected to file its prospectus by the end of this year.

In recent months, Yelp has openly telegraphed its intention to go public. At a technology conference during the summer, Yelp’s chief executive, Jeremy Stoppelman, said the company was still pursuing an I.P.O. but did not have a set time line. In late July, in a move that many interpreted as another step toward the public markets, the company hired a chief financial officer, Rob Krolik, who helped Shopping.com go public in 2004.

via Yelp Hires Goldman and Citigroup to Lead I.P.O. – NYTimes.com.