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BNET Daily Dispatch: Sallie Mae, Ichan, Nokia and Cadbury

  • Sallie Mae, the largest U.S. student-loan company, is talking with private equity firms about a potential leveraged buyout. A LBO would be unusual for a financial company because it would require it to take on more debt, which can cut into the profit margins of a lender like Sallie Mae. Student lenders have been under regulatory scrutiny lately, and there have been calls for wide spread industry changes.
  • Carl C. Icahn is asking Motorola shareholders to elect him to its board, according to a regulatory filing with the SEC he submitted today. Icahn, who owns 68 million shares of Motorola stock, says he is worried about the drop in earnings from Motorola's cell phone unit as well as its reduction in earnings guidance. The company urged shareholders not to support Icahn in its proxy statement that if filed earlier this month.
  • Nokia said today that Qualcomm is the largest user of its technology and patents and rejected Qualcomm's statements that it does not use its patents. Nokia's comments today were the latest incendiary remarks from the two companies during their battle over patent royalties.  A cross-licensing agreement over technology patents between Qualcomm and Nokia partly expired on Monday.
  • Cott, a Toronto drink-maker, is talking with private equity firms about joining operations with Cadbury Schweppes's beverage unit. Such a merger could create a third-ranked competitor to Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Several private equity firms are considering buying the Cadbury brands, which include Dr. Pepper and 7 Up.
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