Haier bids for Maytag

NEW YORK: Appliance maker Haier has entered the bidding to take over Maytag Corp, a proud but struggling icon of the US white goods industry. Maytag said that it had received a “preliminary non-binding proposal” worth $1.28 billion in cash from Haier America Trading and two US buyout groups — Bain Capital Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners IV. — AP

Foreign chief at Sony

TOKYO: Sony Corp shareholders approved Howard Stringer as the company’s new chief executive, making him the first foreigner to head the Japanese company. A native of Wales who later acquired US citizenship, Stringer, 63, has helped make Sony’s music and movie business strong in recent years. — AP

Qantas, SIA merger

SYDNEY: Prime minister John Howard raised the prospect of Qantas Airways merging with arch rival Singapore Airlines (SIA) even though both airlines insist no such plan is being considered. Asked about Australia’s refusal to grant SIA access to the lucrative Australia-Los Angeles route, Howard said the decision

was not final. — AFP