Offshore Company Offers $400 million for Trump

Offshore Company Offers $400M to Trump: “ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – An Internet casino operator said it is offering Donald Trump $400 million for a stake in his ailing casino company.

Casino Fortune, a Trinidad-based company, said Tuesday it has approached Trump about replacing DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, whose plans for a bailout of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. fell through last week.”

I did a bit of digging and not much is known about Casino Fortune. Their company Web site serves only to tell people about the experience of its vice president and general manager, Dennis Rose, and the trustworthiness of its “state-of-the-art” Internet gambling operation. It’s apparently party of the Sunny Group of Companies, based on the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, with operations in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Internet. Beyond that, I’m left baffled.

However, the AP article by writer/reporter John Curran sheds this interesting tidbit:

“The company may just be out for publicity, said one industry observer.

“‘A lot of these Internet gaming companies go to extraordinary lengths to get publicity, whether it’s putting a tattoo on a streaker at the Super Bowl or buying advertising space on Danny Bonaduce’s back in celebrity boxing,’ said Joe Weinert, vice president of Spectrum Gaming Group, a casino consultancy. ‘They’re very innovative that way.'”

That’s probably more like it. At any rate, it’s just plain funny that Donald Trump’s company is the target of a minority buyout of approximately 30-35% by an Internet casino.


B.C. Deputy Premier suddenly resigns

B.C.’s deputy premier Christy Clark quits for ‘deeply personal’ reasons: “VICTORIA (CP) – Christy Clark, B.C.’s deputy premier and the highest-profile woman on the government front benches, has quit for “deeply personal” reasons and won’t seek re-election.

“Clark said Thursday she will sit as a private member until the next election May 17. She said her reasons are mostly personal due to her three-year-old son Hamish, who was born shortly after she was sworn into government. ‘He changed my life so profoundly. My family needs more of me now,’ Clark said.”

Wow, this comes as surprising news to political junkies like myself. Christy Clark, who has been Deputy Premier since the B.C. Liberal Party won the June 2001 election in a lopsided victory in which they captured 77 of 79 seats in the provincial Legislative Assembly of B.C., also served as Minister of Education from June 2001 until January 26, 2004, when she was moved to the lower profile, often troubled, but most important Minister of Children and Family Development portfolio. As well, it’s worth noting that Clark said she will continue to sit as a backbench MLA (which stands for Member of the Legislative Assembly) for her riding of Port Moody–Westwood, but would not seek re-election in May 2005.

A9 reviewed

Now that subsidiary, Inc. has launched the final version of its search engine, I thought it would be an appropriate time to review it.

What’s cool and unique:

  • A9 stores your search history on their servers (though, this can be disabled at the user’s request but that disables much of the personalization features that makes A9 unique)
  • Indicates whether a search result is new to the A9 index, which is powered by the Google algorithmic search technology and index, from the last time you performed a search

There is a nifty, stylish looking browser toolbar, a Diary for annotating notes on specific Web pages you visit, server-stored lists of search results and Bookmarks you save, plus all the standard features. Overall, it’s a great search engine with a terrific user interface (nice layout, colour scheme, etc.). It lacks substantial technological improvements.

Nonetheless, it’s worth using occasionally. As well, of note, you can search by typing your query directly in the URL — like this:

CanWest CEO urges Ottawa to end ban on prescription-drug TV advertising

CanWest CEO urges Ottawa to end ban on prescription-drug TV advertising: “Speaking Wednesday at an industry conference, Asper said Canadians can see such advertising through U.S. cable channels like CNN and A&E and in U.S. magazines. ‘But the (Canadian) broadcasters can’t advertise prescription drugs,’ Asper said Wednesday at a conference on broadcasting and publishing.”

I suppose CanWest President and CEO Leonard Asper wants us, as Canadian citizens and landed immigrants, to feel sorry for Canada’s monopoly media company that owns our biggest cities’ most popular newspapers, the National Post, the Global TV network, Prime TV, and numerous digital cable channels because they are prohibited from airing advertisements for prescription-drugs. I’m sorry, but I have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever and would strongly urge both the federal government and the Canada’s broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-telecommunications Commission (CRTC), to maintain that ban.

To support my position on this issue, I would cite Asper’s own reasoning for removing the ban. Because many U.S. cable channels and broadcast networks air on Canadian cable line-ups, we are already inundated with ads for prescription-drugs that originate in the U.S. The market for this type of ad has already reached the point of over-saturation. And, if this ban were removed, Canadian media conglomerates, like CanWest and Bell Globemedia, as well as the government-run Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, could bombard us with even more ads. In turn, removing this ban has the potential to alienate Canadian citizens from Canadian content (and perhaps television itself). The domino effect would have begun and Canadian content producers, and ultimately Canadian content distribution companies such as Bell, Rogers, and Shaw, would be deprived of substantial revenue and profits.

It would seem to me that Mr. Asper is suffering from a terrible sickness (and clouded mind) often associated with eating sour grapes. I wish he and his family the best in his recovery from this mental glut in which he has found himself.

Bill Gates plotting a possible takeover of Six Flags?

Six Flags Shares Up on Gates, Redskins: “Pressure from Microsoft chairman and shareholder Bill Gates over a sagging financial outlook and news that Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has bought nearly 9 percent of Six Flags, Inc. drove the amusement park company’s shares up nearly 25 percent Tuesday.”

Wow. Bill Gates’ private investment company Cascade Investment LLC, which manages and holds his stakes in companies other than his better-known Microsoft and Corbis, already owns 11.5% of the total outstanding stock in amusement parks operator Six Flags, Inc. As the article by Associated Press writer Stephen Manning says, Gates and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder own 20.5% of Six Flags.

Verizon nearing sale of SuperPages unit

Verizon, Bain Near Canada Directory Deal: “NEW YORK (Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc. is near an agreement to sell its Canadian telephone directory business to private equity firm Bain Capital, the New York Post said on Wednesday.”

Very interesting, and it would be quite lucrative for Verizon. It purchased the Canadian directory publishing business from Telus Corporation three years ago for $810 million and could fetch as much as $1.5 billion today — almost doubling its investment. Not bad at all.

The Canadian business includes the directory publishing operations in Alberta, B.C., Ontario, and Quebec, which equates to 118 community telephone books, and the Web site. Its legal name for the business unit is Verizon Information Services Canada, Inc. And, from the looks of it, Verizon will retain its U.S. telephone book publishing business and the Web site under its own roof.