The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, April 06, 2021 1:00 am


LG pulls plug on mobile phone unit

News services

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean electronics maker LG said Monday it is getting out of its loss-making mobile phone business to focus on electric vehicle components, robotics, artificial intelligence and other products and services.

LG's board approved the shift in strategy and the company expects to fully exit the phone business by the end of July, it said in a statement.

LG was once the third-largest mobile phone maker but has lost market share to Chinese and other competitors. It was still No. 3 in North America, with a 13% market share behind Apple's 39% and Samsung's 30% as of the third quarter of 2020, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

The company said it would sell its phone inventory and provide services and support for a while depending on where they are sold.

Tribune parent ponders new offer

The company that owns the Chicago Tribune and other major U.S. newspapers said Monday that it would discuss a $679 million bid from hotel mogul Stewart Bainum and Wyoming billionaire Hansjorg Wyss that is higher than the $634 million offer from hedge fund Alden Global.

The board's special committee said its decision lets Tribune “engage in discussions and negotiations with, and provide diligence information to Newslight,” which is Bainum and Wyss' group. But for now it continues to recommend that shareholders choose Alden's offer.

Tribune Publishing Co. said it got a nonbinding proposal from Newslight on Thursday, an offer of $18.50 per share that was fully financed by equity from Bainum and Wyss.

Alden owns nearly one-third of Tribune's shares. 

A representative for Alden declined to comment Monday.

Service sector sets record in March

The U.S. services sector, which employs most Americans, recorded record growth in March as the easing of novel coronavirus restrictions released pent-up consumer demand.

The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, reported Monday that its nonmanufacturing index rose to an all-time high 63.7 last month from 55.3 in February.

The old record of 60.9 was set in October 2018.

Anything above 50 signals growth, and the services sector is on a 10-month winning streak since rebounding from the economic effect of the pandemic last spring.

The March reading was much higher than economists had expected.

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