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New Flyer redeems notes

NEW Flyer Industries has formally commenced the process of redeeming all of its 14 per cent subordinated notes that are held separately in the form of an income deposit security (IDS). Each IDS consists of one common share of NFI and a $55.30 principal amount of subordinated notes.

As previously announced, once the redemption of subordinated notes is complete, the board of directors of NFI expects to establish a new dividend policy that will reduce the annualized dividend payment to approximately 50 per cent of the previous annual IDS distribution level of $1.17 per IDS.

The redemption of the 14 per cent subordinated notes will be financed with the net proceeds of NFI's recently completed $65-million public offering of 6.25 per cent convertible unsecured subordinated debentures.

Microsoft buys Yammer for $1.2B

SAN FRANCISCO -- Microsoft is buying Internet startup Yammer for US$1.2 billion in an attempt to bring Facebook-like sharing features to its widely used suite of business-software applications.

Yammer specializes in creating private social networks so employees within the same company can keep tabs on what colleagues are working on. That's similar to how Facebook's online social network allows friends and families to track what's happening in each other's personal lives.

The deal, announced Monday, comes nearly two weeks after word of Microsoft's negotiations with Yammer first leaked out in published reports.

BMO shuts redundant branches

TORONTO -- Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) says it will close 24 of its U.S. BMO Harris bank branches in the U.S. Midwest, where the bank is scaling back on overlapping branches after the acquisition of a Milwaukee-based rival.

The Chicago-based subsidiary of the large Canadian bank said Monday it will close 17 locations in Wisconsin, five in Indiana, one in Illinois and one in Kansas that have been deemed redundant following the takeover of Marshall & Ilsley Corp.

The decision to close those branches is directly related to the bank's plan to find cost-saving synergies through the acquisition, which about doubled the number of branches at BMO Harris Bank to nearly 700.

Hiring surge for Walmart

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Walmart Canada is ramping up hiring amid rapid expansion in this country by the U.S.-based retail giant.

Walmart says it will open 47 hiring centres across the country as it adds a total of some 4,000 new employees this year and next, about 500 more than previously announced.

By the end of 2013, the company expects to spend some $750 million to open, relocate or remodel 73 stores.

Included are most of the 39 former Zellers stores for which Walmart Canada purchased leasehold rights in June 2011.

Cyprus latest to seek aid

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Cyprus on Monday became the fifth eurozone country to request financial aid from its partners in the European currency union as it struggles to shore up its banks, which took heavy losses on Greek debt.

The island nation's government said in a terse statement it required assistance following "negative spillover effects through its financial sector, due to its large exposure in the Greek economy."

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 26, 2012 B3

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