Wall St. eases on lower oil prices

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s major stock indexes pared gains in late afternoon trading on Tuesday as lower oil prices weighed on the energy sector.

Brookfield, Onex said to plan $3.7 billion offer for IWG

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Onex Corp. are preparing an offer for IWG Plc that will value the commercial real estate company at about 2.7 billion pounds (US$3.7 billion), people familiar with the matter said.

Zug, Switzerland-based IWG, which owns office space and competes with New York-based WeWork Cos., said last month it had received an “indicative proposal” for a cash deal from the consortium. The group is lining up a firm offer of about 300 pence a share but not more than that, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. A final decision hasn’t been made and plans for a bid could change, they said.

Brookfield is Canada’s largest alternative asset manager, while Onex is the country’s largest private equity firm. IWG rose 0.5 per cent to 264.4 pence a share in London Tuesday.

Representatives for Brookfield and IWG declined to comment. An Onex representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.

IWG, in its former incarnation as Regus, filed for bankruptcy protection for its U.S. business in 2003 after it expanded too rapidly during the dot-com boom. IWG has a market value of about 2.4 billion pounds despite having almost 3,000 locations worldwide, compared to WeWork’s 283.

Shares in the Swiss company had dropped almost 40 per cent after Oct. 19 when it issued a profit warning, citing in weakness in the London market. The shares have rallied back by about 35 per cent since Dec. 23, when IWG confirmed the proposal from Brookfield and Onex.

Under U.K. takeover rules, the consortium has until Jan. 20 to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for IWG, or to say it doesn’t intend to make a bid.

Bloomberg.com

Larry Nassar: The doctor involved in gymnastics’ abuse scandal

Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars for sexual abuse – BBC Sport details the scandal.

Senate Democrats close to majority in drive to restore net neutrality

(Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats said on Tuesday they had the backing of 50 members of the 100-person chamber to overturn the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s decision to reverse the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules, leaving them just one vote short of a majority.

Pope expresses ‘pain and shame’ over Church sex abuse scandal in Chile

Pope Francis expressed his “pain and shame” on Tuesday over a sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Chile.

Health-conscious Nestle sells U.S. candy to Ferrero for $2.8 billion

LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) – Swiss food group Nestle has agreed to sell its U.S. confectionery business to Italy’s Ferrero for $2.8 billion, it said on Tuesday, marking CEO Mark Schneider’s first big sale and a small step on its path towards healthier products.