lunes, 27 de febrero de 2012

Billabong Rejects TPG Takeover Bid

MELBOURNE–Australian surf and snow wear maker and retailer Billabong International Ltd. said Monday it has rejected a 765.3 million Australian dollar (US$821.4 million) takeover bid by U.S. private-equity firm TPG Capital, saying it didn't reflect the value of the company.

"The board has concluded that the indicative price of A$3.00 per share proposed by TPG does not reflect the fundamental value of the company in the context of a change of control," Billabong said in a statement.

The Australian company, which owns and sells brands including its namesake Billabong, Von Zipper and Tigerlily, has been hurt by earnings downgrades as sales have slowed in the face of poor weather, cautious consumers and global economic jitters.

The global surf-wear and snow-wear wholesaler and retailer also said its major shareholder, Gordon Merchant, who holds a 13% interest, had advised that he wouldn't accept TPG's offer and that the bid price was "significantly" below the target's underlying value.

Billabong said discussions aimed at giving the private-equity firm an opportunity to increase its offer price were continuing. A TPG spokeswoman said the company didn't want to comment at this stage.


Billabong's Board Crashes TPG's Wave

TPG made a bid for Billabong earlier this month on condition the company wouldn't sell down its interest in any of its assets.

Still, Billabong proceeded with a partial sale of its Nixon watch-and-accessories brand following a capital-structure review. It expects to receive about US$285 million from the sell-down, which it plans to use to repay debt and avert a potential breach of its bank covenants.

TPG later renewed its bid and loosened its conditions to allow for the Nixon deal.

Billabong shares, which traded at an all-time low of A$1.70 in December, jumped 46% on the day it resumed trading following the early-February takeover bid, and have climbed since. At 11:55 a.m. local time Monday, Billabong's shares were up 2% at A$2.97.

"Regardless of the outcome of the discussions, the board believes Billabong has an attractive independent future," the company said.

"As a result of the strategic capital structure review, the company is now on a much more secure footing and is well-positioned to grow and create value for shareholders should the retail sector and discretionary spending rebound from their current lows," it added.

Write to Gavin Lower at

TPG Capital, TPG, Billabong International Ltd., Australian company, Billabong, takeover bid, takeover bid, Australian dollar

domingo, 26 de febrero de 2012

A pessimist, an optimist

headshotJohn Crudele


Dear John: I read your columns regularly; I also watch Larry Kudlow nightly on CNBC. I respect you both.

However, there seem to be parallel universes that you two live in. While I am finishing my nightly dinner, Larry Kudlow seems to take the face value of the jobs numbers as “happy days are here again.”

And then, while I have my first cup of coffee in the morning, I read you and “the sky is falling.” Is it because I have wine with my dinner and drink my coffee black?

In my opinion, the economy is terrible, but I get a chuckle at you both. D.G.

Dear D.G. First, Larry has been optimistic for years. How has that worked out?

I’m from Brooklyn and can cut through crap. And I’m not saying the sky is falling — just that it’s not even close to sunny yet.

Real journalists are supposed to be skeptics. That’s our job and our nature.

If we don’t pay attention to what our government — both parties — are saying and doing, the sky just might fall.

Maybe you should do this: Drink wine in the morning and coffee at night and see if your outlook changes. Or maybe just stop watching Kudlow’s show.

Dear John: You are too optimistic on the economy.

We are still playing the “measure inflation” game by rules that no longer apply. The government excludes the inflation in food and energy prices because they are historically “volatile” — up this year because of a bad coffee crop or possible oil shipment embargo, down next year when things return to normal.

Unfortunately for us, the Obama administration has changed the game. Higher energy prices are here to stay as long as his administration runs the federal government. Higher food prices are here to stay too, since energy based on ethanol consumes so much of our farm output.

The president was not kidding when he said that “energy prices necessarily must rise” under his policies. Real inflation to those of us out here in the country is at least 4 percent per year, perhaps as much as 6 percent currently. W.W.

Dear W.W. Nobody has criticized me for being too optimistic about the economy in a long time.

And I’ve dealt repeatedly with the misleading statistics put out by Washington on inflation. The deceit goes much deeper than even you think.

Regarding inflation, for instance, there’s something called “geometric weighting,” which says people won’t necessarily feel the effects of inflation because they will change their purchases if prices rise. For instance, the increasing price of steak will make people buy hamburger meat.

So, under this theory of inflation gauging, the price of steak never really went up, because people won’t buy it at the higher price.

And there is “hedonics,” which says that some of the price increases we are seeing don’t really count because the quality of goods is rising. In other words, if you pay more for a TV today than you did last year, there really wasn’t a price increase, because the higher cost was offset by the fact that you got a better TV.

Presto chango: Price increases disappear.

So I’m not very optimistic at all. I’m just hopeful that knowledge of the tricks of the statistics trade will cause them to stop being used.

Send your questions to Dear John, The NY Post, 1211 Ave. of the Americas, NY, NY 10036, or

Larry Kudlow, Dear John, measure inflation, energy prices, price increases, 1211 Ave. of the Americas, NY, NY 10036

martes, 14 de febrero de 2012

Coach exit point 'O' so close

headshotMike Vaccaro
Follow Mike on Twitter

TORONTO — You can make yourself crazy wondering about the vagaries of timing, about life’s if-onlys.

If only I’d left the house 30 seconds earlier, I never would have been ahead of that SOB who rear-ended my car ... If only I’d stayed home that night instead of getting dragged out of the house by my buddies, I never would have met my wife ... If only ...

The Jeremy Lin story takes if-only and elevates it to an art form. If only Golden State hadn’t gotten tangled up in the DeAndre Jordan sweepstakes, then Lin would have been able to showcase his wares for the Warriors’ new coach, a guy named Mark Jackson who knows a thing or two about playing underdog point guard in the NBA.

Getty Images

Mike D'Antoni

If only the Rockets knew what they had.

If only Toney Douglas hadn’t looked completely lost running the point for the Knicks in the early stages of this year … If only Iman Shumpert had shown even a tiny proclivity for the position … If only Baron Davis’ back really was the phantom injury a lot of cynics surmised it might be when he signed with the Knicks …

Then Jeremy Lin would be lighting up some other city, even if that city was Bakersfield or Tulsa or Sioux Falls or some such D-League outpost. And the Knicks might already be eliminated — from the public consciousness if not from the actual playoff race.

And Mike D’Antoni would be a fired coach walking.

Or just fired, period.

But none of those things happened, and all of these things happened, and 10 days ago with 3 minutes and 34 seconds left in the first quarter of a game against the Nets at the Garden, with the Knicks already trailing 22-16, D’Antoni summoned Lin from the bench, Lin snapped off his warm-ups …

And, well. You know the rest.

And here’s the craziest if-only of all: If only D’Antoni were employed by any of about 25 other franchises around the NBA — or by most of the other operations that own teams in New York City — Lin wouldn’t have been his player to summon.

The Knicks had every right and every opportunity to dump D’Antoni before that night. The city was infatuated with the Giants, so they would have had cover. The Knicks weren’t only dreadful — 8-15 at the moment Lin checked into the game for Shumpert that fateful night of Feb. 4 — but dysfunctional and awfully hard on the eyes. And easiest of all, D’Antoni had reached that sad point in the court of public opinion where most would have welcomed his dismissal and almost everyone else would have been ambivalent about it.

Yet D’Antoni’s bosses declined to do that. In truth, that’s been a regular feature of the Cablevision Garden, whether it’s loyalty or stubbornness to ensure fans and media don’t dictate policy. It took forever for Isiah Thomas to disappear, which aggrieved many; it’s starting to look a lot better that Glen Sather was given essentially a lifetime contract with the Rangers, despite so many howls of protest.

D’Antoni has never had a better week as coach of the Knicks, and not only because he’s 5-for-his-last-5 entering tonight’s game against the Raptors. The Knicks’ horrific point-guard play had helped some conveniently forget that for all his foibles as a coach, he is — in the great Jeremy Lin’s words — “a genius at coaching offense.”

We knew that because we saw what Chris Duhon and Raymond Felton did here — and what they’ve done elsewhere. Felton, whom some Knicks fans still confuse with Tiny Archibald when they want to disparage the Carmelo Anthony trade, has most of Portland begging for his benching, he’s been so bad.

So, yes: Starting tonight, when Amar’e Stoudemire returns from bereavement leave, extending to later in the week when Anthony returns, we will see D’Antoni take one final stab at proving he can do here what he did in Phoenix, seizing the revelation of a skilled point guard and pairing him with A-list talent.

And if he’s successful, it could lead to an interesting quandary:

We have seen, after all, what Lin can do in D’Antoni’s system. We are less certain of what he’d be in some other kind of offense.

One shaped like a triangle, for instance.

RB enters wrestling ring

Forget Hulkamania, Brandon Jacobs is going to be running wild on you!

The Giants running back, known for punishing defenders on the football field, taped an appearance for “TNA Impact Wrestling,” in which he will step into the ring against Kurt Angle for a match that will air on Thursday night on Spike TV.

“I’ve always wondered and want to see how they make things look the way they do,” Jacobs told The Post. “Yes, it’s gonna be hard but so is running up the gut at 300-pound guys. One thing is you cannot sugarcoat those slams, the guys are feeling that.”

Roberto Gonzalez

BRAND’ NEW GIG: Giants running back Brandon Jacobs tries out a new endeavor last night, pro wrestling, and is held back by Cowboy James Storm while furiously trying to charge the ring while filming “TNA Impact Wrestling,” to air last this week.

A self-described wrestling fan, Jacobs called stepping into the squared-circle “an honor.”

“This is first time I’ve ever done something like [wrestling],” Jacobs said. “I grew up loving the sport and have been big fans of these guys: Shawn Michaels, Owen and Brett Hart, Rey Mysterio Jr. [Hulk] Hogan, Sting, [Macho Man]. It’s definitely fun to watch.”

The 6-foot-4, 264-pound Jacobs said he wasn’t about to back down from Angle and was treating it like an old-fashioned grudge match.

“I have no fear [getting into the ring], I just want to get in there,” Jacobs said. “I’m not talking to Angle and he’s not talking to me.”

After the Giants beat up the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, Jacobs said there was one opponent he wanted to get into the ring with, and surprisingly, it wasn’t Tom Brady.

“The one guy that seems out there and I love the kid, love the way he plays and the intensity is Aaron Hernandez,” Jacobs said. “I like his swag on the field and the way he plays. It would be good to [go against him].”

Jacobs also addressed his future with the Giants, saying that although there have not been any talks with the team, New York is where he wants to stay.

“Nothing has been discussed yet. However, it is coming,” Jacobs told The Post. “I want to keep my family [in New York]. I love my teammates and my coaches. It’s a great organization.”

Jacobs restructured his contract before last season in order for his running mate Ahmad Bradshaw to reach a new deal with the team and it is expected Jacobs will need to accept another pay cut in order to stay with the Giants.

Jacobs has one year left on his deal worth $4.4 million and has a $500,000 bonus coming his way. The 29-year-old back did seem open to another pay cut.

“Whatever is going to happen will happen,” Jacobs said. “I will say that I will do whatever is fair for me. I have put a lot of hard work and dedication into this team.”

Exclusive Super Bowl merchandise featuring New York Post front pages

martes, 7 de febrero de 2012

View of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island.


View of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island.

Vue de San Francisco depuis l'le d'Alcatraz




San Francisco















lunes, 6 de febrero de 2012

20120206-02-Crown Mills Rolled Oats building


20120206-02-Crown Mills Rolled Oats building






Crown Mills







Canon EOS 5D mark II

Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS USM

Canon 24-105

domingo, 5 de febrero de 2012

sábado, 4 de febrero de 2012

Sant'Alessio Siculo - Alba sul mare


Sant'Alessio Siculo - Alba sul mare

Sant'Alessio Siculo is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Messina in the Italian region Sicily, located about 180 km east of Palermo and about 35 km southwest of Messina.Its main attraction is a castle built by the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Comnenos in his war against the Normans and the Arabs, who also held it.

Sant'Alessio Siculo un comune italiano di 1.493 abitanti della provincia di Messina in Sicilia.Fa parte del comprensorio della Valle d'Agr e aderisce all'Unione dei Comuni delle Valli joniche dei Peloritani.La regione costiera in cui si trova l'abitato di Sant'Alessio stata scarsamente popolata in epoca medioevale, a causa dell'elevata esposizione di quell'area alle incursioni dei pirati saraceni. In questo periodo l'epicentro delle attivit socio-economiche (prevalentemente agricoltura e pesca) che si svolgevano a Sant'Alessio era Forza d'Agr, oggi comune contiguo e all'epoca citt di primaria importanza. Di questo periodo storico rimangono alcune tracce nel quartiere vecchio, immediatamente sottostante il promontorio su cui sorge Forza d'Agr.La cessazione della minaccia di incursioni dal mare e lo sviluppo delle vie di comunicazione costiere hanno prodotto in tutta la regione un lento ed inesorabile flusso migratorio dalle localit montane, un tempo unico rifugio sicuro, a quelle costiere, maggiormente integrate in un sistema economico non di pura sussistenza. Ci ha comportato per Sant'Alessio un significativo incremento demografico associato alla crescita del nucleo urbano; nel dopoguerra Sant'Alessio, precedentemente frazione di Forza d'Agr, assume lo status di comune.All'interno del territorio comunale, sul promontorio noto come Capo Sant'Alessio sorge un castello di epoca normanna. Sulle pendici montuose del Capo sono ancora visibili i resti di fornaci utilizzate per il trattamento della calce. Nel quartiere della Madonna del Carmelo si trova una chiesa risalente anch'essa al periodo normanno. Sempre nella stessa zona, come anche in altre, sono presenti edifici residenziali antichi, in parte abbandonati. Il paese ospita inoltre la Villa Genovese.

Font : Wikipedia


Sant'Alessio siculo






Alessio Siculo, Alba, municipality, Province of Messina, the Italian, Sicily, Palermo, southwest, castle, Alexios I, Normans, provincia di Messina, Valle, Valli, regione, Sant'Alessio, incursioni, Forza, citt, quartiere, promontorio, costiere, nucleo, dopoguerra, Capo, castello, epoca normanna, Carmelo, zona, Villa Genovese.Font

viernes, 3 de febrero de 2012

NYC,.Street performer,.


NYC,.Street performer,.








































jueves, 2 de febrero de 2012

Con Dao Island


Con Dao Island


Con Dao

Con Son

Con Lon

Ba Ria Vung Tau



Wild Beach


cloud pattern

best composition


sea landscape

ocean landscape

best landscape

top landscape






slow motion

Fine art

Sony A850

Zeiss ZA Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm

Zeiss 16-35 ZA


super wide angle




Florida Holiday 1998


Florida Holiday 1998

Epcot Florida 1998










Universal Studios






miércoles, 1 de febrero de 2012