Early Briefing: The Island of Misfit Gifts

*Liquidity Services of the District is one liquidator, a firm that swoops in and rescues truckloads of returned, damaged and unsold merchandise from retailers and resells it to other merchants, who in turn sell it back to consumers. See story

*Thousands of office cleaners in the District, Montgomery County and Baltimore reached a tentative agreement on four-year contracts, union officials announced. See story

* Legg Mason pumped $1.12 billion into two non-U.S. cash funds to prevent losses, the biggest bailout by a money manager tied to asset-backed debt sold by structured investment vehicles. The move, along with an earlier cash infusion, will reduce earnings per share by 15 cents in the quarter ending Monday, the Baltimore-based company said.
SIVs now account for 3.2 percent of Legg Mason's $164 billion in cash funds, compared with 6.4 percent on Oct. 31.

*Sallie Mae, the biggest U.S. educational lender, raised at least $3 billion after increasing the size of stock sales, allowing the company to pay off buyback contracts and shore up its finances.
The Reston company obtained at least $1 billion from selling preferred shares and $2 billion from common stock, according to regulatory filings. It will use $2 billion of proceeds to settle a contract to buy back 44 million common shares, at $45.25 each.
Separately, Sallie Mae said in a filing that June M. McCormack, the departing executive vice president of servicing, technology and sales marketing, will receive a separation payment of $3 million and a bonus of $300,000. She will also provide a year of consulting services to Sallie Mae at $16,500 a month.

*The buyout firm American Capital Strategies said it helped fund the acquisition of New England Confectionery Co., or Necco, maker of Necco wafers, Sweethearts, Clark bars and other candies. American Capital, of Bethesda, partnered with Clear Creek Capital and Necco's chief executive, Domenic Antonellis.

* A group of Visicu shareholders said it has agreed to vote in favor of Royal Philips Electronics' $12-a-share offer for Visicu, a Baltimore health care information technology company. The shareholders include Sterling Venture Partners, which owns a 9.9 percent stake, Cardinal Health Partners, which owns a 10.1 percent stake, and Partech U.S. Partners IV, which owns a 9.5 percent stake.

By Terri Rupar  |  December 29, 2007; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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