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Consumer Confidential: Pep Boys sold, Starbucks plans, Mazda recall

January 30, 2012|By David Lazarus
  • Manny, Moe and Jack have a new owner.
Manny, Moe and Jack have a new owner.

Here's your maybe-I'm-amazed Monday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Manny, Moe and Jack have a new daddy. Pep Boys has agreed to go private in an acquisition by Gores Group valued at about $791 million after the auto-parts retailer came up short in previous attempts to sell itself. The cash offer of $15 a share is 24% higher than Pep Boys' closing price on Jan. 27. Including debt, the deal is valued at $1 billion and is expected to be completed by the end of the fiscal second quarter of 2012. Pep Boys, founded in 1921, has more than 7,000 service bays in 700 locations across the country. Pep Boys halted efforts to sell itself last year after failing to attract high enough bids. (Bloomberg)

--How about a latte with your curry? Starbucks aims to open 50 outlets in India by year's end, through a 50-50 joint venture with Tata Global Beverages. Tata Starbucks Ltd., as the venture is known, hopes to capitalize on the rising aspirations of many Indians, who are eager to partake of the global coffee life. Long known as a nation of tea drinkers -- despite a rich tradition of coffee in the south -- India has embraced coffee house culture with a vengeance. Last year, India had 1,600 cafes, up from just 700 in 2007. (Associated Press)

--Heads up: Mazda is recalling more than 52,000 Tribute SUVs from the 2001 and 2002 model years because of possible brake fluid leaks. The automaker says some of the vehicles' brake master cylinder reservoir cap can leak brake fluid. If that happens, the fluid could corrode electrical connectors in the vehicle's brake system. That could lead to melting, smoke or a fire. Mazda says it will notify owners, replace the reservoir cap and modify the brake system for free. (Associated Press)

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