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Eli Lilly to buy Hypnion
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY) will acquire Hypnion, Inc., a sleep-inducing-drug manufacturer. The move will enable the company to access Hypnion's research in the area of sleep-related disorders. Hypnion was founded in 2000 and was rated one of Red Herring's "Most Innovative Companies" in 2006. Its staff comprises approximately 25 people. The company is currently researching a drug to treat insomnia. It also owns proprietary technology that aids in research on non-addictive solutions to sleep disorders. Additionally, Eli Lilly has its own sleep aid in development. If the two new drugs meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval, the company will compete with Sepracor's Lunesta and Sanofi-Aventis'Ambien for market share.



Interface Media Group has new owner
Jeff Weingarten, former Vice President of Interface Media Group (IMG), has purchased the company. Weingarten joined IMG in 1989 when it was three decades old. The deal is the culmination of discussions that began nearly two years ago. Washington-based IMG provides communication companies with services related to film, video, and the Internet. Clients include the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, HBO, and the Smithsonian Institution, among others. While Weingarten will be the company's president, IMG founder Tom Angell will be the "chief opinionator" for the company.

Intel appoints U.S. channel chief for sales and marketing
Intel, the California-based chip giant, has appointed Nick Davison as its North American channel chief. Davison, who has 25 years of experience, will handle the company's North American sales and marketing. He takes over from Steve Dallman, who moved to a global channel post in December. Davison has been the company's director for North American retail sales and marketing since 2004. He joined Intel in 1979 and has worked there in various capacities, serving as a field-sales engineer, Southwestern regional manager, and manager for HP worldwide business, among other posts. Davison has worked in the company's channel organization for nearly 15 years.

Mattress merchants to merge
Mattress Firm, a Houston-based mattress dealer, will acquire Mattress Discounters Corporation. The deal will provide the former with nearly 140 locations and six new markets. Mattress Firm, founded in 1986, operates nearly 33 stores. It will now have more than 500 stores in 40 markets within the U.S. Mattress Discounters Corporation was founded in 1978 and has a staff of approximately 500.

Bazaarvoice opens sales-and-support office in London
Bazaarvoice has opened its first international sales-and-support office in London. The Austin-based company helps businesses utilize word-of-mouth marketing to bring brands and customers closer together. The company also has a flagship customer rating and review service for businesses. The company counts Dell, Inc., Macy's, and Overstock.com, Inc., among its clients. It has also launched its services in other languages, thus reaching a broader international clientele. The new London office will be headed by Shareen Campbell, whose title will be Sales Director. Campbell brings to the table more than 12 years of multinational-sales, business-development, and sales-management experience. Until recently, she was the senior sales manager for Europe at RichFX, where she established the company's first business presence outside the U.S.

Phil Kramer promoted to Senior VP, Internet Marketing
Phil Kramer, a Ziff Davis Enterprise veteran, was promoted to Senior Vice President, Internet Marketing. Kramer possesses nearly 20 years' experience with the company and was, until recently, its vice president. In his current position, he will lead 18 market web properties for the company, including eWeek.com, Baselinemag.com, and CIOInsight.com. Kramer started his career with the firm in 1992 as the regional sales manager for PC Computing and ComputerLife magazines. In his time with Ziff Davis, Kramer has helped increase the company's online business by nearly 45%. New York-based Ziff Davis Media provides the technology and video game market with a portfolio of websites, business IT tools, direct marketing, and other services.

Citigroup planning to buy Nikko, facing opposition
New York-based Citigroup is looking to enter the Japanese market with an investment of nearly $10.8 billion. The financial-services giant plans to acquire Nikko Cordial Corporation in a deal that is facing opposition from large investors in Nikko. Citigroup already owns 4.9% of Nikko and has been the company's investment-banking partner in Japan since 1999. Nikko's shares dipped when charges of recording inflated profits through forgery were leveled. The Tokyo Stock Exchange has hinted at delisting the firm. However, now Nikko's shares have risen as a result of talks regarding the possible acquisition.


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