Top Financial Media Stories Wednesday, September 21: Amazon's Roomba Maker Acquisition Attracts Regulatory Attention, Binance And FTX Bid For Voyager Digital's Assets, Germany Nationalizes Gas Giant Uniper To Avert Energy Crisis And More..

Wall Street Journal

Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX, Binance Reportedly In The Lead To Buy Voyager Digital's Assets

  • The assets of defunct cryptocurrency lender Voyager Digital Ltd VYGVQ have attracted the highest bids from cryptocurrency exchanges FTX and Binance.
  • The current offer from Binance is around $50 million, which is only marginally higher than the rival offer from FTX, led by Sam Bankman-Fried. However, neither offer has been accepted as of yet.

More Regulatory Watching For Amazon, $1.7B Proposed Purchase Of iRobot Attracts Attention

  • Federal antitrust enforcers investigated Inc's AMZN proposal to buy Roomba maker iRobot Corp IRBT.
  • Roomba dominates the smart vacuum market with a 75% market share by revenue in the U.S.
  • The FTC formally requested documents from both companies explaining the proposed $1.7 billion deal's purpose and rationale.


Boeing To Axe 150 Finance Jobs In US Following Flight Debacles

  • Boeing Co BA shared plans to cut 150 finance jobs in the U.S. in 2022 to streamline its corporate structure and focus on manufacturing and product development.
  • Boeing ramped its workforce by 10,000 earlier this year and its engineering and manufacturing departments.
  • Following two 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pledged to scrutinize Boeing.

CVS Health, Walmart Settle West Virginia Opioid Lawsuit, Walgreens To Face Trial Next Year

  • CVS Health Corp (NYSE: CVS) and Walmart Inc WMT will pay $147.5 million to settle lawsuits regarding West Virginia's opioid crisis, with CVS shelling out $82.5 million and Walmart approximately $65 million.
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc has not settled, and a trial has been rescheduled for June 2023, with Kroger Co KR also being a defendant in the rescheduled trial.

General Electric Hires Mavi Zingoni As Head Of Power Business

  • General Electric Co GE has appointed Mavi Zingoni as the Chief Executive Officer of its power units.
  • Zingoni will report to Scott Strazik, who heads the company's portfolio of energy businesses.
  • Zingoni will be based in the U.S. and will start work on January 1, 2023.

Financial Times

Pressure Mounts On US To Blacklist This Top Chinese Chipmaker

  • Top U.S. lawmakers urged the Biden administration to blacklist Chinese semiconductor company Yangtze Memory Technologies Co for allegedly violating export controls by supplying Huawei Technologies Co, Ltd.
  • As per the lawmakers, YMTC has provided Nand memory chips for Huawei's new flagship foldable phone, Mate Xs 2.
  • In 2019, the U.S. blacklisted Huawei citing national security risks.

Schneider Electric To Buyout UK Software Developer Aveva At 40% Premium

  • French industrial conglomerate Schneider Electric SE SBGSF has agreed to purchase the rest of Aveva Group Plc AVEVF in a deal that values the U.K. software developer's equity at £9.5 billion.
  • The purchase price implies a premium of 40% from before Schneider confirmed exploring a potential buyout in late August. Shares in Aveva closed up at £30.38 on September 20.
  • Schneider would snap the remaining 40% of Aveva it did not own for £31 a share.


Twitter, Microsoft To Invest Toward Christchurch Call Anti-Online Hate Project, Says New Zealand PM

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a joint research initiative on Wednesday under the Christchurch Call anti-online hate project with the United States, Twitter Inc TWTR, and Microsoft Corporation MSFT. The anti-online hate project was launched in the wake of the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques in 2019.
  • Ardern said New Zealand, the U.S., Twitter, and Microsoft Corporation would invest an undisclosed sum in developing new technology. Together, they will work on finding out how algorithms drive people towards violent and terrorist content online.

Juul Sues FDA, Accuses It Deliberately Withheld Scientific Materials Related To Sales Ban

  • E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc, backed by Altria Group Inc MO, filed a complaint accusing the FDA's refusal to disclose documents supporting its banning order on the company's products.
  • In June, the agency ordered Juul to stop selling and distributing all its products marketed in the U.S., saying the company's products played a disproportionate role in the rise in youth vaping.

FDA Concludes Oversight Shortcomings After Infant Formula Internal Review

  • The FDA concluded an internal review of agency actions related to the U.S. infant formula supply.
  • The agency released a 10-page report, which is the result of information collected from more than 40 interviews with more than 60 FDA staff and leadership directly involved with the events that transpired.
  • The review found numerous shortcomings hampered the agency's response to the U.S. infant formula supply problems this year.

Beyond Meat Suspends COO Following Arrest Over Nose Biting Incident

  • Beyond Meat Inc BYND has immediately suspended its Chief Operating Officer, Doug Ramsey.
  • Further, the company's operations activities will be overseen on an interim basis by Jonathan Nelson, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Operations.
  • The plant-based meat substitute producer's COO was reportedly arrested over the weekend after biting a man's nose after a college football game.

Volkswagen's Chinese EV Battery Maker Plans $3.6B Michigan Plant That Could Create Up To 2,000 Jobs

  • Chinese battery maker Guoxuan High Tech Co is planning to set up a Michigan that is expected to create 2,000 new jobs.
  • Gotion Inc, the U.S. subsidiary of the battery maker, would produce battery components at the facility that could draw up to $3.6 billion in investment.
  • The report added that the new facility would initially lead to about 500 jobs and up to 2,000 jobs over the next decade.

Tesla Megapack Battery Fire In California That Shut Major Highway Is Now 'Fully Controlled'

  • A Tesla Inc TSLA Megapack battery installed at utility PG&E Corporation's PCG California storage facility caught fire early on Tuesday. At the time of writing, the fire had been "fully controlled."
  • PG&E said that around 1:30 a.m., it became aware of a fire in one Tesla Megapack at the Elkhorn Battery Storage in Moss Landing, Monterey County, California. Following the incident, the facility was disconnected from the grid to stop the fire spread and provide a safe area for emergency response personnel.

YouTube Does A TikTok: Shorts Creators Will Now Get Share Of Ad Revenue

  • Alphabet Inc's GOOGL GOOG video streaming platform YouTube announced "new ways" for its Shorts creators to make money on Tuesday.
  • The Sundar Pichai-led company said in a blog post that beginning in early 2023, Shorts-focused creators can apply to its YouTube Partner Program (YPP) as long as they meet a threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views over 90 days.

Germany Moves To Nationalize Gas Giant Uniper In €8B Deal To Avert Energy Supply Crisis

  • Germany will nationalize Uniper SE (OTC: UNPRF) in a bid to save the country's largest gas importer, which was hit hard by Russian natural-gas cuts to Europe.
  • The German government would take a 99% stake in the energy giant and inject €8 billion.
  • The Federal Government will acquire the Uniper shares currently held by Fortum Oyj FOJCY FOJCF for €1.70 per share.

Novartis To Petition US Supreme Court To Uphold Patent Validity For Multiple Sclerosis Drug, Gilenya

  • Swiss drug major Novartis AG NVS plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the validity of the Gilenya (fingolimod) dosing regimen patent.
  • With the latest decision, HEC and other generic application filers with FDA approval will potentially be able to launch a generic version of 0.5mg Gilenya imminently.

French Billionaire Xavier Niel Scoops 2.5% Stake In Vodafone

  • French billionaire Xavier Niel-backed investment vehicle Atlas Investissement procured a 2.5% stake in British telecom giant Vodafone Group Plc VOD.
  • Atlas Investissement saw opportunities to accelerate the streamlining of Vodafone's footprint and the separation of its infrastructure assets, further reduce costs, improve profitability, and accelerate broadband development in Germany and other geographies.
  • The stake is worth £752 million.

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