First Republic Folds Amid Banking Crisis, Elon Musk Expects Starship To Make Orbit On Next Launch, DOJ Probes Mastercard Over Anti-Competitive Debit-Card Practices: Today's Top Stories


First Republic Folds As Banking Crisis Claims Third Victim: JPMorgan To Buy Deposits, Assets

  • The First Republic Bank FRC saga is winding to a close, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation confirming the shuttering of the bank and the sale of its assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM.
  • The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation closed San Francisco-based First Republic on Monday. The FDIC was appointed receiver, a statement released by the federal regulator said.
  • FDIC said it is entering into a purchase and assumption agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank to assume all the deposits and substantially all First Republic assets. This is done in a bid to protect the depositors, it added.

Astellas Pharma Acquires Iveric Bio For $5.9B To Focus On 'Blindness & Regeneration'

  • Japanese healthcare company Astellas Pharma Inc ALPMY has agreed to buy Iveric Bio Inc ISEE for $40.00 per share in cash for a total equity value of approximately $5.9 billion.
  • Iveric Bio focuses on discovering and developing novel treatments in the field of ophthalmology. 
  • Astellas expects the deal to advance its primary focus on "Blindness & Regeneration."
  • Astellas will fund the Iveric purchase via bank loans, commercial paper amounting to about ¥800 billion, and existing cash. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Blames Banking Crisis For Falling Auto Sales

  • On Sunday, Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk pegged the ongoing banking crisis in the U.S. as the reason for falling car sales.
  • Musk said U.S. residents are finding it harder to get car loans despite good credit. The CEO was responding to a Twitter user who shared U.S. sales figures of Toyota Motor Corp's TM Corolla cars.
  • As per the data shared by the user, the Japanese automaker sold only 13,528 Corolla cars in the U.S. in March 2023, its lowest sales numbers to date since 2005. Corolla sales hit their peak in May 2008 when it touched 52,826 units.

US Navy Gives Lockheed Martin's Wallet A Lift With $7.8B F-35 Contract Modification

  • Lockheed Martin Corp LMT has secured a ~$7.8 billion contract modification from the U.S. Navy.
  • The modification exercises options for the production and delivery of 126 Lot 17 F-35 aircraft, including 81 F-35A aircraft, 26 F-35B aircraft, and 19 F-35C.
  • The contract calls for production and integrated logistics support for the U.S. Army and international partners. It will be completed in 2026



Elon Musk Expects Starship To Make Orbit On Next Launch, Forecasts $2B SpaceX Expense On Mega Rocket This Year

  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Saturday said that he expects the company to spend about $2 billion to develop the Starship rocket- expected to reach orbit on its next flight- this year.
  • Musk said that he expects Starship's next launch to reach orbit. Starship's first launch exceeded his expectations, Musk said on a Twitter Spaces discussion live-tweeted by CNBC space reporter Michael Sheetz.
  • Musk said SpaceX would not need to raise any additional funding for the purpose. While Musk pegs the chances for Starship reaching orbit at 80% this year, he is confident that the rocket will reach orbit within 12 months.



After Visa, DOJ Probes Mastercard Over Alleged Anti-Competitive Debit-Card Practices

  • The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Mastercard Inc MA regarding the potential violation of antitrust rules in its debit-card business.
  • The DOJ's action comes nearly two years after the regulator began a similar inquiry into Visa Inc's V practices.
  • The DOJ inquiry results from a 2010 law requiring banks to include two competing networks on debit cards.


Financial Times

European Union's Amended COVID-19 Vaccine Deal with Pfizer-BioNTech: Near-Monopoly Status Potential Threat to Rivals

  • The European Union bloc is reportedly negotiating an amended deal with Pfizer Inc PFE and BioNTech SE BNTX for around 70 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, despite the European public prosecutor opening a criminal investigation into their original agreement. 
  • The updated proposal includes a new provision for member states to pay half price, about €10, for each canceled dose.
  • The revised contract would allow the EU to upgrade to newer vaccines tailored to any future COVID-19 variants,
  • A proposed deal for 70 million doses until 2026 threatens to push rivals Moderna Inc MRNANovavax Inc NVAX, and Sanofi SA SNY out of the market.

Deutsche Bank Gears Up For Biggest Expansions In Investment Banking Space Post Credit Suisse Crumble

  • Deutsche Bank AG DB is gearing up to capitalize on the growth opportunities post-collapse of its peer Credit Suisse Group AG CS.
  • The company stated its plans to hire personnel to support the expansion of its investment bank advisory team.
  • "We are investing in advisory, which is a high-returning business. Being in M&A and ECM is key. 'The UK is a natural market to focus on' because it has 25 per cent of the European corporate finance fee pool," the report quoted Fabrizio Campelli, Head of Corporate Bank and Investment Bank.



Subway's New Tempting Dish: Lure Buyers With Attractive $5B Debt Plan To Get 'The Magic Number' Valuation

  • Banks representing Subway presented a $5 billion debt plan for private firms hoping to acquire the sandwich chain.
  • The debt financing is based on a mix of loans and bonds, equating to 6.75x Subway's 12-month EBITDA of around $750 million.
  • Amid rising concerns about higher interest rates and economic slowdown, Subway's financial advisor, JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM, thinks the debt plan may help in Subway's getting the asking price for the acquisition.  


Wall Street Journal

What Next After Kanye West Collaboration Fallout? Adidas Plans To Fortify Foothold In US With Special Focus On Basketball

  • Adidas AG ADDYY is trying to "double down" its foothold in the U.S. sports market by opening more stores and forging new partnerships with athletes.
  • The Germany-based sportswear brand has recently spent "hundreds of millions of dollars" on a newly-opened facility in Los Angeles, where it will base its basketball product team.
  • After facing the failure of some of its most high-profile celebrity ventures, Adidas is now considering sports as its new priority for the U.S. business, focusing on basketball. 

Revlon's Makeover: From Bankruptcy To Fabulous New Owners

  • Cosmetics brand Revlon Inc REVRQ is likely to emerge from bankruptcy with a new owner and board of directors.
  • The board will consist of former executives from Bloomin' Brands Inc BLMNWalgreens Boots Alliance Inc WBA, and Sephora.
  • Revlon's bankruptcy ended decades of ownership by billionaire financier Ronald Perelman, who bought the company in 1985.
Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: BiotechLarge CapNewsPenny StocksHealth CareSmall CapLegalTop StoriesTechAerospace & DefenseData Processing & Outsourced ServicesIndustrialsInformation Technology
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!