01 Oktober 2021 | Geschäft

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

Walgreens to buy Evolent Health

Pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc is considering an acquisition of healthcare IT firm Evolent Health Inc, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Shares of Arlington, Virginia-based Evolent rose as much as 18% after the report, before paring some gains to trade up nearly 9%.

The talks are ongoing and there is no certainty Walgreens will move forward with an offer to buy the company, according to the report. Evolent declined to comment, while Walgreens did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Walgreens previously said it was focused on making strategic investments to build on its core pharmacy business. It made a US$970 million investment last week to acquire a majority stake in specialty pharmacy company Shields Health Solutions.

Evolent had a market value of US$2.36 billion, based on Tuesday's close. The company reached an agreement with activist investor Engaged Capital last year to appoint a new director and create a new board committee. -Nampa/Reuters

Amazon settles with employees

Amazon.com Inc and the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said on Wednesday the company had reached a settlement with two former employees who alleged they were fired last year for criticizing the working conditions at the e-commerce giant's warehouses.

Amazon had terminated the employment of Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, who had accused the company of enforcing policies in a discriminatory fashion and instituting rules that "chill and restrain" the staff from exercising rights, according to their charge filed in October.

The NLRB found in April that Amazon illegally fired them after they advocated for better working conditions during the pandemic.

"Amazon will be required to pay us our lost wages and post a notice to all of its tech and warehouse workers nationwide that Amazon can't fire workers for organizing and exercising their rights," Cunningham and Costa said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The US agency said the company had reached a non-board settlement, a private agreement between parties in which terms were not disclosed, with the former employees. -Nampa/Reuters

Boeing wins follow-on contract

Boeing Co said on Wednesday the US Department of Defense had awarded it a follow-on contract valued at up to US$23.8 billion to provide services to a fleet of C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft over a 10-year period.

Under the agreement, Boeing will continue to provide services including engineering, field support and material management for a fleet of 275 aircraft managed by the United States Air Force and eight global partners, the plane maker said.

Boeing will also lower operating cost per-flight-hour for the fleet under the new agreement, it said. The new agreement is currently funded through September 2024, the company said, with a Phase I award of US$3.5 billion. -Nampa/Reuters

Warby Parker valued at over US$6 bln

Shares of Warby Parker Inc jumped 35% in their US market debut on Wednesday, notching up a valuation of over US$6 billion for the eyewear company.

The company's stock, which went public through a direct listing, opened at US$54.05 per share compared with the reference price of US$40 per share.

A direct listing lets companies list their stock on exchanges without selling shares, thereby sidestepping a costly and time-consuming initial public offering.

Tiger Global Management, General Catalyst, Baillie Gifford and D1 Capital Partners are investors in Warby. It had confidentially filed for a listing in June. -Nampa/Reuters

Citigroup urges court to hit 'rewind'

Citigroup Inc on Wednesday pressed a federal appeals court to let it recoup about US$504 million of its own money that it accidentally wired Revlon Inc lenders, saying its mistake did not entitle them to a huge windfall.

The bank's lawyer Neal Katyal said the lenders had six "red flags" of the error, and had not expected the cosmetics company controlled by billionaire Ronald Perelman to repay them for another three years.

"If you hit rewind here, it's not unfair," Katyal told the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. "The parties get returned to the position that they bargained for."

But one member of the three-judge panel said a key precedent from New York state's highest court appeared to leave legal questions about Citigroup's payment and the lenders' response unanswered, and which perhaps that court should answer first.

The case stemmed from New York-based Citigroup's August 2020 prepayment of an US$894-million loan for Revlon, which lacked enough cash to repay it, that was not due until 2023.-Nampa/Reuters

Air France-KLM eyes capital options

Air France-KLM is looking at raising fresh funds soon after completing a share issue earlier this year, bolstered by a positive trend in bookings since the United States announced a reopening to Europeans, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

"We did at our annual general meeting in May request from our shareholders flexibility on how we could look to recapitalise the group," CEO Ben Smith told reporters.

"We are studying right now what some of the options are, what some of the tools could be to be able to do just that. We are expecting to place another recapitalisation in the coming months," he said at an aircraft delivery ceremony.

Asked whether he saw any fund-raising happening before the end of the year, he said: "I can’t give you a full confirmation; we would like to make sure that we do it as soon as possible."

In April, Smith said Air France-KLM may raise more capital to bolster its balance sheet and reduce debt as travel begins to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. -Nampa/Reuters

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