COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF
24 September 2020 | Business
Russian bank TCS Group Holding is in talks to sell its online bank Tinkoff to Russian internet giant Yandex for US$5.48 billion, the two companies said.
The idea was first publicly floated last year when Oleg Tinkov, founder of Russia's TCS group, suggested to Yandex's chief executive that they combine his bank with Yandex, known as Russia’s answer to Google.
"The parties have come to an agreement in principle on a transaction that would consist of cash and share consideration worth approximately US$5.48 billion or US$27.64 per Tinkoff share," Yandex said.
The price of the possible deal represents an 8% premium to Tinkoff's GDR price as of Sept. 21. One half of the deal is expected to be paid in cash and another half with Yandex shares, a banking source told Reuters.
Its founder, Tinkov has been battling acute leukaemia and had a bone marrow transplant in July. He stepped down as board chairman of the bank to focus on his health and transferred his TCS shares to a Tinkov family trust in the spring. – Nampa/Reuters
Nike expected to return to profit
Strong online sales and demand from Chinese shoppers and students heading back to school are expected to have helped Nike swing back to a profit in the first quarter, a sequential improvement from the surprise loss it posted in July, according to Refinitiv.
With malls and department stores like J.C. Penney shutting shops due to Covid-19 lockdowns, people turned to e-commerce, buying significantly more products directly from Nike's website.
In the fiscal fourth quarter, Nike reported a 75% rise in online sales and Wall Street analysts expect this to continue - at least nine have raised their price targets on the stock in the last two weeks.
In the first quarter, 12% of all footwear on Nike.com featured new types of sneakers and shoes, versus 10% in the prior quarter, according to apparel data firm StyleSage.
The company sold out 17% of all footwear this year, compared with 6% in the fourth quarter, showing improvements in customer demand and investment in new items online. Online sales for Nike clothing show a similar trend. – Nampa/Reuters
Ralph Lauren to lay off thousands
Ralph Lauren Corp said it would cut 15% of its global workforce by the end of this fiscal year as the luxury retailer strives to lower costs and ride out the impact of Covid-19 on sales and shopping habits.
The New York-based fashion house, which has 530 stores globally, said the changes would see it move more business online. The company did not say how many or what type of jobs could go, but based on its last reported total workforce of about 24 900 employees.
"The changes happening in the world around us have accelerated the shifts we saw pre-Covid, and we are fast-tracking some of our plans to match them," Chief Executive Officer Patrice Louvet said.
The health crisis has hit demand for high-end handbags, apparel and accessories as more customers hold back on non-essential spending, forcing many companies to slow their expansion plans.
It has also put the brakes on the industry's biggest ever merger, with France's LVMH trying to back out of its US$16 billion deal to acquire Tiffany & Co. – Nampa/Reuters
Permira buys German group Neuraxpharm
Buyout group Permira has agreed to buy German pharma group Neuraxpharm, seeking to gain from an expected rise in demand for the company's antidepressants, painkillers and other products for the central nervous system, the companies said.
The deal values the company at almost 1.7 billion euros (US$1.88 billion), including debt, or at about 13 times its expected 2021 core earnings, three people close to the matter said.
The British buyout firm prevailed against competing offers from Carlyle, ICG and Goldman Sach's private equity arm, the sources said. Apax bought Neuraxpharm in 2016, combined it with Invent Farma, and later strengthened the company through add-on acquisitions, such as FB Health and Farmax.
The company makes specialty pharmaceuticals for neurological and psychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression and psychosis. It has annual revenues of more than 460 million euros and 850 employees.
While global M&A activity hit its lowest level in more than a decade in the second quarter, deal-making in the healthcare sector is expected to buck the trend this year as its products and services are considered resilient to the Covid-19 crisis, investment bankers say. – Nampa/Reuters
Barclays to revert to home working
Up to 1 000 Barclays staff who had returned to office-based working in recent weeks will revert to working from home following British government guidance on Tuesday, a spokesman for the bank told Reuters.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of Covid-19.
The latest advice comes just weeks after Johnson urged people to return to their workplaces to try to limit the economic damage to nearly-abandoned city centres.
Around 22 000 Barclays staff have remained working in its offices worldwide throughout the pandemic, as designated key workers needed to keep the financial system ticking over.
Of the around 1 000 more who had begun to return to work worldwide, hundreds based in Britain will resume working from home, the spokesman said, with others potentially following suit if local advice changes in other countries. - Nampa/Reuters