COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF
08 October 2021 | Business
Nestle is launching plant-based substitutes for egg and shrimp that closely mirror the taste, nutrition and performance of the originals, the food group said on Wednesday, extending its range in the fast-growing vegan market.
The egg substitute, branded Garden Gourmet vEGGie in Europe, contains soy protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It can be scrambled or used in a frittata or as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, Nestle said.
The vegan shrimp, called Vrimp, follows the launch of its tuna substitute last year.
Chief Executive Mark Schneider said the Swiss company's vegan products such as plant-based burgers and sausages were seeing double-digit sales growth.
"It's also not limited to one particular age group or one particular demographic group," he told reporters in London. "This is really getting mainstream and broad based."
Last year, Nestle's sales from plant-based products were just 200 million Swiss francs (US$216 million), a tiny fraction of its total sales of 84 billion francs. -Nampa/Reuters
Tesla faces investor test
A contract worker has won a US$137 million jury award over workplace racism against Tesla Inc, raising pressure on the electric vehicle maker whose shareholders will vote on a proposal to review how it addresses similar complaints for full-time employees.
The nonbinding shareholder resolution asks Tesla's board to study the impact of the company's current use of mandatory arbitration to resolve complaints of harassment and discrimination in its workplace. Tesla opposes the plan.
On Monday, a San Francisco federal jury made the award to former Tesla worker Owen Diaz. “The verdict sends a message to corporate America that you need to make sure that racist conduct is not occurring,” Lawrence Organ, his attorney told Reuters.
Diaz was able to face a public trial because contract workers were not subject to Tesla's mandatory arbitration, which forces employees to resolve disputes outside judiciary courts.
Tesla advised against the resolution because, it said, arbitration "benefits both parties with a fair resolution and a speedier return to their respective priorities without miring them in lengthy litigation."-Nampa/Reuters
Dow aims to boost core earnings
Dow unveiled on Wednesday plans to boost its core earnings by US$3 billion a year over the next decade, with investments that include building a new net-zero carbon emissions ethylene and derivatives facility in Alberta, Canada.
The chemicals maker, once part of DowDupont, joins a growing list of companies that have announced plans to cut emissions and reduce carbon footprint following pressure from investors.
Calling the new project, a "no-regrets" move, Dow's Chief Executive Officer Jim Fitterling said he expects the facility to deliver about US$1 billion of additional earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) per year by 2030.
Near-term investments to expand manufacturing capacity of chemicals and materials used in packaging, specialty plastics, coatings and other businesses are expected to generate about US$2 billion of EBITDA, the company said.
The new facility would more than triple Dow's ethylene and polyethylene capacity from its Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta site, and the company expects to allocate about $1 billion of capital spending annually for the project. -Nampa/Reuters
BMW invests in lithium technology
BMW said on Wednesday it will invest in lithium technology start-up Lilac Solutions Inc to support more-efficient ways to produce the electric vehicle battery metal.
Privately-held Lilac is part of a growing number of technology developers seeking to extract lithium from saltwater brines faster, cheaper and with less water than evaporation ponds, which have long been the industry standard.
BMW, which already buys lithium from China's Ganfeng Lithium Co and other traditional lithium producers, said it sees Lilac's technology as a way to boost global production of the white metal as demand grows from the EV market.
"This holds the promise of becoming a new extraction technology that allows access to more green lithium," said Kasper Sage of BMW i Ventures, BMW's venture capital fund.
The German automaker is participating in Lilac's Series B funding round alongside SK Materials Co, Sumitomo Corp investment arm Presidio Ventures and others. -Nampa/Reuters
Nvidia offers EU concessions
Nvidia has offered concessions in a bid to secure EU antitrust approval for its US$54 billion acquisition of British chip designer Arm, a European Commission filing showed on Wednesday.
The deal announced by world's biggest maker of graphics and AI chips last year has sparked concerns in the semiconductor industry over whether Arm could remain a neutral player licensing intellectual property to customers and rivals.
The EU competition enforcer, which did not provide details of the concessions in line with its policy, set an Oct. 27 deadline for its decision.
It will now seek feedback from rivals and customers before deciding whether to accept the concessions, demand more or open a four-month long investigation.
Nvidia has said it would maintain Arm as a neutral technology supplier as it aims to allay concerns from customers such as Qualcomm Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.-Nampa/Reuters