Company news in brief

06 December 2021 | Business

Abba sues over Abba Mania

The Swedish pop supergroup Abba on Friday filed a lawsuit to stop a British cover band known as Abba Mania from using that name.

In a complaint filed with the US District Court in Manhattan, lawyers for Abba accused Abba Mania's managers of "parasitic and bad-faith conduct" by trading off Abba's goodwill and cachet in promoting Abba Mania.

Abba said the defendants have ignored its demands to stop using Abba Mania on social media, YouTube and the abbamania.com website, or take its suggestion to use "Abba Tribute" in a way that won't confuse people.

The corporate defendants include Handshake Ltd of Manchester, England, and TAL Entertainment Ltd of Bicester, England.

Abba has sold an estimated 385 million records, and is known for such songs as "Waterloo," "Dancing Queen," "Money, Money, Money" and "The Winner Takes It All." It was also one of the first acts to use music videos to promote its music.

The group last month released its first new album in 40 years, "Voyage," and is planning a stage show featuring digital avatars of its members, who are now in their 70s, replicating their 1970s look. – Nampa/Reuters

Ford aims to be world's #2 EVM

Ford Motor Co expects to be the world's second largest electric vehicle manufacturer within two years, with annual production capacity of nearly 600 000, a top company executive said Friday.

The automaker's optimism stems from increasing demand for its next new EV, the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup, with retail reservations approaching 200 000, Lisa Drake, chief operating officer of Ford North America, said.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Ford likely would be vying with Stellantis for third place in the EV race by 2025, behind Tesla and the Volkswagen Group, based on production forecast data provided by AutoForecast Solutions.

Speaking at an investor conference, Drake said Ford is working to vertically integrate more EV components, including power electronics and e-drives, at existing facilities that build parts for combustion vehicles - a modern take on founder Henry Ford's pioneering work in building many of his own components. – Nampa/Reuters

Musk sells Tesla shares worth US$1.01 bn

Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk has sold another 934 091 shares of the electric vehicle maker worth US$1.01 billion to meet his tax obligations related to the exercise of options to buy 2.1 million shares, regulatory filings showed on Thursday.

In early November, the world's richest person tweeted that he would sell 10% of his stock if users of the social media platform approved. A majority of them had agreed with the sale.

Since Nov. 8, Musk has exercised options to buy 10.7 million shares and sold 10.1 million shares for US$10.9 billion.

Following a flurry of options exercise, Musk still has an option to buy about 10 million more shares at US$6.24 each, which expires in August next year. – Nampa/Reuters

AmEx Global Business Travel to go public

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) said on Friday it would merge with a blank-check firm backed by Apollo Global Management Inc to go public in a deal valued at around US$5.3 billion.

The merger with Apollo Strategic Growth Capital will deliver gross proceeds of up to US$1.2 billion, including a US$335 million private investment in public equity, or PIPE.

Investors in the PIPE included investment manager Ares Management Corp, travel technology company Sabre Corp and Zoom Video Communications Inc.

The deal comes at a time when business travel is recovering from a pandemic-induced slump, in a boost for companies like AmEx GBT that help plan corporate trips.

AmEx GBT was a wholly-owned unit of American Express Co until 2014, when the payments processor sold half its stake to a consortium led by investment firm Certares LP.

The combined company will be renamed Global Business Travel Group after the deal, but it will continue to do business under the AmEx GBT brand name.

The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2022, after which the company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "GBTG." – Nampa/Reuters

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