Virgin Atlantic has filed for bankruptcy in NY after telling a court in London it would run out of cash in September if a planned £1.2B rescue deal failed. The plans need approval from creditors under a court-sanctioned process. As part of that process the airline is also seeking protection under chapter 15 of the US bankruptcy code that enables a foreign debtor to shield assets in the country.
WHSmith is looking to cut up to 1,500 jobs owing to the impact on earnings from COVID-19. Its revenue were down 57% in July compared with the same month last year. While most of the loss came from its Covid-19 hit travel business, the company said its shops in airports and train stations had been hit by low passenger numbers, while its high street stores also suffered from low footfall.
A US judge on Tuesday sentenced former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski to 18 months in prison for stealing a trade secret from Google related to self-driving cars months before becoming the head of Uber’s rival unit. However, US District Judge Alsup said that Levandowski, who had pleaded guilty in March, could enter custody once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.
Clorox, the world’s biggest maker of disinfectant cleaning materials, said consumers will continue to see a shortage of its wipes into 2021 because of overwhelming demand during the pandemic.’That entire supply chain is stressed … We feel like it’s probably going to take until 2021 before we’re able to meet all the demand,’ The company’s CEO Benno Dorer said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is probing the circumstances around Eastman Kodak Co.’s announcement of a $765M government loan to make drugs at its US factories, the WSJ reported. The regulator is reportedly examining how the timing of the announcement may have contributed to a surge in Kodak’s stock price. The company’s stock had reportedly surged 26% a day before the announcement.
Fernando Martinez, a Cuban restaurant owner in Louisville, is slamming BLM activists for sending him and other small business owners a list of diversity demands that needed to be met. The Cuban community demonstrated in support of Martizez Sunday. The letter lists demands like a minimum of 23% of the staff being Black and buying at least 23% of their goods from Black-owned retailers, to name a few
President Trump said that TikTok app will be ’out of business’ in US if it doesn’t sell its US operations by next month and that the US govt should get a cut of the deal. He further said that he doesn’t mind if Microsoft or another company acquires TikTok, provided it is a big, secured and a US company. He also told reporters that he was personally brokering a deal with Microsoft CEO Nadella.
CEO’s of major companies as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and heads of trade associations wrote a letter to Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and House urging more support for small businesses. The letter states that small businesses ’employ almost half of all private-sector workers and account for 44%’ of US GDP. Congress and Trump officials are working to agree on a plan.
Trump has said the US should receive a ’large percentage’ of the proceeds from any sale of TikTok to Microsoft or any other US company ’because we’re making (the deal) possible’. ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, is asked to sell its US business after Trump threatened a crackdown on Chinese tech companies, accusing them of being a national security risk because of the personal data they handle.
Twitter revealed on Monday that it may need to pay up to a $250 million fine to the FTC for misusing customer security data for advertising purposes. Twitter stated that it had received a draft complaint from the FTC on July 28. Under a 2011 consent decree, Twitter is barred from misleading customers on how it ’protects the security, privacy and confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information.’
Ford Motor CEO Jim Hackett is retiring after three years in the position. He was tapped to transform the automaker into a leaner, more competitive and profitable company while investing in technology and shifting towards electrification, automation and connectivity. Jim Farley has been named president and CEO. Farley joined Ford in 2007 as global head of marketing and sales.
PizzaExpress has said it could close ~67 of its UK restaurants, putting up to 1,100 jobs at risk. The chain also announced that it is up for sale, owing to the significantly more challenging environment caused by Covid-19 pandemic. The management believes that the turnaround plan will help protect the majority of staff by putting the business on a stronger financial footing in the new environment.
BP has cut its dividend for the first time in a decade after reporting a $16.8 billion loss for the second quarter as the pandemic hammered energy demand. The dividend is halved to 5.25 cents per share for the quarter, compared to 10.5 cents per share for the first three months of the year. The reported loss for the quarter includes a post-tax charge of $10.9 billion for non-operating items.
India’s private-sector lender HDFC Bank has received the approval to name insider Sashidhar Jagdishan as its CEO. Jagdishan, will replace Aditya Puri - HDFC Bank’s CEO of 26 years. He takes over at a time when the country’s lenders are struggling potential NPA’s as pandemic brings small businesses to the brink. Jagdishan will start his new role from Oct. 27, after the RBI clears the appointment.
Dixons Carphone is to cut 800 jobs as it opts for restructuring of its stores management. The company, which owns Currys PC World, is consulting the affected staff, as it begins to remove roles from its stores. Dixons Carphone CEO Allsop said that with the latest rejig, they want to empower store leadership teams, create a flatter management structure and make it easy for their customers to shop.
Reuters reported, Indian content sharing platform ShareChat is in early talks with Sequoia Capital and other investors to raise up to US$200mn. The deal could value the company at over US$1bn. ShareChat has appointed JPMorgan to advise on the fund raising which it expected to be completed before the year end. ShareChat with 140mn monthly active users, however has declined to comment on the news.
United States President Donald Trump argued that a buyout of Chinese owned short video app TikTok is being made possible by the US, and hence the country should get a ’large percentage’ of the proceeds from a possible sale of TikTok to Microsoft. The Trump administration has argued that TikTok poses a national security risk as it handles personal data of US citizens.
Trump said Monday that TikTok will be ’out of business’ in the US if it doesn’t reach a deal to sell its American operations by mid-September— and that the US government should get a cut of the deal. ’The US should get a very large percentage of that price, because we’re making it possible,’ Trump said. Washington argues the firm poses a security risk because of the personal data it handles.