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Markets: Covid Testing Provider Cue Health Goes Public

A diagnostics startup that found treasures amid dirt from the Covid-19 pandemic has stamped its success with a successful initial public offering (IPO). It's Cue Health , a little-known startup from San Diego that rapidly switched its focus to making Covid-19 testing kits on the onset of the pandemic and has built a big business with that. Cue Health debuted on the Nasdaq exchange on Friday, the 24th of September, raising $200mn before commissions and other underwriting expenses. Its stock climbed 25% on that day to end trading at $20, giving it a market cap of $2.9bn . Cue Health is one of the significant startup success stories to emerge from the pandemic. Before it started providing Covid testing kits, its annual sales were numbered in the low-digit millions but shot up to $23mn in 2020  on the pandemic's onset and $202mn in the first half of 2021 . Because of its fast pivot to providing Covid testing kits, Cue Health was an early mover. Thus, it got lucrative testing contr

Deal: Advent, GIC To Buy Swedish Drugmaker Sobi For $8B

In a type of deal that signals the globality of modern finance, two major investment firms, one American and the other from Singapore , are teaming up to pursue a big buyout on the Swedish stock markets. It's Advent International , a US-based private equity firm, teaming up with Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC to buy Sobi , a Swedish drugmaker. Advent and GIC have offered to pay the equivalent of $8.1bn to acquire all shares of Sobi, which is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange (STO: SOBI). That price marks the largest buyout of a Swedish company in more than five years. It's  35% above Sobi's closing price the last day before acquisition rumors of the company began swirling. Already, Sobi has signaled that the buyout offer will likely proceed, recommending to shareholders that they accept the offer. The two biggest shareholders of the drugmaker with a combined stake of about 46% have given their approval, leaving just a few percent left for majority approval

Deal: Pfizer Buys Cancer Drugmaker Trillium For $2.3B

Pfizer , the pharmaceuticals giant best known at this time for its Covid vaccine, is continuing to make moves in other segments apart from the coronavirus. It's freshly acquiring a company that's working on drugs targeting certain forms of cancer. Pfizer has agreed to acquire  Trillium Therapeutics , a Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biotech company. Based in Canada, Trillium is working to make drugs to treat cancers, with two drug candidates in its pipeline but none yet past the trial stage. Pfizer will pay $18.50 per share to acquire Trillium, a 118% premium to the company's average closing price over the past 60 days. The acquisition values Trillium at $2.3bn , excluding a small stake that Pfizer already owns in the company. As it looks, Pfizer is betting on Trillium to up its game in the oncology (cancer-study) business. It's a sector that brought in $11bn in sales for Pfizer in 2020, about a quarter of its sales for the year. Pfizer is apparently betting that Tril

Spotlight: BioNTech Guns For mRNA Tech To Fight Other Diseases

BioNTech , the German biotech outfit that made the Covid vaccine distributed by Pfizer , is pushing into more vaccine development for other diseases with the clout and money it made from its shine during the Covid pandemic. After seeing success with an mRNA-based Covid vaccine, BioNTech is hoping and working to apply the relatively new mRNA tech to produce other vaccines in relatively short spans. In June, the company began Phase 2 clinical trials for one of its vaccine candidates targeting Advanced Melanoma which is a type of cancer and in turn an area where many companies before it have long sought breakthrougs. For context, there are currently only 2 vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to tackle certain types of cancer. Many companies are lurking in this area with big R&D spend but have faced difficulties creating viable products. BioNTech, a moonshot in its right, is hoping to break ground in the area just like it did with Covid, though fighting Covid

Biotech: Zymergen Hits Roadblock, Shares Crater, CEO Out

A certain biotech company with high ambitions has seen its shares crater down from the height of its ambitions after it reported some updates to investors. It's Zymergen , a company working on biochemical processes to develop synthetic forms of various industrial materials. Zymergen issued a statement to investors on Tuesday that it recently became aware of issues with its commercial product pipeline that'll negatively affect its prospects. In fact, because of the issues, the company no longer expects to make any money from selling products this year, and then "immaterial" sales next year. Zymergen doesn't yet have a commercial product, as it's still in the trial stage. Shareholders of the company are primarily betting on its future potential of applying biochemical processes to make synthetic industrial materials at scale and bring in sales. For now, the company only makes money from R&D services rendered for industrial firms. For now, Zymergen's onl

Biotech: Sanofi Buys mRNA Company Translate Bio In $3.2B Deal

In this pandemic era, mRNA technology has been the talk of the town.  Messenger ribonucleic acid as the abbreviation stands for, it's basically the biotechnology of conveying genetic information from the DNA to be translated into proteins to fight bodily diseases.  mRNA is the technology that gave us the emergency-authorized vaccines distributed globally by Pfizer and Moderna . As it looks, it's a promising technology in the medical field with the potential to fight many ailments. It happens that mRNA tech shined as a light in the darkness of the Covid pandemic and thus companies working in that area are getting rewarded. Take Moderna for example, a company founded barely a decade ago that now has a market cap of $140bn . To add to the companies getting rewarded, there's been a hot new acquisition in the mRNA sector. It's that Sanofi , the French pharmaceuticals giant, has agreed to buy Translate Bio , an American clinical-stage mRNA therapeutics company. Sanofi wi

Deal: Amgen Buys Biotech Startup Teneobio In $2.5B Deal

It appears that this Covid era has led to a boom for companies that work on  antibodies , which are protective proteins produced by the human immune system to tackle foreign substances, usually viruses. Antibodies are very useful in the research and treatment of viruses such as Covid. There are companies that specialize in antibodies and one of them, BioLegend , was recently bought for a whopping $5.3bn . Now, another such company, Teneobio , is getting bought for a big amount. Teneobio has agreed to be acquired by Amgen , an American biotech giant. Amgen is paying $900mn upfront for the company, then an additional $1.6bn in cash contingent on the company hitting certain milestones. It sums up to a $2.5bn deal . Teneobio is a clinical-stage biotech startup working on antibodies aimed at treating cancer, autoimmunity, and other infectious diseases. As it's still in the clinical trial stage with no viable product yet, it appears that Amgen is betting big on Teneobio's trials b

Deal: PerkinElmer Buys Antibody Maker BioLegend For $5.3B

PerkinElmer , a publicly-traded medical devices and diagnostics company, had made its biggest acquisition yet. It's  agreed to buy   BioLegend , a privately-held company that makes antibodies and reagents for biomedical research. PerkinElmer will pay the sum of  $5.3bn  in cash and stock to buy BioLegend, marking the company's biggest acquisition in its existence. It's a major play that PerkinElmer is making, as it says BioLegend expects to have $380mn in sales in 2022, implying a multiple of about 14x to buy the company. BioLegend was founded in 2002 and has been based in the state of California for a long time. It has more than 700 employees, most of whom are based in the US. BioLegend shined during the Covid pandemic as the company provided antibodies and other tools used for biomedical research tackling the virus. Now, just about a year later, it's culminated in a big exit for the two-decade-old company. PerkinElmer has taken financing from Goldman Sachs to finance

IPO: An Ambitious Psychedelics Startup Debuts With Fanfare

An ambitious startup working on psychedelic drugs with hopes of treating mental health issues has made its way onto the public markets. That startup, ATAI Life Sciences , listed on the Nasdaq exchange   (ticker "ATAI")  on Friday, the 18th of June, and saw its share price close up nearly 30% that day. ATAI Life Sciences is the brainchild of a German billionaire entrepreneur,  Christian Angermayer , who made a fortune founding a biotech company and then investing in tech startups.  ATAI is in the ambitious territory, looking to develop psychedelic drugs to treat mental health conditions. It's a field still in its infancy and with many regulatory hurdles to cross. As it's structured, ATAI is a holding company for various psychedelic startups pursuing treatments for mental illnesses. When it was privately held, it raised over $360mn of venture funding and used it to buy several startups to house under its umbrella.  Now with its IPO, ATAI raised $225mn more to continue

Biotech: Covid Vaccine Maker BioNTech Tackles Cancer

In biotech news today, the maker of a successful Covid vaccine based on mRNA technology is hoping to replicate that success for cancer, yes cancer. That vaccine maker is BioNTech , the German company that made the Covid vaccine mass-produced by strategic partner Pfizer. BioNTech has begun Phase 2 trials of a cancer vaccine it's made named BNT111 . The first out of 120 trial subjects has been dosed with the vaccine to see if it'll work.  At that, it seems that BioNTech is very ambitious such that shortly after making a Covid vaccine it's hoping to replicate that success with a cancer vaccine. For reference, there are currently only two vaccines approved by the US FDA to tackle certain types of cancer. BNT111  is a vaccine candidate targeting  Advanced Melanoma  in humans. Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in the cells that control the pigment of the human skin.  For the trial, BioNTech has gotten approval to enroll 120 patients across the EU, UK, US, and Austral

Covid-19: Novavax Says Vaccine 90% Effective

An American biotech firm working on a vaccine for Covid-19 has announced very positive results from its trials. That firm is Novavax , a reputed vaccine maker that began working on a Covid vaccine late last year. Novavax said its vaccine demonstrated 90.4% efficacy against Covid-19 from a sample of nearly 30k participants in the US and Mexico. At that, it plans to file for authorization with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year. Novavax seems late to the game after successful Covid vaccines for the US have already been developed by Pfizer and Moderna. It's yet to receive authorization at a time when hundreds of millions of Pfizer and Moderna doses have already been sold in the US and abroad. Unlike Moderna and Pfizer, Novavax's Covid vaccine is protein-based rather than the mRNA technology the two companies decided to work with. The use of proteins is a long-established way of making vaccines compared to the mRNA which is new to mass production. There ap

Alert: FDA Approves New Alzheimer's Drug From Biogen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a landmark approval for a new drug to treat Alzheimer's , a neurologic disorder that affects millions worldwide. It's the first medication cleared by US regulators to treat the ailment in two decades. The drug granted clearance is  Aduhelm made by Cambridge-based Biogen. It's a branded name for  Aducanumab , a medication that works by removing sticky deposits of a protein called amyloid beta found in the brains of early Alzheimer's patients, with the hopes of reducing the ailment's buildup. As a note, Aduhelm is not a cure for Alzheimer's, but a way to attack what is believed to be an underlying cause in the disease in its early stages. It can't be used to tackle Alzheimer's that has already progressed to later stages. Aduhelm will cost $56k per year to patients.  The FDA clearance for Aduhelm came despite objections from many in the scientific and medical community, where there has been a fierce

SPAC: Biotech Startup Ginkgo Bioworks To Go Public In $15B Deal

A biotech startup based in Boston is going public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in one of the biggest such deals. That startup is Ginkgo Bioworks , which has agreed to merge with a SPAC in a deal valuing it at $15bn. Details: Ginkgo Bioworks has agreed to merge with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: SRNG). The terms of the merger value Ginkgo at $15bn on a pre-money basis. With the merger, Gingko will go public with $2.5bn in cash proceeds, consisting of $1.7bn from  Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. and a $775mn PIPE round committed by investors such as Cathie Wood's  Ark Invest and Counterpoint Global, an offshoot of Morgan Stanley. With a $15bn valuation, Ginkgo is one of the biggest SPAC deals to come out of the recent boom of SPAC mergers. It'll see Ginkgo go public 13 years after its founding and roughly $800mn in venture funding raised over that period. Highlights: Ginkgo was founded in 2008 by scientists from MIT.

Earnings: Covid Vaccines Deliver Big Sales, Profit For Moderna

Moderna was among the few biotech companies that saved the day with the development of an emergency-authorized vaccine to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a breakthrough for the company, which was before then a cancer-fighting moonshot with minimal revenues and no working product. Being a publicly-traded company, Moderna is mandated to release quarterly earnings reports to the public and it has done so this time around, releasing its financial results for the first quarter of this year 2021. Moderna's latest earnings report shows that of a company that saw big success from its Covid vaccines, as it reported record revenue and its first-ever net profit as a public company. By the numbers: Moderna made $1.9bn in revenue in Q1' 21, compared to a paltry $8mn for the same quarter in 2020. The revenue came wholly from Covid vaccine sales in the US and foreign markets. Moderna reported a huge net income of $1.2bn in the quarter, compared to a net loss of $124mn for the same perio

Earnings: Pfizer Rakes In Cash From COVID Vaccine

Pfizer, one of the few pharmaceutical companies worldwide to produce an approved Covid-19 vaccine, has unveiled its earnings report for the first quarter of this year. As usual, the report provides a solid peek into the company's financials and with very noteworthy nuggets this time around. One key nugget from Pfizer's earnings report is that the company brought in $3.5bn in revenue from its Covid-19 vaccine in Q1' 21. It made up nearly a fourth of the company's total $14.6bn revenue for the period. The Covid vaccine was the biggest single source of revenue for Pfizer in the quarter. It's definitely a good time for the company in that regard, as it elected to keep the profit from the sale of its vaccines unlike some of its competitors which volunteered to waive off any profit-seeking from their vaccines. Unlike some of its competitors also, Pfizer didn't take money from the US government to fund the development of its vaccine under the Trump administration'

SoftBank Makes Big Biotech Bet On UK Startup Exscientia

Once again, Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank has proven that it's a fan of the biotech industry with a major investment in the sector, and the latest testament to its likeliness of the sector is Exscientia, a UK startup using AI to accelerate drug discovery that has just completed a $225 million Series D round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. SoftBank led Exscientia's Series D round and was joined by a host of other big-name participants including BlackRock, Mubadala, Farallon Capital, and American pharmaceuticals giant Bristol-Myers Squibb.  SoftBank didn't just stop at leading Exscientia's round but committed an additional $300 million in equity funding that could be drawn at the company's discretion. This signals having a lot of confidence in the company. Exscientia is part of a crop of companies that have emerged in recent years to put to use the rapid development and improvement of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in the drug developm

Psychedelic Drugs Startup ATAI Life Sciences Files For IPO

A German startup that's betting heavily on psychedelic drugs having mainstream medical use soon has filed for an initial public offering in the US. That startup is ATAI Life Sciences, one founded by serial German entrepreneur Christian Angermayer. Backed by nearly $400 million in private funding, ATAI Life Sciences has used its large cash balance to buy up psychedelic drug candidates still in the pipeline. It even recently bought an ambitious startup that wants to use brain-computer interfaces to help treat mental health conditions. ATAI Life Sciences has submitted an S-1 filing for an IPO to the US SEC. It listed a placeholder size offering of $100 million, although that's an amount often used to estimate listing fees and is subject to change at any time. On its end, ATAI is promising investors an opportunity to buy in early into a startup at the forefront of applying psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs to potentially treat mental disorders. Whether investors buy into that

IPO: Drug Discovery Firm Recursion Pharma Debuts On Markets

Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a company using machine learning to hunt for new drugs and therapies for ailments, has raised $436 million from an initial public offering (IPO) and begun trading on the public markets. It sold roughly 24.2 million shares for $18 each to raise that amount. Recursion Pharma filed for an IPO last month in March. Debuting at $18 per share on the markets, it closed trading on Friday up more than 70% at $31.34, giving it a market value of over $5 billion. A seven-year-old company, Recursion is part of a group of companies that emerged in the past few years to harness the rapid development and improvement in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in recent years and apply them to drug discovery. Recursion uses AI and machine learning to help discover new drugs. Its customers are primarily pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer, which has a collaborative agreement with it to seek new drugs for fibrotic diseases. Bayer bought a $50 million stake i

SoftBank Makes Big Biotech Bet On Genetic Testing Firm Invitae

Japanese investor SoftBank has made a big bet in the biotech world, this time on a publicly-traded genetic testing company named Invitae (NYSE: NVTA). SB Management, a SoftBank subsidiary, led a $1.2 billion convertible bond investment for Invitae that gives the company ample cash to further its growth initiatives. SB Management is SoftBank's asset management group that owns billions of dollars in global stocks. It's separate from SoftBank's famed $100 billion Vision Fund that also makes big bets on global companies. By leading a $1.2B investment in Invitae, SoftBank has added the company to its list of major biotech public holdings which also include Canadian antibody developer AbCellera, 4D Molecular Therapeutics Inc, and DNA-sequencing company Pacific Biosciences of California Inc. Invitae is a genetic testing company offering test services for diseases in a range of areas, including neurology, pediatric genetics, and reproductive health. The company's appeal lies in

FTC Opposes Illumina's $8B Purchase Of Cancer Detection Startup Grail

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued to block the $8 billion purchase of cancer detection startup Grail  by Illumina, a publicly-traded genetic sequencing company.  Illumina has sought to acquire Grail, which's working on blood-based cancer detection tests, for $3.5 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in stock net of the 12% stake it already owns as an investor in Grail. To note, Grail was itself spun out of Illumina. With a legal case in the brews, the FTC argues that Illumina's planned purchase of Grail will "diminish innovation in the U.S. market" for multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests, given that the blood-based early cancer detection test that Grail is developing depends on a type of DNA sequencing that only Illumina provides. On its end, the FTC is challenging Illumina's planned Grail purchase as one that'll give it an unfair edge in the MCED test market and has thus sued to block the purchase. A trial for the case will begin on Aug. 24, 2

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Deal: Mindbody Buys Fitness Startup ClassPass

Mindbody , a leading maker of software for managing gyms and fitness studios, is buying one of the hot startups in its industry. It's buying ClassPass , a popular subscription platform for widespread gym access and online fitness classes. Mindbody will buy Classpass for an undisclosed amount . The company, owned by private equity firm Vista, also announced a strategic $500mn investment along with its ClassPass deal. The acquisition was all with privately held shares, Mindbody said. ClassPass is a celebrated startup in the fitness space. It began as a simple website to book fitness classes with registered studios but morphed into a subscription platform for access to such studios and their fitness classes, with many users paying recurring fees as a steady revenue source.  ClassPass was valued at $1bn from a funding round last year. Given the acquisition's pricing terms weren't disclosed, we can't say for sure if it was higher or lower than the $1bn mark, but for a hint,

Tether Fined $41M For Lying About Fiat Reserves

Tether Limited , the organization behind the eponymous Tether (USDT) stablecoin, has been fined a substantial sum for lying about the fiat reserves backing its stablecoin. It was fined $41mn by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). According to the CFTC's press release , Tether lied to customers that it had sufficient dollar reserves to back every issued USDT token whereas it did not for a long period of time. Over a 26-month sample period from 2016 through 2018, the CFTC said Tether only had sufficient dollar reserves for all its tokens 28% of the time, whereas it lied that it was "fully-backed" all the time. Also, the CFTC said Tether failed to disclose to customers that it had unsecured receivables and non-fiat assets in its supposed cash reserves. The organization further lied to customers that it would undergo routine, professional audits of its reserves but has failed to do any, the CFTC said. For its violations, the CFTC fined ordered Tether to pay a

Deal: Scopely Buys Sony's GSN Games For $1B

Scopely , a top-ranking mobile gaming startup, is expanding its business with a new major acquisition. It's buying GSN Games , a mobile gaming division of entertainment giant Sony, for the sum of $1bn. GSN Games makes popular social casino games such as Bingo Bash and  Solitaire TriPeaks . Social casino games are a genre where gaming studios can extract much revenue if they do it right, and GSN is one of the top contenders in the genre. Scopely will pay $1bn for GSN Games, half of it with cash and the other half with its shares, making Sony a minority shareholder in the mobile gaming company. It's said that Scopely's valuation has climbed to $5.4bn taking into account the shares it'll hand over to Sony as payment. That compares to a $3.3bn valuation when the company raised funding last year.  With GSN, Scopely is stepping up its business substantially by the way of a strategic acquisition. It's a strategy the mobile gaming startup is used to, having made 5 acqui

Microsoft CEO, Other Execs Bag Annual Pay Raises

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has raised the annual pay package of its Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella , the company's latest proxy statement reveals. Nadella enjoyed a substantial pay raise along with several other Microsoft executives. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, Nadella's compensation was $50mn , up 13% compared to the previous year. The lucrative pay package was split into a $2.5mn base salary, $33mn of stock awards, a $14mn cash bonus, and $110k in "other" compensation. Nadella's pay raise was in line with other Microsoft executives, including President Brad Smith and CFO Amy Hood. They each got annual pay raises in the 20% ballpark compared to 2020. The reported pay packages of Microsoft's top executives for the fiscal year is as follows; Satya Nadella (CEO) - $50mn. Amy Hood (CFO) - $23.5mn Brad Smith (President and Chief Legal Officer) - $20.5mn Jean-Philippe Courtois (Executive Vice President) - $17mn Christopher Young (Executive Vice

Deal: Instacart Pays $350M For A Smart Grocery Cart Startup

In a bid to expand, grocery delivery giant Instacart is making its biggest acquisition yet. It'll buy   Caper AI , a New York-based startup that makes smart grocery carts and cashier-less payments tech that complement them. Instacart will pay $350mn for the startup in a combination of cash and shares. Caper AI is a startup working on exciting stuff; smart shopping carts to make the grocery buying process at brick-and-mortar stores easier and faster. Its smart carts can recognize items placed in them with the help of cameras and weight sensors, then calculate their total cost without the need for barcodes as used in most grocery stores. Payment at the counter is then made quickly with Caper's own payments platform. Caper's "AI Cart". credit: Caper Also, Caper sells what's called a "Caper Counter," a checkout system for convenience stores that uses cameras and weight-based sensors instead of barcodes to sum the total cost of items. Caper Counter. cre

Apple Unveils New MacBook Pros, AirPods

Tech giant Apple has added a new set of products to its roster, including new MacBook Pro laptops and AirPods unveiled at a Tuesday online event.  Apple also unveiled new chipsets for the new MacBook Pros, the M1 Pro and M1 Max . MacBook Pros Apple unveiled two MacBook Pros, a 14-inch and 16-inch model. Both will come with the first chipsets designed by Apple specifically for a MacBook Pro, delivering high performance, expectedly.  Apple has brought back the HDMI port and SD card reader to the new MacBook Pro, in addition to three Thunderbolt 4 ports to connect peripherals. Removing the HDMI port and SD card reader in MacBooks had generated significant complaints by some Apple users, but it appears they'll be pleased again if they get the new MacBook Pros. Other shared features of the new MacBook Pros include; A 1080p front camera. MagSafe magnetic chargers. Six-speaker sound system. Fast charging - 50% charge in 30 minutes, Apple claims. Touch bar replaced by function keys. One

Deal: Australia's Aristocrat To Buy Playtech For $3.7B

The online gambling industry is hot this year, with billion-dollar deals now a frequent occurrence. The latest billion-dollar deal is Playtech , a London-listed online gambling company, selling to Aristocrat Leisure , an Australian gambling machine manufacturer. Playtech was founded in 1999 by Israeli entrepreneur Teddy Sagi . However, he sold off all his shares  in the company in 2018 and won't profit from this deal. Don't cry for him though, he made other shrewd investments that bestowed him with a net worth nearing $6bn ( Forbes estimate ). Aristocrat (ASX: ALL) has agreed to buy Playtech (LON: PTEC) in a deal worth £2.7bn ($3.7bn). The Australian firm will pay $2.9bn to buy all outstanding Playtech shares and assume $800mn of the firm's debt. It's paying 680 pence in cash per Playtech share, a 58% premium to the company's share price before the announcement. Following the announcement, Playtech's share price jerked up, expectedly. It rose 57% on Monday to

Fast Fashion E-Tailer Lulu's Files For IPO

Lulu's , an online retailer of women's apparel, is headed towards the public markets. It's filed an S-1 document for an initial public offering (IPO), showing its intent to list on the Nasdaq exchange. As expected from S-1 filings, Lulu's has provided great insights into its business, with information not publicly disclosed before. Something very noteworthy is that the online shopping boom of this year emanating from the Covid pandemic has largely favored the company. By The Numbers For its most recent fiscal quarter, the three months ended October 3, 2021, Lulu's brought in between $105mn to $106mn in revenue. Its net income for the same period was at the $3mn-$4mn mark. The estimations are because the final, audited results haven't yet been posted. For the fiscal year ended January 3, 2021, Lulu's posted $249mn in revenue and a net loss of $19mn. It shows that the company has swung from losses to profitability this year, with the net profit of between $3m

Antitrust: Facebook Fined $70M Over Giphy Takeover Probe

The UK's antitrust agency has levied a substantial fine on social media giant Facebook related to its acquisition of Giphy , the popular GIF website. It fined the company  £50.5mn ($69mn) for flouting an order requiring it to supply information related to the agency's investigation of the $400mn acquisition. The UK's  Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)  launched a  formal probe  of the Giphy deal last June. The antitrust agency challenged the deal  after probing it,  arguing that it gave Facebook an unfair advantage over rivals that also used Giphy's GIF database. It appears that Facebook failed to comply with demands from the agency's investigation and has been penalized for it. Apparently, the UK's antitrust agency required Facebook to suspend integrating its operations with Giphy's as the agency was investigating the acquisition, but Facebook had failed to indicate it did so despite multiple warnings. "This should serve as a warning to any com

Deal: Walgreens Invests $5.2B In VillageMD, Now Majority Owner

Walgreens Boots Alliance , the giant American pharmacy chain, is doubling down on its investment in one of its healthcare peers; the primary care chain VillageMD . After a previous investment last year, Walgreens is investing an additional sum in VillageMD that'll make it the primary care chain's majority owner. Walgreens has agreed to invest $5.2bn in VillageMD, upping its stake from 30% to 63%. It'll become the primary care chain's majority owner and guide it under its belt to open hundreds of primary care clinics co-located with Walgreens drugstores across the US. The investment is really strategic, giving Walgreens majority ownership in the firm that'll operate most of the primary care clinics attached to its stores. We can refer to it as "full-stack healthcare", where you visit a Walgreens-owned clinic and get prescriptions to buy drugs at a Walgreens pharmacy, though we're aware not everyone is comfortable with one company having that much cont