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SPAC: Quantum Computing Startup Rigetti To Go Public In $1.5B Deal

Rigetti Computing , a startup working in the difficult space of quantum computing, will go public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company in a deal valuing it at $1.5bn . Rigetti is merging with  Supernova Partners Acquisition Company II (NYSE: SNII), a SPAC formed by Spencer Rascoff, the co-founder of real estate tech giant Zillow. Rascoff has launched three serial SPACs under the Supernova name, the second of which Rigetti will merge with. From the merger, Rigetti will get $345mn of cash held in trust by the Supernova SPAC, assuming no investor redemptions, but that's a bold assumption these days where the average SPAC deal redemption is more than 50% .  Additionally, Rigetti will raise a $100mn PIPE round from investors including Palantir Technologies (NYSE: PLTR); Keysight Technologies, a maker of electronics test equipment; and In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Rigetti is a high-growth startup founded in 2013. It's

SPAC: Legal Case Threatens Israeli Startup Pagaya's $9B Merger

Among the major SPAC deals of the past week was that of Pagaya , an Israeli fintech startup that agreed to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company at a valuation of $8.5bn . It's merging with  EJF Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: EJFA), a SPAC that raised $288mn from its IPO this February. But now, Pagaya's merger has met the hurdle of a potential lawsuit from some shareholders that are being pushed by two American law firms - Brodsky & Smith and Levi & Korsinsky . The firms said they're probing whether EJF's board failed to conduct a 'fair' process for the deal especially in the hefty dilution of ownership interest if the merger finalizes. Notably, the amount of cash held in trust by EJF Acquisition Corp is $288mn, barely 3.4% of Pagaya's projected valuation of $8.5bn. That means that after all is said and done, the investors that bought into EJF during its IPO would hold just 3.4% of Pagaya's shares, implying major share dilution and thi

SPAC: Topps' $1.3B Merger Deal Craters

Topps , a major sports trading card company, has lost its merger deal with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), after it lost its trading card partnership with a major sports league.  Topps has terminated its merger agreement with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II (Nasdaq: MUDS), shortly after the Major League Baseball (MLB) said that it won't renew its trading card partnership with Topps when its current contract expires in 2022. Topps and the MLB have been long-time partners for up to 70 years so the termination of their partnership represents a significant blow to Topps' business. Now, the MLB is expected to give its trading card business to Fanatics , a modern sports retail company. After the news of its MLB saga broke, Mudrick Capital immediately moved to cancel its merger agreement with Topps. The two firms had previously agreed to merge in a deal valuing Topps at $1.3bn. Topps' merger termination is a souring point for the general SPAC market, whi

Alert: Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Indicted On Fraud Charges

The founder of embattled electric car startup Nikola Corp. has been formally indicted on fraud charges by the US Justice Department months after resigning from the company. Trevor Milton by name, he's been accused of securities and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud and mislead investors. Milton is accused of misleading investors by making false statements regarding Nikola's products and capabilities. Notably, most of the investors allegedly misled were on the retail side. The DOJ alleges that Milton made false claims regarding "nearly all aspects" of Nikola's business. Milton founded Nikola in 2014 and led it through a public listing via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) last year. The DOJ threw an apparent jab at SPACs in his indictment, asserting that he made 'many' of his false and misleading claims  during a period where he would not have been allowed to do so under rules that govern traditional IPOs were he

SPAC: Game Studio Jam City Calls Off $1.2B Merger Deal

Jam City , a mobile games studio with a bevy of hits, has withdrawn its plans to go public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). It's called off its earlier-agreed with DPCM Capital (NYSE: XPOA), a SPAC formed by ex-Uber executive Emil Michael. The reasons for calling off the merger are uncertain and unspecific. Vaguely, both firms said in a joint statement that it is "the best path forward...in light of current market conditions." Now, DPCM Capital will have to find a new merger target. Originally, DPCM and Jam City sought to combine in a deal valuing the latter at $1.2bn . As part of their combination, Jam City was supposed to use money from DPCM to finance a $175mn purchase of Canada-based mobile game publisher Ludia . Now, it's unclear if that acquisition will go through. It may be that Jam City has sought to remain privately-held, or it's found an alternative path onto the public markets. The company could seek a traditional IPO in

SPAC: SEC Charges Stable Road, Momentus Over False Claims

In one of the first such cases of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) formally pressing charges on a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the agency opened a case against Stable Road Acquisition Company , a SPAC, and   Momentus , a spaceflight startup that is its merger target. The SEC on Monday announced charges against Stable Road and Momentus and the firms' respective CEOs for making misleading claims to investors about Momentus' technology and national security concerns surrounding  Mikhail Kokorich , the Russian founder and CEO of the space company. Last October, Momentus agreed to merge with Stable Road to become a public company. The merger terms valued Momentus at $1.2bn (later halved ), despite the company being in the pre-revenue stage. As usual with SPACs, the pitch given to investors was ambitious and overtly promising, with Momentus claiming it had “successfully tested” its spacecraft propulsion technology. But, the SEC said not so fast, objec

SPAC: Crypto Exchange Bullish To Go Public In $9B Deal

It's an interesting day in the world of SPACs and cryptocurrency, two worlds that are much driven by hype with fundamentals notwithstanding in many cases. You know when they say bullish like I'm bullish (aggressively confident) on a stock.  It turns out that there's a new crypto exchange bearing the name Bullish and that exchange has secured one of the biggest SPAC merger deals on the block. Here's the thing, Bullish has not even fully launched but has agreed to go public via a SPAC merger at a valuation of $9bn (?!). More so, it's merging with a SPAC launched by Thomas Farley, an ex-President of the New York Stock Exchange who'll then become Bullish's CEO after the merger. I may not know much but that seems to signal some conflict of interest. Bullish has agreed to merge with  Far Peak Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: FPAC) to become a public company. The terms of the merger value the crypto exchange at $9bn Pro-forma, a very high valuation for an exchange

SPAC: US DOJ Probing EV Startup Lordstown Motors

In the latest episode of the saga with electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors , it's now facing an investigation from the US Justice Department for possible fraud. The pilot of this saga were  fraud accusations from short-seller Hindenburg this March and has made for an interesting series since that time. The Justice Department's investigation into Lordstown Motors was first reported by The Wall Street Journal . It's being handled by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and is in its early stages, the report said. With big ambitions, Lordstown Motors went public last year through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that added $675mn to its cash coffers to fund commercial production of its planned electric truck. But fast forward a few months after and Lordstown warned that it didn't have sufficient cash to fund production, weighing down investor hopes. The warning from Lordstown opened up a storm of backlash that despite raising hundreds o

Hedge Fund Perceptive Forms 5th SPAC To Raise $130M

Perceptive Advisors, a major hedge fund focused on life sciences investments, has launched what is its 5th special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in succession to raise $130mn from an IPO. The fifth SPAC,  ARYA Sciences Acquisition V , recently unveiled an S-1 filing for an IPO. It's seeking to raise $130mn by selling 13 million shares for $10 apiece. ARYA Sciences Acquisition is the umbrella under which Perceptive has launched its SPACs since it got into the game in 2018, two years before the SPAC boom of 2020. Its SPACs have raised hundreds of millions and merged with biotech outfits including  Cerevel Therapeutics , a company treating neurotic diseases, and  Nautilus , a human proteomics company. The size of Perceptive's SPACs has usually been $100mn-$200mn and this fifth one is no exception with $130mn, or $150mn if an over-allotment option is fully exercised.  Like all of its SPACs, this fifth one will seek a life sciences company as a merger target. Perceptive is one

SPAC: BuzzFeed To Go Public In $1.5B Deal

In the world of SPACs, there's a new merger that isn't the usual type we're accustomed to. Usually, companies merging with SPACs are high-growth tech startups with big ambitions or more established traditional businesses. But, in this case, the new merger is BuzzFeed , yes that "click farm" BuzzFeed you know. BuzzFeed has agreed to merge with  890 Fifth Avenue Partners Inc. (Nasdaq: ENFA) and become a public company. The merger terms value the media company at $1.5bn. From its merger, BuzzFeed will get $288mn of cash held in trust by the SPAC and then a $150mn PIPE round from a group of asset managers, summing up to $438mn. A sizeable portion of the merger proceeds will finance a new BuzzFeed acquisition of Complex Networks , a media brand focused on 'youth culture'. BuzzFeed is paying $200mn in cash and $100mn in equity for the media brand. The merger is scheduled for completion in Q4 2021, upon which BuzzFeed will start trading on the Nasdaq exchange.

SPAC: Self-Driving Startup Embark To Go Public In $5.2B Deal

An autonomous driving startup in the US with a focus on trucks has sealed a big deal to go public via the SPAC route. You may have heard this just recently (in the case of Plus ) and wondering if we're repeating previous news, but no, it's another startup, an even bigger one by valuation. Embark Trucks, a self-driving startup founded by two University of Waterloo dropouts, has agreed to merge with a SPAC and go public with a valuation of $5.2bn. It's a pretty lavish valuation for a company still in the R&D phase and making no money. Embark will merge with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE: NGAB). The deal will hand over to the startup $414mn of cash from the SPAC and then a $200mn PIPE round, making a total of $614mn. Investors that have committed to the $200mn PIPE round include Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global, and Mubadala Capital. As part of the merger terms, Embark is getting a new board member in Elaine Chao, the former US Secretary of Transportation under

Deal: Bill Ackman's SPAC To Buy 10% Of Universal Music

Following confirmation of deal talks earlier this month,  Pershing Square Tontine Holdings , a SPAC formed by famous activist investor Bill Ackman, has officially signed a deal to buy 10% of Universal Music Group (UMG), a "big four" record label.  Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH) will buy the 10% stake from Universal's current owner, the French media conglomerate Vivendi . The purchase values the major record label at €35 billion ($41.6bn). Shortly after PSTH buys its stake, Vivendi plans to list Universal Music on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange towards the end of September. With the deal, PSTH will become a UMG shareholder along with parent firm Vivendi and China's Tencent. The structured deal is unusual for special-purpose acquisition companies like PSTH. Normally, a SPAC would merge with a single company by buying a certain percentage of it with its cash and combining its equity, but in PSTH's case, it'll buy a stake in Universal and then ro

SPAC: EV Battery Startup Solid Power To Go Public In $1.2B Deal

There have been many SPAC deals coming from the electric vehicle industry and it's obvious that it ain't stopping. The latest deal to come from that end is Solid Power , a startup working on solid-state batteries for EVs that has automakers Ford and BMW as investors. Solid Power has agreed to merge with a SPAC named Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III (NASDAQ: DCRC). As expected, it'll start trading on the Nasdaq market following the merger. Terms of the merger value Solid Power at $1.2bn. From the deal, the startup will get $350mn of cash held in trust by DCRC and then a $165mn PIPE round from investors including chemicals giant Koch Industries.  The merger announcement comes shortly after Solid Power raised a $130mn private round co-led by BMW and Ford. The two automakers are strategic investors and partners to the company. Notably, Solid Power is a pre-revenue company. It's been focused on R&D so far in its nine years of existence and doesn't e

SPAC: Short-Seller Hindenburg Targets DraftKings

Hindenburg Research is a short-selling focused investment firm known for going after public companies with serious allegations. Lately, it's become the Darth Vader hunting after SPAC deals, and it's proven that once again by going after the first company that tested this new era of SPAC mergers. Hindenburg has published allegations targeting sports betting company DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) , more so the betting company named SBTech that it combined with in a 3-way-merger with a SPAC in 2020. As usual, Hindenburg has taken a short position in the company. Hindenburg's accusations center on SBTech allegedly enabling money laundering and illegal gambling activities with its software. SBTech provides backend software that powers gambling sites. In its statement, Hindenburg alleged that SBTech makes money from enabling online gambling in markets where that is illegal and works to hide this fact from investors. It pointed fingers at a subsidiary of the company called  BTi/Core

SPAC: Lordstown CEO, CFO Resign After Cash Woes

At electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors , two of its top executives have resigned shortly after the company warned that it didn't have sufficient cash to kick off production of its electric truck. Those two executives are CEO Steven Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez, effective immediately. The leadership change at Lordstown follows a pattern at struggling companies. In Lordstown's case, the company says it doesn't have enough capital to fund the production of its electric truck despite raising $675mn from a SPAC merger last year. It's quite a drastic turn for Lordstown which debuted on the public markets last year with ambitious, wild promises to its investors. Even then, the company said it didn't expect to raise further capital after the $675mn from its SPAC deal but now appears to be hurting for cash. In March, Lordstown was accused of fraud by short-seller Hindenburg Research, which alleged highly faked pre-orders and undisclosed production challenges to in

SPAC: Online Grocer Boxed To Go Public In $900M Deal

Boxed , an online wholesaler of groceries and related products, is the latest tech startup going public through a SPAC merger. It's agreed to merge with  Seven Oaks Acquisition Corp. [Nasdaq: SVOK] to become a public company. Details The merger deal values Boxed at approximately $900mn, precisely $887mn. It's a solid valuation for a startup that reportedly rebuffed a $500mn acquisition offer (from grocery chain Kroger) in 2018. From its merger, Boxed will get $259mn of cash held in trust by Seven Oaks and then a $120mn PIPE round from a group of asset managers. The PIPE round includes the sale of equity ($32mn) as well as convertible bonds ($88mn).  All in, Boxed will emerge with $334mn of net cash proceeds from its merger. That's even more than the $244mn of venture funding it's raised in total as a privately-held startup. Boxed is a "big box" grocery e-tailer, that is corporate-speak for wholesales. Its platform is focused on bulk-sized shopping, whereby

SPAC: Self-Driving Startup Plus To Go Public In $3.3B Deal

An autonomous driving startup with its major operations in the US and China is the latest tech company that's set to hit the public markets through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). That startup is Plus (formerly Plus.ai), one focused on automated trucking. Plus has agreed to a deal to merge with Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V (NASDAQ: HCIC) and become a public company. The terms of the merger value the self-driving startup at $3.3bn. From its merger, Plus will get $345mn of cash held in trust by HCIC and then a $150mn PIPE round from investors including BlackRock and the D. E. Shaw Group. That sums up to a cool $495mn for the company to fund its operations. The cash from its SPAC merger is crucial for Plus, as a company that plans to kick off mass production of its product this year.  Plus sells a stack of hardware and complementary software to enable automated driving for trucks. Its main customer base is truck manufacturers, such as China's F

SPAC: EV Startup Lordstown Motors Is In Trouble

You may have heard of this story before - an electric car startup launches, then makes very big promises to investors as it sought to go public through a SPAC merger. But, it later turned out that those promises were a sham. In the above short story, that was Nikola , the troubled electric car startup that was the first company to test the waters of the current SPAC boom. Now, that story is likely repeating itself with another company - Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ: RIDE) . In a recent filing to the SEC , Lordstown warned that it doesn't have sufficient capital to fund commercial-scale production of its electric truck. This is despite raising $675mn from its SPAC merger last year. With its admission of lacking capital, Lordstown is definitely in financial trouble if further investment isn't secured. The question is will investors will be willing to give it loads of cash once again? Lordstown's recent admission is just much in contrast with its sentiment at the time of its SPAC

SPAC: Banking App Dave To Go Public In $4B Deal

In the world of special-purpose acquisition companies, there are new mergers unveiled every day. This day, the new merger on the block is Dave , a banking app backed by investors including Mark Cuban. Dave has agreed to merge with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III, Inc. (NYSE: VPCC) and become a public company. That's the SPAC sponsored by Victory Park Capital, an investor in Dave before now. The deal terms of Dave's merger value the banking startup at $4bn. The merger will see Dave get $254mn of cash held in trust by the VPC SPAC and then a $210mn PIPE round led by hedge fund Tiger Global.  As usual for SPAC deals, Dave's merger announcement came packaged with an investor presentation that provides strong insight into its business. It shows that the banking app, with 10 million users, made $122mn in revenue in 2020. Impressively, Dave was founded just four years ago and is now set for a $4bn exit on the public markets. Not many startups can boast of that growth and suc

SPAC: UK's Babylon Health To Go Public In $4.2B Deal

Another tech startup from the UK has agreed to go public in the US by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). This time, it's Babylon Health , a telehealth app providing access to doctors and medical services. Babylon Health has agreed to merge with Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: KURI) and become a public company. The merger terms value Babylon Health at $4.2bn. From the merger, Babylon will get $345mn of cash held in trust by Alkuri, then a $230mn PIPE round adding it up to $575mn. The PIPE round includes a strategic investor - data analytics company Palantir. From its investor presentation , it's indicated that Babylon Health made $79mn in revenue in 2020. In tune with the excessive projections we've become accustomed to in SPAC deals, the company then projects to have $710mn in annual sales by 2022.  Babylon makes money both from recurring subscriptions to its telehealth app as well as one-off fees for doctor consultations. On that end, it&#

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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