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1/11/21: What’s Going On

Eli Lilly, Parler and more from around the business world.
(Jonathan Weiss)
(Jonathan Weiss)
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“Chinese car sales declined 6.8% last year, as the world’s largest market for automobiles shrank for a third straight year. Yet the single-digit drop counted as a success in the context of 2020, industry analysts said, with the coronavirus pandemic taking an even heavier toll on other markets. Global car sales are estimated to have fallen 15% last year, according to research firm IHS Markit, while U.S. sales are also expected to have dropped about 15%.”

“There could be consolidation ahead in the office-products space, with Staples outlining Monday a proposal to acquire the parent company of Office Depot in a deal that would value the target company at $2.1 billion. Closely held Staples, under the corporate name USR Parent Inc., said it sent a letter to ODP Corp. laying out a plan to buy the company for $40 per share in cash. ODP shares jumped as much as 12% in premarket trading in New York. ODP didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Keep$360 MillionChinese Fitness Class Provider
Ajaib$25 MillionIndonesian Investment Platform

“A chip shortage that has disrupted vehicle production in other parts of the globe is reaching U.S. shores, stifling output for major car companies and dimming prospects for a smooth recovery from the pandemic.”

“An experimental Alzheimer’s drug from Eli Lilly & Co. helped patients in a small trial, the company said Monday, renewing hopes that researchers are closing in on therapies that can fight the disease.”

“Bluebird Bio Inc., a biotech pioneer in the field of gene therapies, plans to split itself in two later this year, spinning off its cancer-drug unit into a new, publicly traded company so it can focus on rare diseases.”

“Social-media service Parler vanished just before midnight Sunday Pacific time, when Amazon.com Inc. followed through on its threat to stop hosting the public-messaging platform that has exploded in popularity among supporters of President Trump.”

“The U.S. economy is poised to add more jobs this year than any other on records dating back to 1939—though the expected gain is unlikely to fully replace losses last spring, when the coronavirus pandemic first took hold.”

“Yogawear maker Lululemon Athletica Inc. revised its guidance for the current quarter but failed to impress investors who expected better.”

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