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1/12/21: What’s Going On

Bitcoin, Walmart and more from around the business world.
(Sundry Photography)
(Sundry Photography)
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“Intercontinental Exchange Inc., or ICE, will take its cryptocurrency venture public by merging it with a special-purpose acquisition company, a deal that will further its goal of launching a consumer app for trading and making payments with digital assets. The venture, called Bakkt, is expected to have a valuation of $2.1 billion after completing the merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, the companies said on Monday.”

“Steris PLC is in talks to combine with Cantel Medical Corp., according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would bring together two big providers of sterilization products. The companies are discussing a mostly stock deal that could be completed as soon as Tuesday, assuming talks don’t fall apart, the people said. Cantel has a market value of around $3.5 billion, while Steris’s is around $17.3 billion.”

“Bitcoin rebounded after Monday’s steep plunge left investors grasping for clues about what lies ahead for the world’s largest cryptocurrency. The digital coin rose 4.9% to $35,616 as of 11:30 a.m. in London, following yesterday’s 11% slide. The latest bout of roller-coaster volatility recalls past boom and bust cycles including the 2017 bubble, and has investors debating whether this is a healthy correction or the end of the latest bull run for cryptocurrencies.”

“Warner Bros. has come up with a new plan to compensate filmmakers during the pandemic: treat every movie like a box-office smash. After shocking Hollywood with its decision to release all its new movies this year on HBO Max, the studio has adjusted terms of its deals with partners to guarantee payment regardless of box-office sales and to increase the odds of performance-based bonuses. Warner Bros will also pay a larger group of cast and crew money based on fees it collects from HBO Max, according to people with knowledge of the studio’s plans.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Checkout.com$450 MillionA One-Stop Shop For All Things Related To Payments
Tessera Therapeutics$230 MillionTo Build Up Its Platform For Better Biological Programming
Jedox$100 MillionTo Expand Its Financial Modeling And Analytics Software To More Verticals
Curve$95 MillionLondon-Based FinTech Combining Multiple Cards And Accounts Into One Smart Card And An App
Jobber$60 MillionA Platform For Home Service Professionals

“Sheldon Adelson, who built the largest casino company in the world and used his wealth to support Republican candidates and groups, has died. He was 87, Bloomberg News reports.”

“AstraZeneca has applied for emergency-use authorization in Europe of the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with the University of Oxford, a step toward the rollout of more shots across the region as infections and hospitalizations rise.”

“Video-sharing site Rumble Inc. accused Google in a lawsuit of abusing the power of its search engine and mobile operating system to boost its YouTube video service over rivals, the latest allegation of anticompetitive conduct against the Alphabet Inc. unit.”

“Walmart Inc. said Monday that it has joined with investment firm Ribbit Capital to create a new fintech startup to further expand its financial-services offerings.”

“The number of help-wanted ads increased more slowly in December, evidence the labor market is losing momentum amid rising coronavirus cases.”

“Municipal bond issuance in 2020 was the highest in a decade, reflecting the collapse of interest rates and the increased costs cities and state governments are facing from Covid-19 shutdowns.”

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