Category Archives: Companies

ABB Purchasing GE Industrial Solutions for $2.6 Billion

After about four years of restructuring, ABB Ltd., under the leadership of CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, inked a deal with the industrial solutions division of General Electric Co. valued at $2.6 billion. The deal will fortify Swiss-based ABB’s US business, its largest market.

The company expects that the deal will generate about $200 million per year in savings. Spiesshofer is ready to spark a growth spurt after four years of regrouping and positioning to bring the company forward. This deal should help to expand ABB’s ability to offer urgent power, transformers and related services to its clients, which include large institutions such as hospitals, refineries and data centers.

Beginning around seven years ago the Zurich-based company has poured about $11 billion in capital investment into it operations in the United States. This new deal with GE will further enhance the company’s influence in North America.

On GE’s side, money from the deal with ABB will be used to fund its own restructuring plan. The industrial solutions division has about 13,000 employees.

OMAM CEO Peter Bain Resigns

Peter Bain resigned at the end of June as the CEO of Old Mutual’s US business, Old Mutual Asset Management (OMAM.)

Chairman of OMAM, James Ritchie, will also take over as the interim CEO until a new CEO is appointed to head the asset management firm.

“Peter has successfully accomplished his mission. He has delivered on his mandates to reshape the business, develop the leadership team, and achieve the company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which has enabled Old Mutual Plc to substantially achieve its stated objective of exiting its ownership of the business,” Ritchie said.

On May 22 Old Mutual announced that it had lowered its stake in OMAM to 22.4% as a result of selling off 17.3 million shares for $14.55 a share. In reality Old Mutual’s share in OMAM will be even less when Chinese conglomerate HNA Group acquires the 15% share of OMAM that it agreed to buy last March by the end of this year for $15.75 a share.

The closing price of a share of OMAM was $15.15 last Thursday.




Beer Giant Flooding Capital into US Company

Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced its plan to invest $2 billion into its operations in the Unites States. The world’s largest brewery, AB InBev is looking to tackle declining volumes and shrinking market share of its flagship product Budweiser.

The company recently purchased its closest competitor, SABMiller for almost $100 billion.

They said that the $2 billion initiative is one of the largest capital investment programs in the history of the US beer industry. They stated that they will be putting close to $500 million into the company this year, and the rest of the $2 billion by the year 2020.

Plans for the money include over $200 million on brewery and distribution projects in 2017, with $82 million to improve the national supply outlets and to build distribution warehouses in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition, they hope to expand production of aluminum bottles and begin to make a larger variety of beers through investment in its 21 US breweries. Adding non-alcoholic drinks are also on the to-do list, with products such as the ready-to-drink tea Teavana, which it is making together with Starbucks.

GoPro Taking Aggressive Measures to Become Profitable

GoPro, the action camera manufacturer, has promised to cut 270 jobs, along with other measures, to get the company back to profitability. The company also pre-announced that its first-quarter earnings for 2017 would be at the high-end of guidance, coming to about $210 million. Operating expenses are to go down by over $200 million, and the company will return to EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) profitability during 2017.

In response, the company’s stock rose by 11 percent after the news was announced.

Last quarter GoPro had previously guided revenue between $190 million and $120 million. Its operating expenses totaled between $168 million and $178 million (GAAP) for the same quarter. They reported a net loss of $116 million on $541 million in revenue for the year. The restructuring should give the company control of 10 million additional dollars.

“We’re determined that GoPro’s financial performance match the strength of our products and brand. Importantly, expense reductions preserve our product roadmap and we are tracking to full-year non-GAAP profitability in 2017,” said CEO Nick Woodman.

Seven Billion Dollar Deal Could Bring 50,000 Jobs to US

The top and side of an iPhone 5S, externally identical to the iPhone 5. Photo courtesy of Calerusnak

Two high tech giants, Foxconn and Apple, are considering a deal to build a panel factory in the United States at a cost of about $7 billion and could create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs. Chairman Terry Gou of Foxconn said that an investment by Foxconn’s Sharp division will depend on the terms negotiated for the deal at the state and federal levels.

The announcement of the deal comes close on the heels of President Donald Trump’s inaugural address in which the new president promised to make “America First” as the backbone of his policies leading the nation. Trump stated in his speech: “We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.”

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to try and persuade Apple to bring the manufacture of iPhones to US shores. Trump said that he was optimistic that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, had his “eyes open” to the possibility. Foxconn is the biggest producer of iPhones.

Gou said that Trump-style protectionism was inevitable, but he is unsure how Americans will feel about spending hundreds of dollars more for a phone that does not work any better than a less expensive model that was made overseas.

Gou vowed to increase his investments in China. Apple is also dependent on China, not just for production, but also for sales. Last year China made up 22 percent of Apple’s total revenue, some $46.4 billion.