FedEx Sues US; Allergan Buys Botox Maker; SF Bans E-Cigs

The Water Coolest

The Water Coolest is a free daily business news and professional advice email newsletter created for weekday warriors that is delivered fresh daily at 6 AM EST. Signup here to receive The Water Coolest every weekday.






FedEx is basically the kid stuck in the middle of a nasty divorce …

Federal Express is suing the US Commerce Department claiming that the government is putting undue pressure on the company to enforce penalties against Huawei. Well, technically the lawsuit doesn’t actually mention Huawei. But yeah, it’s about Huawei.

Following the US blacklist of Huawei in May, regulations forced the courier to inspect and in some cases divert packages that “pose a national security threat.”

Unsurprisingly, China was having none of this and threatened to go nuclear on FedEx if it continued the practice, banning the company like it was a Tiananmen Square blog post, which could cost DHL’s more successful cousin as much as $1.3B.

Between a rock and a hard place

FedEx is crying foul, claiming that it’s being forced to either break the law and face fines of as much as $250k per occurrence or lose f*ck tons of money by pissing off the Chinese government.

And FedEx has about had it up to here with policing Uncle Sam’s enemies, hence the lawsuit to block Wilbur Ross and the Commerce Department from enforcing its “stupid” export regulations on the company.

What can Brown do for you?

UPS has already indicated this isn’t the hill it wants to die on. The boys in brown have no intention of joining FedEx in the lawsuit, claiming they will continue to “follow government directives.” F*cking squares.



Potatoes and Botox … that’s what Ireland does!

Dublin based drug manufacturer, Allergan is set to be acquired by AbbVie Inc. for $63B in a cash and stock deal. The deal settled at $188 per share, a 45% premium on Allergan’s closing price Tuesday.

The Irish pharma company has been struggling as generic competitors entered came for its throne with vaginal, Alzheimers, and dry-eye products that have eaten away at Allergan’s market share. More patents are set to expire later this year and the stock has dropped to as low as $115 … half of its high of $330 in 2015.

Luckily female discomfort meds and Visine on steroids aren’t the only drugs Allergan is peddling. The company’s rainmaker is Botox which accounts for $8B of Allergan’s $16B in total revenue.


AbbVie has been in the market for a facelift as it prepares for the patent expiration of the world’s number one selling drug, Humira. Generic products have come to market in the EU and are expected to enter the US in 2023.

Adding $16B revenue from Allergan to its own $32B top line will provide much needed cash flow for the new company to accelerate the development of new products.



San Francisco voted to pass the country’s first ban of e-cigarette sales on Tuesday. The bill still needs the mayor’s John Hancock to become law, but it’s not a good look for e-cig makers.

Under the new bill, stores within SF city limits won’t be able to sell vape products on shelves, and online retailers won’t be able to deliver to customers with San Francisco addresses. Cigarettes and other tobacco products are not affected by the ban.

Hitting (the vape) close to home

This news is bad for all e-cig manufacturers, but especially Juul, which calls San Fran’s Pier 70 home, er, corporate headquarters. Lucky for the #JuulGang, the ban won’t be retroactive.

It’s worth noting that Juul recently blew a metaphorical vape cloud in the city council’s face, buying a 29-floor office tower at 123 Market Street, where it will continue adding employees to keep fighting the good fight.

So you’re telling me there’s a chance

The company recently acquired the number of signatures needed to add an issue to a November ballot, that, if passed, would allow e-cigarette sales to continue in the city to users over 21. Who was collecting those signatures? The Coalition for Reasonable Vaping, financed by none other than Juul itself, of course.




  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will acquire Bombardier’s CRJ aircraft program for $550M. Bombardier has been quite active in the aviation space in recent years, including a JV with Airbus in late 2017 and more recently the sale of its Q series turboprop aircraft to Longview Aviation Capital Group. Jet life.


  • Deutsche Bank’s global head of equities, Peter Selman, is expected to leave the bank as part of a “downsizing” in its declining equities biz. Who can blame Peter for not wanting to go down with the ship? Not to mention, DB allegedly offered the exec the equivalent of a mailroom job … a senior role in the bad bank *shudders at the thought*. In addition to being the nonstop punching bag of the fin-meme space (DB not a BB), the bank failed to merge with Commerzbank and its stock remains near its all-time low.


  • A walkout is planned at Wayfair’s Boston office in response to the company selling mattresses and bunk beds to the federal contractor for the detention camps of immigrant children near the Mexico border. Roughly 500 employees have signed a petition in protest of the sales and are planning a work stoppage today. No word on if the bunk beds were eligible for free shipping.


  • Consumer confidence reached its lowest level since September 2017. After three straight months of increases, the index dropped to 121.5, nearly 10 points less than the 131 projected. This drop is tied largely to the ongoing trade war with China … and survey participants just filling in “C” for all of the answers.


Ready to become the most well-informed bro in any room? You can subscribe here.