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HOW 200 WEST WAS WON
You feel that? A seismic shift in lower Manhattan is sending shockwaves through the world of high finance. Incoming Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon isn’t even waiting until Lloyd’s corpse is cold to pry the reigns from his dead fingers and overhaul leadership.
Solomon has handpicked an inner circle comprised of investment bankers at a firm revered for its trading prowess. John Waldron, currently a co-head of the investment banking division will be elevated to president and COO, demi-God status in the hallowed halls of 200 West.
And Stephen Scherr, who leads the consumer banking division, will take over as CFO. Current CFO Martin Chavez will be re-assigned to co-lead the trading division.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “In totally unrelated news Waldron and Scherr are big fans of Fleetwood Mac remixes and MDMA.”
BULL IN A CORNERSHOP
Walmart is expanding its international operations with the acquisition of Latin American grocery-delivery marketplace Cornershop in a deal worth $225M.
Cornershop runs marketplaces for on-demand delivery from pharmacies, grocery stores, and fast food restaurants through its app. The three-year-old company operates in Mexico and Chile and recently raised $21M in series B funding. This will be clutch during SBK19.
The $225M deal is just the latest of Wally World’s forays abroad. Walmart recently struck a working agreement with Japanese grocery-delivery service Rakuten Kobo and will invest $500M in Chinese online grocer Dada-JD Daojia. On the flip side, they are closing brick-and-mortar locations in the UK and Brasil.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “I guess ‘Save Money, Live Better’ doesn’t just pertain to USD anymore …”
I HEART PODCASTS
iHeartMedia Inc. thinks it has a good idea of how stuff works, as it’s willing to shell out $55M to acquire StuffMedia, one of the largest podcast networks by audience size. StuffMedia produces over 25 shows, including HowStuffWorks, which helped grow the network to more than 5.3M monthly listeners.
iHeartMedia, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, has already worked with StuffMedia on a podcast called “Atlanta Monster.” StuffMedia, on the other hand, raised $15M in Series A funding just last year.
iHeartMedia is not the first media company to follow the money into podcasting. In 2015, E.W. Scripps bought Midroll, a podcast advertising firm for $50M, while Pandora grabbed AdsWizz for $145M.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “In my opinion, spending $55M after you declare bankruptcy seems like a bit of a gamble, but that’s coming from the guy who gets buyers remorse for picking the wrong frozen pizza.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- What’s the world’s richest man to do when politicians start breathing down his neck for not paying livable wages? Start a charity of course. Jeff Bezos who has become the target of political and public outrage launched the $2B Bezos Day One Fund to help homeless families and create a network of nonprofit preschools in low-income communities. PR 101, folks.
- Uber is planning to invest $150M over 5 years to build out a self-driving innovation hub in Toronto. Dara and team will take their chances on the only road in Canada.
- Dirty Pop. Hershey’s is (cue *NSYNC) sick and tired of hearing all these people talk about, what’s the deal with their candy and is it healthy now? Hershey’s will acquire Pirate Brands which makes Pirate Booty and other healthy snacks. Pennsylvania’s premier chocolatier now owns 2 health-conscious snack companies (SkinnyPop).
- Starbuck’s is going green … er. After announcing earlier this year that they will be doing away with straws at all locations by 2020, the home of the PSL plans to build 10k “greener stores” by 2025. It’s not just an eco-boost, the company says they will save as much as $50M per year in utility costs.
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