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HOLD MY BEER
Back when Tom Brady was a lowly five-time Super Bowl champ, and wayyy before Adam Levine triggered Janet Jackson fans by going shirtless, someone at Bud Light thought it would be a good idea to go nuclear on its biggest competitors, Miller Lite and Coors Light. I mean, what could go wrong?
A lot, apparently. MillerCoors is suing Anheuser-Busch InBev for its “false and misleading” Super Bowl ad. The maker of the Bud Latte claimed (and continues to claim) that the creator of the ML Smoothie uses corn syrup in its brew as part of a new promo that highlights Bud Light’s ingredients.
Miller admits it uses corn syrup in the brewing process but none of the viscous goo ends up in the final product. The brewer was also quick to point out that corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup. Amirite Iowa?
After trading jabs via the airwaves MillerCoors decided to lawyer up. The company is seeking an injunction to stop Bud Light from continuing the ad campaign, a trial by jury to rectify the falsehoods … and even wants Bud to cover its legal fees. And the maker of the “blue Rockies can” is aiming to force Anheuser-Busch InBev to run ads that walk back its accusations.
Pull out game strong
In a world where craft brew snobs didn’t exist a little friendly competition may not seem like a big deal. But the major players of the crispy boy industry are facing headwinds from the likes of your local brewery and the growing popularity of spirits. In fact, beer consumption has sunk 8.5% over the last 7 years.
Plus this whole legal battle throws a wrench in the spokes of “Big Brew’s” plan to unite a la “Got Milk?” You see, MillerCoors and AB InBev, along with Heineken and Constellation Brands had been in talks for some time to gang up to curb stomp those pesky mom and pop brewers. That is until Super Bowl Sunday. Miller has since pulled out of the talks.
GUESS WHO’S ACK?
Sit down, be humble.
Bill Ackman, the outspoken mastermind behind the hedge fund Pershing Square has made a conscious effort to change his ways after a slew of high profile f*ck ups. Losses and redemptions have cost Ackman’s fund some $9B since 2015. Among Ackman’s L’s were disastrous bets on Herbalife and Valeant.
Now, Ackman is letting his investors know that he plans to steer clear of “hard to understand” companies, while he himself learns to STFU and stay out of the spotlight. “Baby Buffett” has even halted his activist investing … for now.
Ackman’s new outlook on life appears to be paying dividends. Pershing Square’s public fund is up 31.9% thus far in 2019, largely due to investments in companies like Lowes, ADP, Starbucks, and Chipotle. We call that “guac is extra” money.
So, it’s all good?
Well, not quite. Pershing Square is still feeling the effects of anxious investors. Its shares are trading at $16.54, a sizeable discount from the fund’s most recent net asset value of $22.81. And Ackman’s investors aren’t alone in taking a beating. Bill’s personal net worth is down to $1B, half of what it was just a few years ago. But, hey, he’s married to Brad Pitt’s ex … so he’s got that going for him.
CVS is going green. That’s right, your local pharmacy is getting into the weed game.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, will now be available in over 800 CVS locations across 8 states: Alabama, California, Colorado (shocker), Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee. CVS is partnering with Curaleaf Inc. to offer a topical form of the cannabis plant extract to its customers.
Before you check Weedmaps for your local CVS, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. The CBD product is derived from the hemp plant, but it doesn’t contain the psychoactive chemical, THC, that will have you hankering for a Domino’s 5-5-5 deal. Simply put, it doesn’t get you “high.”
But it does offer a slew of health benefits. In fact, CBD has been proven to help reduce chronic (LOL) pain and anxiety, and even treat epilepsy. It’s worth noting that CBD is legal federally, but states don’t always share the same sentiment about the cannabinoid.
CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo, noted that the roll-out of the products is in response to customer demand. It probably doesn’t hurt that CBD (and THC) products have gained mainstream credibility. Merlo even went as far as to compare the CBD treatment to an Icy Hot topical product.
CVS’ partner on the retail experiment is Curaleaf, whose stock soared on the news.
IN OTHER NEWS
- EU officials have agreed to grant the UK a Brexit extension, giving the Kingdom until May 22nd should Theresa May convince Britain’s Parliament to approve her Brexit plan … which it has already rejected multiple times. The alternative? A disorderly Brexit on April 12th.
- Biotech giant, Biogen, announced the termination of late-stage studies for its Alzheimer’s drug, aducanumab. The drug targeted buildup of amyloid beta plaques in the brain, the ultimate cause of the dreadful disease. Turns out, all other companies that focused on the same process have failed as well. Unsurprisingly investors don’t appreciate when you promise a novel treatment then fail miserably. Biogen shares were down almost 30% yesterday.
- FFS. Facebook has blood on its hands … again. Yet another privacy scandal has rocked the ‘book and the company is encouraging users to change their passwords. It turns out hundreds of millions of passwords have been exposed to FB employees dating back to 2012. The issue was that the passwords were not encrypted prior to being stored, so any Facebook employee with some programming knowledge could access them. Apparently, nothing was leaked to the outside world, so there’s that.
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