UK Eats RBS Loss; MyHeritage Hack; MLB Buys Rawlings

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 7 AM EST. You can subscribe at thewatercoolest.com.

 

THE HEADLINES

Don’t have 3 minutes and 33 seconds to read The Water Coolest? Listen on all of your favorite podcast outlets in 2 minutes or less.

 

CUT YOUR BLOODY LOSSES

The British government just took another L with their bailout of the Royal Bank of Scotland after unloading 925M shares for around 2.5B pounds ($3.4B USD). That represents a $2.5B loss from the original purchase price. Not great, Bob!

The UK bailed out RBS to the tune of $61B during the financial crisis and at one point owned 84% of the bank. After sell-offs that have tallied $5.4B in losses, the government now owns around 62% … or “way too f*cking much” according to taxpayers.

RBS has paid out $28B in settlements and fines since the financial crisis. The latest, and what’s expected to be the last, is a $5B settlement paid to the US DOJ for selling billions in risky loans between 2005 and 2007… allegedly.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Maybe I’ve just watched too much Dirty Money and American Greed, but it really pisses me off that RBS was deemed too big to fail. Welp, at least their executive aren’t receiving bonuses … oh wait.”

 

LONG LOST DNA

MyHeritage, a consumer genealogy company based out of Israel announced that 92M user’s email addresses and passwords were compromised.

According to the facilitator of family reunions, and the preferred method of finding out if you’ve mistakenly made out with any of your kin, the breach occurred in October 2017. But it wasn’t “discovered” until June 4 by a security researcher who happened to stumble upon the email and PW data. Fortunately, the hackers didn’t get full passwords, since MyHeritage only stores a “hash” that allows users to log in with their password, but not the password itself.

The service also collects DNA samples as part of an add-on service but claims none of this data was breached. It’s unclear what a hacker would do with another person’s chromosome configuration, but all signs point towards creating an island amusement park akin to one associated with the Jurassic period.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “I have always wanted to concoct a diabolical scheme to create a family reunion for a family that I’m not apart under the ruse of “I’m Aunt Millie’s distant cousin from Tuscon.” In other news, I definitely wasn’t behind this breach.”

 

HOT STOVE

There’s no crying in vertical integration. Newell, the maker of pretty much everything in that one clusterf*ck of a catch-all drawer everyone has in their kitchen, will sell Rawlings to MLB for $395M.

Major League Baseball plans to purchase its ball and helmet supplier in a partnership with Seidler Equity Partners. According to an official, speaking with the exuberance of a schoolboy the league is “interested in providing even more input and direction on the production of the official ball of Major League Baseball.”

Newell, the conglomerate divesting Rawlings, is having a fire sale that would make Wayne Huizenga blush after having swelled faster than Barry Bonds circa 1998 via multiple acquisitions, the biggest of which was a $15B purchase of Jarden.

The maker of Mr. Sketch Scented Markers has had a slew of clubhouse drama, however, including a proxy battle involving Carl Icahn and fledgling financials as of late. Newell’s Waddington Group and Novolex Holdings have already been designated for assignment as part of rebuilding efforts.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Seidler, FTW. This is a textbook case of hedging your bets. Seidler Equity Partners is the lead on this deal and is partnering with MLB. MLB just so happens to be one of Rawlings’ best customers. Seidler knows that MLB won’t switch baseball providers as long as they have a dog in the fight.”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • Toshiba, the struggling electronics maker who commercialized laptops, will sell a majority stake in its iconic hardware business to Sharp for just $36M. Here’s a fun game to play: which has the worse Amazon rating … a Toshiba computer or a Sharp TV.
  • After selling its iconic 5th Avenue store to WeWork last year for $850M, with an option to rent the space, Lord & Taylor plans to close its flagship location’s doors for good. It also plans to sell Gilt Groupe at a massive loss. The irony is that WeWork probably rented space to startups that are helping put the nail in L&T’s coffin.
  • Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest crypto trading platforms shut down briefly yesterday morning due to a cyber attack. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the safety of crypto. 
  • David Koch, the VP of Koch Industries, will step away from his family business and political obligations immediately to address his ailing health.
  • Cargo, the maker of ride-hailing vending machines, will partner with Grab, the Uber of southeast Asia. Nothing screams power move quite like buying Junior Mints for everyone in the Uber Pool.
  • US indices were mixed yesterday:
    • DOW: -0.06%
    • S&P 500: +0.07%
    • NASDAQ: +0.41%