Monday, 18 Jan 2021

Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant sold to buyout firm for $540M

Pollution and Covid-19: Delhi hit by 'double whammy'

New Delhi (CNN Business)India has plunged into recession for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century as the pandemic continues to weigh heavily on Asia’s third biggest economy.

Official data published on Friday showed gross domestic product for the July-September quarter fell by 7.5% compared to the same period last year, when the economy was growing by more than 4%.
That follows a record drop of nearly 24% in GDP in the April-June period, the first quarter of India’s fiscal year.

    “With a view to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions were imposed on the economic activities not deemed essential during [the first quarter],” the Indian Ministry of Statistics said in a statement on Friday. “Though the restrictions have been gradually lifted, there has been an impact on the economic activities.”
    The data highlights the contrasting fortunes of India and China in the wake of the pandemic.

      While much of the world continued to struggle with the virus, China’s recovery accelerated in the most recent quarter. The country enforced stringent lockdown and population tracking policies intended to contain the virus, and set aside hundreds of billions of dollars for major infrastructure projects to fuel economic growth. It may be the only major economy to end the year bigger than it started.
      — This story will be updated.

      Denver weather: Cool and clear for Thanksgiving weekend

      It’s the start of a slight warmup for the Front Range. Friday’s forecast calls for sunny skies with a high near 47 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder. Winds are expected to be light throughout the day.

      By Friday night, the skies will remain mostly clear with a low of 26 degrees. NWS reports that lows will be in the single digits in places in higher elevations.

      For the rest of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, expect more sunny skies and a slight warmup with a high near 57 degrees Saturday and 44 degrees Sunday. Lows will fall into the mid-20s for both nights.


      Nextdoor is on a rocky road towards a possible public offering

      Nextdoor is a local social media app that acts as a digital public message board for neighborhoods where users can sell furniture, organize events and alert neighbors of danger.

      In the past year, monthly active users on Nextdoor grew 20 percent, according to Sensor Tower. It's provided neighbors and public agencies a platform to spread useful and important information during the pandemic.

      But the app, along with crime-focused apps like Citizen and Amazon Ring's Neighbors, has been scrutinized for years for not doing enough to curb the racism prevalent on the platform.

      Unlike Citizen and Neighbors, Nextdoor is more than a crime-fighting app. It helps small businesses connect to their local customers and gain new customers with free business postings. Local news outlets, which have been dwindling for years, have used the platform to reach a larger local audience with articles that are relevant to their community. But its reputation as a public safety tool has drawn criticism.

      As Nextdoor works its way toward possibly going public, investors and community members alike are asking Nextdoor to do more to clean up the racism on its platform so that the good parts can shine through.

      BBVA Ends Merger Talks With Banco De Sabadell – Quick Facts

      Spanish financial services group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) said Friday that the company’s talks regarding a potential merger transaction with Banco de Sabadell, S.A. have come to an end without having reached an agreement. Sabadell owns TSB Bank plc in the UK.

      Stock Alert: GameStop Adds 11% On Black Friday

      Shares of video game, consumer electronics and gaming merchandise retailer GameStop Corp. (GME) are climbing more than 11% Friday morning and touched a new high at $16.69.

      GameStop offers many deals on the Black Friday on consoles and video games including Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.

      People were reportedly standing in line in front of its outlets well before the store opened, to grab the deals.

      Red Bull billionaire loses bid for medieval Austrian hunting estate

      The billionaire owner of Red Bull lost his bid for a massive Austrian hunting estate to a fellow countryman.

      Dietrich Mateschitz was outspent by Austrian Rene Benko, who ponied up $35.8 million for 1,300 hectares of property in the country’s Styria province. The estate features large swaths of forest, and is home to a small chapel and inn built in the 1300s, Bloomberg reported (paywall).

      “It’s a beautiful plot of land with a very long tradition and historically valuable buildings,” Benko told Bloomberg in an interview. “We’re planning to renovate the building ensemble, and for us it’s a good way to diversify our portfolio.”

      It is a high-profile loss for Mateschitz, who is Austria’s richest man and has purchased many properties in the area.

      Benko, meanwhile, is better known for investing hundreds of millions of euros renovating historic buildings in Vienna, according to the report.

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      Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant sold to buyout firm for $540M

      Iconic women’s clothing brands Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant will be bought out of bankruptcy by private equity firm Sycamore Partners, the companies said Thursday.

      After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, Ascena Retail Group — the owner of the apparel brands — reached a deal to sell off its remaining assets for $540 million to Premium Apparel, a subsidiary of New York-based Sycamore.

      The private equity firm, which owns Talbots, The Limited and Staples, said it plans to keep “a substantial portion” of the retail stores and associates and expects the deal to close by mid-December.

      “These brands have significant potential, and we are excited about the opportunity to partner with Ascena’s talented team to continue delivering new and relevant experiences for customers,” Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore said in a statement.

      Mahwah, NJ-based Ascena bought Ann Inc., the parent company to Ann Taylor and LOFT in 2015 for $2.2 billion, in a deft-fueled deal that industry experts say was the beginning of the downfall of Ascena.

      Last year, Ascena began selling its other well-known brands, including 58-year-old Dressbarn which had 650 stores — all of which were shuttered — before the brand’s intellectual property was sold to brand licensing firm, Retail Ecommerce Ventures.

      The deal with Sycamore also includes the Lou & Grey brand.

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