Prices of metals like copper and iron ore are collapsing on growth worries and Chinese steel curbs after soaring on hopes of a swift economic recovery

Copper
An employee produces copper wires at Nanjing Gree Electric Enterprise Co in China.

  • Copper and iron ore prices have been knocked down sharply in August after steadily running higher since early 2020.
  • Iron ore prices have lost nearly 30% on demand concerns and China’s orders to curb steel production.
  • “Dr. Copper” as a barometer of economic health is being hurt while COVID cases ramp up.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Copper and iron ore prices have been slammed this month by demand worries as the coronavirus crisis wears on, while iron ore faces industry-specific pressure as China demands curbs on steel production, prompting questions about whether prices for the industrial metals can return to highs for the year.

Benchmark iron ore prices with 62% iron content in August have tumbled roughly 26% to trade above $156 per metric ton, driving to levels not seen since February. Copper has dropped more than 8% to fetch about $4.111 per pound, the lowest in about four months.

The downward slope comes after prices for the metals had been climbing since March 2020 when they dropped alongside a crash in US stocks as the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to push economies worldwide into recession.

“If you think about from the March 2020 S&P 500 market low to the first half of this year, you saw copper just continue to go higher and that argument of strong metals like copper and strong markets made sense because higher copper prices imply economic growth and economic activity and a need for copper,” David Keller, chief market strategist at Stockcharts.com, told Insider.

Iron ore like copper is an important industrial metal as it is a key raw material used to make steel. Production volume of about 2 billion tonnes and export volume of around 1.5 billion tonnes makes iron ore the third-largest commodity in terms of production volume after crude oil and coal, and the second-most traded commodity after crude oil, according to the World Steel Association.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations along with worldwide fiscal and monetary policy stimulus efforts have helped support the upswing in prices for the metals. But investors appear to be growing more cautious about the outlook for continued economic recovery as coronavirus cases increase on the back of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve appears on the path this year toward reducing the emergency asset purchases it put in place to help the economy weather the COVID crisis, a worrisome prospect for some investors who see the central bank’s asset purchases as fostering economic recovery and stoking demand for industrial metals like copper as building projects restart or get underway. Supply constraints had also helped pull up copper prices this year.

For iron ore, Bank of America this week said prices have peaked in part as supply has been catching up with demand. It noted that steel production in China had posted a run of seasonal highs since June 2020 largely because of a rebound after the start of the COVID pandemic.

“That said, output growth has been slowing,” driven by a confluence of factors, said BofA commodity strategists led by Michael Widmer. “Looking at demand first, growth has been grinding to a halt, as activity has become patchier, with construction and automotives particular headwinds.”

As well, the Chinese government has ordered steel mills to limit production in part to cut down on carbon emissions. It also changed tax incentives in May and July in an effort to better control steel production.

“This matters [as it] removes the incentive to run steel mills for exports,” said the strategists.

Moves that could revive iron ore prices include renewed stimulus measures in China and steel restocking ahead of the winter Olympics, which could prompt further mill closures to contain emissions, said BofA.

Keller at Stockcharts.com said the price of copper this week tested the 200-day moving average of $4 per pound, the first such test since June 2020.

“That whole idea of the infrastructure trade – industrials and machinery names — is really coming off here. While I see that as a long-term play, certainly in the short term weakness in copper is agreeing that it’s not an ideal time to make that bet,” Keller said.

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Macy’s jumps 22% after huge earnings beat as Americans shake off COVID-19 fears and return to in-store shopping

A view outside Macy's in Herald Square amid the coronavirus pandemic on March 17, 2021 in New York City.
A view outside Macy’s in Herald Square, New York.

  • Macy’s jumped to a more than two-year high after the chain posted second-quarter earnings that beat expectations.
  • It also raised its guidance for the year as vaccinated Americans return to in-store shopping.
  • The department store also announced a partnership that will bring Toys “R” Us back to Macy’s stores by 2022.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Shares of Macy’s jumped as much as 22% to a more than two-year high on Thursday after the department store chain posted second-quarter earnings that beat expectations and raised its guidance for the year as vaccinated Americans return to stores.

The stock surged 22.65% to $22.17 on Thursday at 1:28 p.m. ET. It was trading 18.40% higher at $21.40 as of 2:28 p.m. ET.

The company said that same-store sales spiked a whopping 62% in the quarter. It also announced plans to reinstate its regular quarterly dividend at 15 cents per share and its board-approved $500 million stock buyback program.

Macy’s momentum in the first quarter accelerated in the second thanks to a reengaged core customer base, new and younger shoppers, as well as fresh brands and categories, company chair and CEO Jeff Gennette said in a statement.

“Through the Macy’s, Inc. portfolio and our omnichannel approach, we provide a compelling, seamless integration between physical stores and digital shopping to most effectively meet the needs of our customers,” he said.

The company on Wednesday posted a net income that increased to $345 million, or $1.08 per share, compared with a net loss of $431 million, or $1.39 per share, in the same period last year.

Macy’s adjusted earnings were $1.29 per share during the quarter, excluding one-time adjustments. Analysts by Refinitiv were expecting a mere $0.19 a share.

Revenue meanwhile, rose almost 60% to $5.65 billion, compared to the $3.56 billion in the same period last year, beating analyst estimates of $5.01 billion.

Macy’s boosted its net sales outlook to $23.55 billion to $23.95 billion, from $21.73 billion to $22.23 billion.

The company expects full-year adjusted earnings of $3.41-$3.75 per share, up from $1.71-$2.12 a share.

The company on Thursday also announced a partnership with WHP Global to bring Toys “R” Us back to its stores. Shoppers can buy toys from the toy store chain online and can purchase these from more than 400 Macy’s stores nationwide by 2022.

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UK job vacancies climb above 1 million for the first time ever as labor shortage intensifies

UK unemployment hiring coronavirus labor shortage labour shortages
Companies in some sectors have been scrambling to find workers.

The number of UK job vacancies shot above above 1 million for the first time on record in July, the country’s Office for National Statistics said Tuesday, in one of the clearest signs yet of intensifying labor shortages in some sectors.

UK wages also rose strongly as the economy bounced back, with growth in average total pay jumping by a record 8.8% in the three months to June from a year earlier. However, the ONS said the statistics were partly skewed by the pandemic and that underlying wage pressures were more moderate.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in the quarter to June from 4.8% in the three months to May. It stood just 0.8 percentage points above the pre-pandemic level seen in the three months to February 2020, thanks in large part to the government’s wage subsidy scheme that has supported companies and workers.

“The robust jobs recovery suggested by business surveys is confirmed by today’s figures, and that is great news,” said Neil Carberry, chief executive of the UK’s Recruitment & Employment Confederation.

“But record vacancy numbers once again emphasise the risk posed by labor shortages in many key sectors.​​ The number of vacancies is now at an all-time high and is still rising, with employers desperate to hire new staff as the economy recovers.”

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 32 quality stocks that are set to grow profit margins despite rising costs while competitors get squeezed

The pound was down 0.3% on Tuesday morning European time to $1.38, while the UK’s FTSE 100 stock index was 0.1% lower.

The ONS said there were an estimated 953,000 job vacancies in the May-to-July period, a record high, a surge of 44% compared with the previous quarter. It added that early July survey data showed the number had climbed above 1 million.

Businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, such as cinemas, galleries and gyms, saw the fastest growth in vacancies in the three months to July. The UK government loosened coronavirus restrictions in the spring, kickstarting a scrabble to find workers. Accommodation and food services companies logged the second-strongest growth.

The UK’s wage-subsidy scheme is closing at the end of September. Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at consultancy Pantheon Macroeconomics, said he thinks the UK unemployment rate will rise to 5.2% in the final three months of the year.

Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, said she thinks the Bank of England won’t start raising interest rates until mid-2023, despite the strong economy.

Yet she said Tuesday’s figures “suggest that the risks are tilted towards wage growth coming in a bit higher and the [BOE] raising rates a bit sooner than we anticipate.”

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Incoming New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she’s not ruling out a statewide vaccine mandate

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference the day after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation at the New York State Capitol, in Albany, New York, U.S., August 11, 2021.
Incoming New York Governor Kathy Hochul

  • Kathy Hochul, NY’s incoming governor, said she’s not yet ruling out the possibility of mandating a statewide vaccine for indoor activities.
  • “I’m open to all options,” she told CNN Sunday. “I’ll be looking at the possibility of mandates.”
  • She also said she supports mandating the wearing of face masks for children in school.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Kathy Hochul, New York’s incoming governor, on Sunday said she’s not ruling out the possibility of mandating a statewide vaccine for indoor activities amid a surge in COVID-19 cases brought about by the Delta variant.

“I’m open to all options,” she told CNN’s State of the Union. “I’ll be looking at the possibility of mandates, but not saying they’re in or out until I know all the facts.”

Hochul, 62, who takes over the position of Gov. Andrew Cuomo by the end of August following his resignation, said she’s assembling a team of experts to help her layout all scenarios and is planning to discuss the situation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well.

“I want to bring the best and the brightest to deal with this,” she told CNN, explaining how she plans to strategize her policy to curb the spread of the virus.

She did clarify that she supports mandating the wearing of face masks for children in school ahead of the fall class opening.

“This is something that I believe has to occur to make sure that our teachers are safe, the administrators are safe,” she told CNN. “I’m a mom. I know how this feels. I will get this right.”

As for mandating vaccines for teachers, she said she does not have the executive power to do that.

“I’m willing to speak to our legislative leaders and to take whatever action I need to protect people,” Hochul told CNN.

The sitting lieutenant governor highlighted how the situation continues to change, which is why she wants to avoid making “hard and fast rules” only to reverse them the following month. She did reiterate how her main goal is to get more people vaccinated.

Currently, around 75% of New Yorkers above 18 years old have received at least one dose.

Hochul also expressed openness to speak with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I want to roll up my sleeves and sit down with the mayor of New York – the current and the incoming mayors -and say, let’s solve the scale,” she told CNN. “How about doing it together and not in competition.”

Cuomo and de Blasio have had an ongoing feud ever since the mayor took office in 2014.

As for Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal and suspended impeachment investigation, Hochul said she will not allow herself to be distracted.

“I’ll be laser-focused on dealing with COVID, getting our economy back, getting kids back in schools, and dealing with a whole host of other challenges that I’m prepared for,” she said.

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Global shares hover near record highs as rising COVID cases and a slew of economic data leaves investors cautious

Stock Market Traders
  • Global shares remained near record highs despite COVID-19 cases continuing to rise.
  • US inflation, Chinese quarterly economic data and Jerome Powell’s semi-annual testimony to Congress are in focus.
  • Growth in Japan’s machinery sector boosted Asian stocks as it indicated sustained economic recovery.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Global shares were mixed on Monday, with economically sensitive sectors such as energy and banking under pressure, while more defensive parts of the market such as healthcare rose, as as COVID-19 cases linked to the delta variant continued to rise and bring renewed lockdowns.

Key data on US consumer inflation and regional manufacturing activity along with Chinese economic growth could provide a steer on how much the resurgence of COVID-19 is impacting the global recovery.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will also deliver his semi-annual testimony on the state of the economy to Congress this week, while the European Central Bank will revise its current monetary policies, which investors are expecting will provide them with guidance on growth and inflation in the eurozone.

US futures were a mixed bag, as Dow Jones futures dipped by 0.29% and S&P 500 futures were down 0.19%, while Nasdaq futures were up by 0.11% at 04:30 am E.T. on Monday.

“In the US, CPI data tomorrow will tell us whether we did indeed see the peak in inflation in May – our economists think we did, forecasting a slowdown in headline CPI from 5.0% to 4.8% in June, potentially putting a cap on Fed rate expectations for now.” ING analysts said.

The yield on the US Treasury 10-year note was last at 1.333%, down by 2.3 basis points, reflecting a degree of investor demand for so-called safe haven assets.

Rising COVID-19 cases linked to the Delta variant are also weighing on global markets as they signal a potential delay in post-pandemic economic recovery.

“We’re also seeing higher case counts in the UK, US and Europe, which could also add to the uncertainty,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC markets said. “The lower vaccination rate in Europe could prove problematic in the days ahead,” he added.

European stocks dipped on Monday. Frankfurt’s DAX was last down 0.14%, while London’s FTSE 100 dipped by 0.56% and the EuroStoxx 50 index of top eurozone stocks was 0.25% lower.

The European Central Bank might announce revisions to its monetary policy at its meeting this week, but will not end its post-pandemic recovery program, ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Bloomberg TV.

Asian markets were boosted by Japanese machinery orders rising for the third consecutive month in May and the country posting higher than expected producer price index readings on Monday. The data releases boosted investor confidence in the economy recovering despite a rise in COVID-19 cases in the region.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose by 2.25% in response and pulled shares across the region up with it as the Shanghai Composite closed 0.67% higher and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose by 0.65%.

The energy sector broadly declined on Monday. OPEC+ reached no agreement on production and abandoned a planned meeting last week, which has raised concern that the group could splinter and raise output at will. Brent crude futures were last down by 1.19%, trading for $74.65 per barrel, while WTI crude fell 1.17% to $73.69 a barrel. Natural gas was last trading 1.06% lower, while heating oil declined by 1.35%.

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People craving adrenaline are fueling a ‘major increase’ in demand for extreme sports after a year at home

Rock climbing in Samarskaya Luka National Park, Russia
Rock climbing in Samarskaya Luka National Park, Russia

  • Adventure-sports company Extreme told Insider that demand has surged during the pandemic.
  • Some companies credit the adrenaline craze to last year’s prolonged indoor confinement.
  • The industry has 490 million participants worldwide, bringing in over $200 billion per year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sydney Dunham, a 20-year-old student at Colorado College, embarked on her first rock-climbing trek this January as she and her friends drove to the limestone cliffs on Shelf Road, CO.

“I fell halfway through, I really didn’t think I could go any further,” Dunham told Insider. “But I decided to muster all my remaining strength and give it one final go … finishing that climb was one of the most intensely satisfying experiences of my life.”

Dunham, like many others, decided to pick up a new hobby during the pandemic. Searching for a thrill beyond bread baking or crochet, she joined a bouldering gym close to her college.

“Throwing myself into climbing became a way of releasing all the built-up tension from being cooped up during the pandemic,” she said. “I felt an extreme sense of excitement at just being able to try something new, especially something that pushed me as a person.”

Rock climbing is just one sport fueling the adventure economy, an industry with an estimated 490 million participants. The most popular activities include ziplining, rafting, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, and sky diving.

Alistair Gosling, CEO of the adventure sports company Extreme, told Insider that he has seen a “major increase” in adventure and extreme sports around the world.

Gosling believes that the significant change in consumer demand for more adventurous activities is a result of last year’s indoor confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NY Zipline Canopy Adventure Tours told Insider that it has more customers than ever and typically sells out a week or two in advance. Owner Bradd Morse said the main challenge is staffing – he usually requires 70 employees but was only able to hire 28.

“Maybe people are just saying ‘you know what, I’m going to check this off, I don’t know how long life is here for,'” Dr. Luana Marques, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, told Insider. “I think the reality of that uncertainty may push people to do more risky behaviors.”

Research shows that when people arrive at a skydiving facility, they feel high levels of stress and anxiety. However, immediately after landing participants experience “peak happiness,” as the brain is flooded with adrenaline and dopamine.

“Although we don’t have concrete data that documents that the percent of people seeking extreme sports is higher now compared to before the pandemic, we could hypothesize that people’s constant reassessing of their lives over the past year … might lead people to want to live more in the moment and to take higher risks,” Marques said.

Companies supplying the adventure-sports industry, such as GoPro, have also seen huge spikes in revenue. GoPro’s May 2021 earnings show a revenue increase of 71% year-over-year, totaling $204 Million. The company’s best-selling product was the Hero9 Black, a $400 action camera.

Extreme said 2020 extreme-sports equipment sales were double those of the year before, leading many stores to sell out. According to a Research Dive report, the global adventure-tourism industry is projected to more than double over the next six years.

“I appreciated the bread baking and self-reflection that came with the isolation of the pandemic,” Dunham said. “But that also built up to a need to get out there and live life to its extremes.”

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The pandemic hit Caribbean American communities hard. How the diaspora is rallying around covid recovery

Caribbean Community Harlem
A man wearing a protective face covering walks by a mural in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City

  • The Covid-19 pandemic decimated Caribbean American communities in the US.
  • Communities in the largest diasporas united to help with health, economic, and cultural recovery.
  • Leaders, activists and artists across the US Caribbean diaspora came together to help communities.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first began nearly two years ago, it exposed sharp disparities related to poverty, access to healthcare, and overall quality of life that one time left Black Americans more than three times more likely to die from the virus.

“We carry a higher burden of chronic disease that predisposes us to the more serious complications of coronavirus,” Uché Blackstock, a physician who works in Brooklyn told the Washington post. “We don’t have access to care and if we do it’s likely that care is of worst quality because they are often termed minority-serving.”

While part of the larger contingent of Black Americans, for many Caribbean American communities in the US, their unique impact But for many, the unique

A New York City Health Department map showing the virus’ early spread confirmed neighborhoods with a high concentration of Caribbean-Americans in the city’s Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx boroughs were among the areas most affected by COVID-19.

Now, as states reopen and communities are tasked with rebuilding, Caribbean diasporas across the country told Insider their unity behind their shared cultural identity is key to their sociopolitical, health, economic recovery.

Many Caribbean American diasporas were in coronavirus hotspots

vaccine healthcare workers us
A dentist receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Anaheim, California, on January 8, 2021.

Most Caribbean immigrants and first generation Americans reside in New York state and Florida according to 2017 data from the Migration Policy Institute – accounting for 63% of the entire Caribbean population in the US.

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Black people hold many of the jobs in the taxi service industry, the foodservice industry, as well as the hotel industry. Many immigrants, including Caribbean immigrants, also work in the healthcare industry – the very frontline workers that have been caring for the nation during the pandemic.

A report from the Migration Policy Institute also shows that more than 2.6 million immigrants were employed as healthcare workers as of 2018. They account for 18% of healthcare workers in the US.

That meant when the public was asked to stay at home to flatten the curve, it was immigrant communities and Black and brown Americans who largely kept the country running.

But advocates note that in polling and surveys, Caribbean Americans are often lumped together with African Americans and that can make it difficult to campaign for their unique needs as a community culturally, politically, and economically.

In 2020, the US Census Bureau released a new questionnaire that included the option for people to note their country of origin, which will help differentiate Caribbean Americans from African Americans.

“Twenty percent of New York, New Yorkers are of Caribbean descent so it’s very important that we’re seen,” Shelley Worrell the founder and chief curator of caribBeing, told NY1.

The cultural advocacy group cautioned that impact came at a cost to the community as the coronavirus spread.

As evictions skyrocketed and joblessness grew, Worrell jumped into gear serving hot meals to frontline workers at two hospitals, including facilities that primarily serve the city’s Caribbean population in Brooklyn.

Many Black-owned businesses, already severely impacted by disparities in access to federal aid, were forced to close altogether or struggled to stay afloat. Among those, Worrell focused efforts on the Caribbean business community federal and state aid can overlook.

caribBeing’s directory of Caribbean businesses then served as a one-stop-shop to support local businesses right as a public campaign to support Black-owned businesses gained steam following the killing of George Floyd in June.

“We were able to really try to amplify the Caribbean businesses in our neighborhoods to drive traffic and media attention to the community,” Worrell said.

In South Florida, where the Caribbean diaspora is 21%, drawing attention to community resources was just as much a public health and cultural necessity as an economic one.

Black Americans, including Caribbean Americans, are familiar with the country’s history of medical exploitation which leaves room for misinformation to propagate.

With misinformation about the coronavirus and the vaccine has been spreading in the community, Miami-based attorney Marlon Hill focused primarily on ensuring the people are efficiently educated about what’s happening throughout the pandemic, as well as facilitating mental health and wellness of the community.

“With the assistance of the Caribbean medical professional community, we have conducted a number of webinars to dispel myths about COVID-19 vaccines and the ongoing pandemic,” he told Insider in an email.

But Hill told Insider keeping the community culturally connect is as vital as medically informed. South Florida’s annual Caribbean carnival was cancelled last October, putting the final nail in the coffin of a festival tourism season that begins with Trinidad and Tobago’s pre-Lenten celebration in February.

Last year’s masquerade of colorful costumes in the twin-island Republic is one of few the region, and its diaspora in the US and elsewhere, have seen ever since – devastating a thriving tourism and cultural entertainment scene.

The pandemic devastated communities reliant on culture and entertainment

immigration around the world major cities New York City how immigrants are treated West Indian Day Parade
The annual West Indian-American Carnival Day Parade in Brooklyn, New York attracts close to two million people during Labor Day weekend.

Entertainers and entrepreneurs took to social media to connect people the best way they know how – music. Ronnie Tomlinson, director of public relations at Destine Media PR, a full-service agency that works with Caribbean artists, told Insider she was happy to see how naturally entertainers came out to support the diaspora.

“Their intention was to relieve the minds of the people,” she said. “Just using the music to entertain people. We know they’re human, but we also [got to] see that side of them.”

Similar to D-Nice’s Club Quarantine sessions during the pandemic, DJs including Brooklyn-based Kevin Crown and Tony Matterhorn of Jamaica played live music sets designed to virtually recreate the high-energy fetes that can draw thousands of patrons.

Over time, his shows garnered as many as 5000 viewers per show. Crown told Insider that those music sessions started to help fans, as well as himself.

“I even lost my uncle to COVID so it was just a lot of anxiety every day and as much as [my music] helped people, it helped me cope and gave me a purpose,” he said, at the time receiving messages from fans that his performance kept them from the brink.”

Advocates say the tireless work to keep the diaspora together during a time of global suffering will only ramp up as states re-open.

Following a pandemic, and racial unrest that saw communities of color targeted, Hill cautioned for political leaders to mitigate some of the socioeconomic and healthcare issues in the community by meeting the community where they are.

“Be more proactive in sharing these messages in a vernacular that the community can understand and also see,” he said. “Be more proactive in speaking in our language and in our culture.”

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A SPAC backed by an LA Dodgers co-owner will take online ticket marketplace Vivid Seats public at a $2 billion valuation

GettyImages 576940202 (1)
LA Dodgers owners of Guggenheim Baseball Management, LLC – (from left) Stan Kasten, Mark Walter, Earvin Magic Johnson, Peter Guber, and Todd Boehly during the press conference to introduce the new owners of the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA on May 2, 2012.

  • A SPAC backed by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly is taking online ticket marketplace Vivid Seats public.
  • The deal will put the combined valuation of both companies at $1.95 billion.
  • The SPAC, Horizon Acquisition, will provide around $769 million of gross proceeds to Vivid Seats, including a $225 million PIPE.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

A blank check company backed by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly announced Thursday that it is taking online ticket marketplace Vivid Seats public, putting the combined valuation of both companies at $1.95 billion.

Boehly’s Horizon Acquisition SPAC will provide around $769 million of gross proceeds to Vivid Seats, including a $225 million private investment in public equity, or PIPE, at $10 per share from investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company and Eldridge Industries, which Boehly is CEO of.

The new company will be led by Vivid Seats CEO Stan Chia. Boehly, chairman and CEO of the SPAC, will join the Vivid Seats’ board of directors.

“Vivid Seats has built an impressive technology platform, as well as a substantial customer base,” Boehly, who is also the founder of Eldridge Industries, said in a statement. “Vivid Seats is a scaled, growing and highly profitable marketplace that will be well-positioned to drive continual long-term growth.”

Vivid Seats is a live portal that connects fans with ticket sellers across. The Chicago-based company is poised to take advantage of consumers’ pent-up demand – after being locked in their homes due to the pandemic – to attend sports, concert, and theater events as Covid-19 restrictions worldwide ease.

The online ticket marketplace currently supports over 12 million customers and 3,400 sellers across more than 200,000 listed events. Founded in 2001, the company counts ESPN and The Rolling Stones as its partner, among others.

Evercore is acting as financial and capital adviser to Vivid Seats, while Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and RBC Capital Markets are advising Horizon on the deal.

SPACs, shell companies seeking to merge with private companies with the intention of taking them public, have boomed.

In 2020, a total of 248 SPACs raised $83.3 billion according to SPAC Analytics. But by April of this year, 308 SPACs have raised $99.7 billion, comprising 65% of all IPOs.

While the boom in SPACs has slowed recently, Goldman Sachs said these could still drive $900 billion of dealmaking over the next two years.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A SPAC backed by an LA Dodgers co-owner will take online ticket reseller Vivid Seats public at a $2 billion valuation

GettyImages 576940202 (1)
LA Dodgers owners of Guggenheim Baseball Management, LLC – (from left) Stan Kasten, Mark Walter, Earvin Magic Johnson, Peter Guber, and Todd Boehly during the press conference to introduce the new owners of the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA on May 2, 2012.

  • A SPAC backed by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly is taking online ticket marketplace Vivid Seats public.
  • The deal will put the combined valuation of both companies at $1.95 billion.
  • The SPAC, Horizon Acquisition, will provide around $769 million of gross proceeds to Vivid Seats, including a $225 million PIPE.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

A blank check company backed by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly announced Thursday that it is taking online ticket marketplace Vivid Seats public, putting the combined valuation of both companies at $1.95 billion.

Boehly’s Horizon Acquisition SPAC will provide around $769 million of gross proceeds to Vivid Seats, including a $225 million private investment in public equity, or PIPE, at $10 per share from investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company and Eldridge Industries, which Boehly is CEO of.

The new company will be led by Vivid Seats CEO Stan Chia. Boehly, chairman and CEO of the SPAC, will join the Vivid Seats’ board of directors.

“Vivid Seats has built an impressive technology platform, as well as a substantial customer base,” Boehly, who is also the founder of Eldridge Industries, said in a statement. “Vivid Seats is a scaled, growing and highly profitable marketplace that will be well-positioned to drive continual long-term growth.”

Vivid Seats is a live portal that connects fans with ticket sellers across. The Chicago-based company is poised to take advantage of consumers’ pent-up demand – after being locked in their homes due to the pandemic – to attend sports, concert, and theater events as Covid-19 restrictions worldwide ease.

The online ticket marketplace currently supports over 12 million customers and 3,400 sellers across more than 200,000 listed events. Founded in 2001, the company counts ESPN and The Rolling Stones as its partner, among others.

Evercore is acting as financial and capital adviser to Vivid Seats, while Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and RBC Capital Markets are advising Horizon on the deal.

SPACs, shell companies seeking to merge with private companies with the intention of taking them public, have boomed.

In 2020, a total of 248 SPACs raised $83.3 billion according to SPAC Analytics. But by April of this year, 308 SPACs have raised $99.7 billion, comprising 65% of all IPOs.

While the boom in SPACs has slowed recently, Goldman Sachs said these could still drive $900 billion of dealmaking over the next two years.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Senate shatters record with longest vote in history as Democrats negotiated the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill

Chuck Schumer
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).

  • A Friday vote on Capitol Hill became the longest vote in the Senate’s modern history.
  • The vote on a Sanders-backed minimum wage amendment was held open for 11 hours and 50 minutes.
  • The extended open vote was attributed to a Democratic scramble to get votes for future amendments.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

While Senators were anticipating a frenzied day on Friday as Democrats sought to push through their $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, a vote on a minimum wage amendment actually became the longest recorded Senate vote in modern history, according to The Hill.

The Senate commenced voting at 11:03 a.m. on Friday on a amendment offered by Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to raise the minimum wage from the current $7.25 federal rate to $15.

The vote was officially closed at 10:53 p.m., meaning it was held open by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York for a record 11 hours and 50 minutes.

Previously, the record was held by a June 2019 vote on an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill by then-Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico that was held open for 10 hours and eight minutes.

The push for a $15 minimum wage previously caused a rift among the Democratic caucus, with moderate Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia opposed to the increase being included in the bill even before the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the provision couldn’t be added due to its noncompliance with budget reconciliation rules.

Under the reconciliation process, Democrats can pass the COVID-19 relief bill on a party-line vote with the aid of Vice President Kamala Harris’s tiebreaking vote.

However, the extended open vote was attributed to the Democratic majority’s scramble to get votes for future amendments to the relief bill during the free-for-all “vote-a-rama” that consumed the Senate.

GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio offered an amendment that would have extended enhanced unemployment benefits until July 18, several weeks short of the August 29 extension that was passed in the House version of the bill.

When Manchin expressed interest in the amendment, it threatened the Democrats’ fragile 50-vote coalition.

As the day went on, GOP Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota met with Portman, with Manchin on the phone. Manchin also spoke with Schumer and President Joe Biden, himself of a 36-year veteran of Senate negotiations, to break the impasse.

Ultimately, Manchin forged a compromise with his Democratic colleagues, which extended the current $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits through September 6, while providing tax relief for the first $10,200 in jobless aid for households making less than $150,000.

“We have reached a compromise that enables the economy to rebound quickly while also protecting those receiving unemployment benefits from being hit with [an] unexpected tax bill next year,” Manchin said in a statement.

The Senate eventually rejected the Sanders motion to re-add the minimum wage increase to the COVID-19 bill; it failed in a 42-58 vote.

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