Tesla Sales Dipping?

Tesla certainly has some work to do. And that’s because the registration for Tesla Inc. vehicles in California, certainly their largest market, fell 24% in April from one year ago. This is according to data from HIS Markit.

Of course, Tesla says that this information is misleading because the deliveries vary so much from month-to-month. Sales of electric vehicles throughout the United States remain at less than 1% of total vehicle sales. In December of 2016 and January of 2017, many were getting excited as Tesla’s Chief Executive Elon Musk started working on a strategy to diversify production of other items such as storage batteries, electric commercial trucks, rooftop solar panels and more. However, Tesla shares started to fall in June with concerns that the company’s current models were having weak sales.

HIS analyst Stephanie Brinkley did caution that just looking at a single month doesn’t show the full picture. As she said, “If Tesla had an issue with its production for the month, that could explain.” However she did say that, “They haven’t changed much on the exterior or much on the package. I can certainly understand where Model S sales may be softening a little bit because it’s an older product. That could be contributing to the issue.”

Learn more about Tesla and the ups and downs they are having here.

Senior Care Sector Value Surges

Investors are setting their sights on an interesting industry: senior wellness, housing and healthcare. With businesses and organizations dotting major cities throughout the US, such as Dry Harbor Nursing Home in NYC, buyers are becoming more likely to place their funds in these institutions. According to a Norwalk company specializing in the field, the value of senior wellness M&As has increased by 600% since the last quarter due to two recent multibillion-dollar deals.

The move has brought the sector up to $9.7 billion, the highest it has been in three years. Steve Monroe, managing editor of TheSeniorCare Investor and of The Senior Care Acquisition Report says the increase “illustrates the continued investment interest in the sector and the willingness of buyers to commit significant amounts of capital despite current headwinds.”

“Each of the two largest transactions was more than double the dollar size of the largest acquisition in 2016, so it looks like the large deals are back in vogue,” he added.

Sabra Health Care REIT acquired Care Capital Properties in an almost $4 billion deal, and Hawthorn Retirement Group was acquired by Columbia Pacific Advisors for around $2.6 billion. Other major deals include the sale of Kindred Healthcare to BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC.


Nordstrom Making Changes

Have you always wanted to own Nordstrom Inc.? Now might be your chance. The Nordstrom Inc. family is talking to buyout firms about raising the $1-2 billion in equity they would need to fund a potential bid to become private. The family group, which today owns 31.2% of the 116 year company is hoping to become private.

Nordstrom is talking to private equity firms but is keeping it all confidential until a final agreement is reached. Their shares were trading up 6.2% at $47.40 recently. The group that is interested in this agreement includes Nordstrom Chairman Emeritus Bruce Nordstrom, his sister Anne Gittinger, President James Nordstrom and Nordstrom co-Presidents Blake, Peter and Erik Nordstrom.

At the moment, they have 354 stores in 40 states which include both Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. They have stores, as well, in Canada and Puerto Rico.



Snapchat Hits Rocky Bump

If you monitor what’s happening with Snapchat, then you’ll want to know about the latest. Share of Snap fell 1.5% on Monday as the focus on its CEO has raised eyebrows.

Twitter users have even been urging a boycott of the company after a legal document that was unsealed last week showed that Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel apparently said in 2015 that he was not interested in prioritizing growth in India and Spain because they are “poor.”

Spiegel is alleged to have said, “This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”

Snapchat claimed, however, that these words were written by an angry former employee and not the CEO. As they said in a statement, “We are grateful for our Snapchat community in India and around the world.”

Conversation Sprouts Between Albertsons & Sprouts

Albertsons Cos recently held talks with Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. about the idea of creating a merger together. Bloomberg reported that these early-stage discussions involved the plan to take Sprouts private, allowing them to add their natural and organic foods business to the Albertsons supermarket brand. This brand includes Safeway, Vons and Shaw’s.

The U.S. grocery industry has seen many consolidations as of late as regional chains have been struggling to complete with online retailers like Amazon and major stores like Wal-Mart. Niche retailers like Sprouots, Fresh Market Inc. and Whole Foods Market Inc. have received pressure from Albertsons and Kroger, who can sell some of the same specialty products but at lower prices.

Time will tell what happens but the two companies are certainly worth watching.





Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA and Its Restructuring

Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA (also called Wind Italy) is an Italian telecom operator with 21.6 million mobile customers with a market share of 22.9%. The company serves its client base through a network of 159 stores and approximately 498 franchised outlets that are under the WIND brand. They also have 396 electronic chain stores.

Wind Telecomunicazioni has a long history, with its establishment in 1997 by the Italian Electrical Company Enel.

In 2005, Alessandro Benedetti structured and led the acquisition of Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA. At that time, the transaction was the largest leveraged buyout that had occurred in the history of Europe. It was valued at over 12 billion euros. This was one of the many structuring and financing of complex transactions that Mr. Benedetti led while acting on behalf of companies and governments in North America, Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Since the time of the transaction that Alessandro Benedetti led, Wind became part of Vimpelcom group in 2011 and then announced an investment of $1.3 billion in 2013 to build a fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband network. Then, in 2014, VimpelCom Ltd. (Wind) and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. (3) agreed to combine their units in a deal that totaled $24 billion.  They were proud, in 2015, to be awarded the Telecommunications Operator of the Year in Italy.



A Great Place to Be: The City of Bridgeton

Certainly, when considering moving to a new location there are a lot of things to think about and weigh. If you have kids, you’ll want to find a nice community with like-minded people and with good schools. If you’re retired, you’ll want a location that has a retirement community and resources for this population. Many people today have their eye on smaller communities that can create a warm and welcoming feel. One such place is Bridgeton, Missouri which has a population of approximately 11,550. As a suburb of Greater St. Louis, Bridgeton allows for great access to the metropolitan center, but still maintains a small town feel.

The City of Bridgeton has one of the most comprehensive collections of parks and recreational programs in the area. There are more than ten parks, with over 256 acres for sports, swimming, hiking and more. There is a Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex, a Bridgeton Crossing Family Aquatic Park and the Bridgeton Berry Hill Golf Course.

The people of Bridgeton are very socially conscience, as the situation with the West Lake landfill shows.

In terms of the schools for children, there are many options. There are a total of 13 blue ribbon private schools in Missouri, serving 5,995 students. And there are many public school options in the area including Bridgeway Elementary school and others.

Who Will Win the Autonomous Car Race?

Certainly, everyone is racing to develop fully autonomous vehicles, and now Hyundai Motor Group is joining in the competition. Hyundai has recently hired a former General Motors researcher to oversea their center. Lee Jin-woo will now head the Intelligent Safety Technology Center. This will be a combined research center for Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors. As Hyundai Motor said in a statement,

“The new centre will not only enhance existing Advanced Drive Assistance System technologies but also conduct research into artificial intelligence related self-driving car technologies with the aim of commercializing those technologies.”

Their goal with the center is to have highly automated vehicles by 2020 and fully autonomous ones by 2030.

The race is definitely one. Ford Motor Co. recently announced that it plans to invest $1 billion in the coming five years in their autonomous vehicle tech firm Argo Al. In another bold move, GM actually made a billion dollar purchase of the Silicon Valley self-driving startup Cruise Automation.



Hedge Fund Industry Fluctuations in 2017

Like most industries where large monies are involved, hedge funds are no strangers to key executive shake-ups. Kevin Ulrich launched his investment found in 2003 having previously worked as a distressed debt manager. Together with colleague Tony Davis (who was in the same position as Kevin Ulrich at the time), they created Anchorage Capital Group that today has approximately $15 billion under firm assets.

As hedge funds have played an increasingly larger role at Autodesk, changes in management at the 3D printing firm have been encountered. The latest news on that front is of the resignation of CEO Carl Bass along with the upcoming departure of board members Scott Ferguson (Sachem Head Capital Management Managing Partner) and Jeff Clarke.   Bass was in this key position at the firm for more than 10 years. He will not be completely detaching from the firm however, since he will remain on the board and also be nominated for re-election. Meanwhile, Autodesk is selecting both an interim CEO as well as a CEO search committee.

Another movement in the industry concerns a merger between two firms, which ultimately impacts the status of the CEOs there. A merger between KKR Prisma and Pacific Alternative Management Company (PAAMCO) is underway to build a firm that will provide clients with “alternative investment strategies through liquid instruments such as mutual funds.” This merged company will be jointly run by co-founders and CEOs of each company: Jane Buchan (PAAMCO) and Girish Reddy (KKR Prisma and KKR Hedge Funds).

There are always movements in the hedge fund industry but given there has just been a new Presidential election in the US – potentially changing the socio-political climactic impact on the industry – 2017 just might result in even greater fluctuations.


Changes at Burberry

If you love Burberry, then you’ll want to know about their upcoming changes. Their incoming chief executive Marco Gobbetti will join the company on January 27th as executive chairman, Asia Pacific and Middle East. He will then join the board and take the top position on July 5th.

Gobbetti was named as Christopher Bailey’s successor as CEO in July. Bailey will be taking on the role of president and chief creative officer.

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