Uber to buy Postmates in $2.65 billion stock deal, expands food-delivery reach By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Uber sticker is seen on Margaret Bordelon’s car in Lafayette, Louisiana

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies (NYSE:) Inc said on Monday it would buy Postmates Inc in a $2.65 billion deal, looking to expand its reach into the food-delivery market as the coronavirus crisis upends its core ride-hailing business.

The move is just weeks after Uber walked away from a deal to buy Grubhub, which would have given Uber’s money-losing restaurant delivery service a leg up on market leader DoorDash.

U.S. online food delivery company Grubhub agreed to be acquired in June by Just Eat Takeaway.com NV in a $7.3 billion deal.

Uber, which has been under pressure as ride-hailing services across the globe plummets because of lockdowns, offered a premium of about 10% on Postmates’ last valuation of $2.4 billion. Uber shares were up about 9% in premarket trading.

“As more people and more restaurants have come to use our services, Q2 bookings on Uber Eats are up more than 100% year on year,” said Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi.

Uber currently estimates that it will issue about 84 million shares of common stock for 100% of the fully diluted equity of Postmates, the company said in a statement.

The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, and stockholders representing a majority of Postmates’ outstanding shares have committed to support the transaction, it added.

Postmates operates in 4,200 U.S. cities delivering food and other products from restaurants and stores to customers’ doorstep. One of the many taglines reads – “Have chips but no guac? Postmate it.”

Founded in 2011, San Francisco-based Postmates accounted for 8% of the U.S. meal delivery market in May, with its biggest rival DoorDash leading with a 44% market share, according to analytics firm Second Measure.

Postmates in September raised $225 million in a private fundraising round. The company’s biggest rival, Doordash, raised $400 million from private investors at a valuation of $16 billion in June.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Marshall Wace targets $1 billion for new ESG focused fund By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A wind farm is shown in Movave, California

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By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) – Marshall Wace is planning to raise $1 billion for a new fund which will invest based on environmental and other ethical criteria, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The hedge fund, co-founded by British financier Paul Marshall, will rely on external analysts who focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, the source said on Saturday.

The fund will bet against stocks with poor ratings and will buy stocks with strong ESG characteristics, the source added, confirming an earlier Financial Times report.

Marshall Wace, which has a total of around $45 billion in assets, will include the new fund in its $19 billion computer-driven TOPS trading system, the source told Reuters.

This system analyses ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ recommendations from about a thousand analysts at banks and research houses to come up with trading signals.

Founded in 1997, Marshall Wace employs more than 240 people in London, New York and Hong Kong.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Government tax watchdog: IRS should not waste time pursuing $1 billion in stimulus checks sent to dead people


Less than a week after the Government Accountability Office said the Internal Revenue Service cut stimulus checks to 1.1 million dead people, a report Monday from Erin Collins, the National Taxpayer Advocate said the federal tax collector also sent approximately 74,000 checks to people who have been locked up by law enforcement.

The National Taxpayer Advocate is an office that is independent of the Internal Revenue Service, although the two agencies frequently collaborate.


‘The National Taxpayer Advocate recommends the IRS not spend its resources pursuing enforcement actions against a decedent’s estate or a family member who received an EIP for a decedent.’

Like the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, Collins noted how dead people received stimulus checks. (The new report said the IRS issued 965,000 checks, compared the 1.1 million checks counted by the GAO.)

It’s “unclear what the IRS will do” if taxpayers don’t return stimulus payments, Collins said in a footnote.

“However, if the IRS made the payment despite having information in its possession that the individual was in fact deceased, the National Taxpayer Advocate recommends the IRS not spend its resources pursuing enforcement actions against a decedent’s estate or a family member who received an [economic impact payment] for a decedent,” she added.

The GAO report last week said the IRS had access to Social Security Administration death records, but didn’t use them when distributing the first three batches of stimulus checks.

Incarcerated Americans are also receiving stimulus money

Though the IRS says incarcerated individuals need to return the money — just like the relatives of dead people who receive checks — the watchdog office says the tax collector ought to be more specific about which people need to return the money.

“A situation could arise where a taxpayer was incarcerated at the beginning of 2020, but was released in the midst of the pandemic — especially since a number of incarcerated individuals were released to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the country’s prison system,” Collins noted.

Nearly 96,000 people have been released from prisons and jails in the wake of the outbreak, according to a University of California, Los Angles law school database.

Some state agencies have been intercepting the stimulus checks. For example, the Kansas Department of Corrections has seized $200,000 in stimulus checks and returned them to the IRS, according to a corrections department spokesman.

The open questions on return rules for incarcerated individuals are one example of the wrinkles when the IRS distributed approximately 160 million direct stimulus payments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“While the IRS did an impressive job implementing the provisions of the [CARES Act] — particularly under these unprecedented circumstances — there have been several issues in implementing the CARES Act’s most significant provisions,” the report said.

The IRS may have to learn from any missteps quickly and gear up for a second round of direct checks soon. Lawmakers are considering another stimulus bill and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said a relief package could materialize next month.

Benefits information didn’t reflect if certain Social Security and veterans’ benefits recipients had dependents who could qualify for the $500, the report said. The IRS gave a May 5 deadline for these people to add information about children and get the extra money.

Though Collins said “these financially-strapped individuals” could always claim the dependents in their 2020 tax returns, that’s a long way from now. IRS should continue to let them update their information and get the stimulus money for dependents, she said.

The GAO report also noted the issue about missed money for dependents. Approximately 450,000 stimulus-check recipients didn’t get extra money for dependents in their stimulus payments, the report said. The IRS is finding the accounts and adding the extra payments by the end of next month, the GAO report said.

The IRS said it welcomed the report from Collins, who started her role earlier this year.

“In response to COVID-19, the IRS delivered stimulus payments in record time,” the IRS said.

Millions of Americans started getting stimulus money within two weeks of after the CARES Act’s passage in late March. “By comparison, for the last stimulus payments in 2008, the first 800,000 payments did not start reaching taxpayers for 75 days. Our extraordinary efforts to timely implement relief in the wake of COVID-19 have taken place in the middle of an unprecedented extended filing season.”

The National Taxpayer Advocate report offered other insights on the scale of the stimulus-check distribution.

Approximately 23 million people submitted direct deposit information to get their checks quicker while 3.7 million people used the IRS’s “non-filer” tool. The online portal gave the IRS information it needed to send stimulus payments to people who didn’t have an income tax filing requirement.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which was first identified in Wuhan, China in December, had infected 10,495,019 people globally and 2,636,538 in the U.S. as of Wednesday. It had claimed at least 511,686 lives worldwide, 127,425 of which were in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.

The Dow Jones Industrial Index
DJIA,
+0.84%

and the S&P 500
SPX,
+1.54%

ended slightly higher Tuesday, despite the surge in coronavirus cases in some of the most populous states in the U.S., including California, Florida and Texas.



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Softbank sells T-Mobile Stake as part of $42 Billion Divestment Push By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Softbank (OTC:) has sold a part of its stake in carrier T-Mobile for $21 billion after suffering record losses in its Vision Fund, it said on Tuesday.

Alongside plans announced in May to divest a 5% stake in its Japanese wireless subsidiary Softbank Corp, the T-Mobile sale is part of the Japanese company’s $42 billion push to divest assets in order to pay down debt as well as finance stock buybacks.

SoftBank “needs to further enhance its cash reserves,” according to a statement on Tuesday,  which also cited concerns for “a second and third wave of spread of COVID-19.” The statement added that the company may invest the proceeds in high-quality securities until they are used for buybacks or debt reductions.

The company acquired the T-Mobile stake earlier in the year, after T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint Corp was approved by U.S. regulators. Meanwhile, T-Mobile separately announced on Tuesday that it would hold a public offering of 133.5 million common shares.

Softbank (T:) shares surged up to 3% in earlier trading but were down 0.02% to JPY5511 ($51.55) by 12:51 AM ET (5:51 AM GMT).

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Wirecard thinks $2.1 billion was a fiction in growing ‘disaster’ By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Braun and von Knoop of Wirecard AG attend the company’s annual news conference in Aschheim

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By Patricia Uhlig, Karen Lema and John O’Donnell

FRANKFURT/MANILA (Reuters) – Wirecard said on Monday that 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) it had booked in its accounts likely never existed, creating a black hole that threatens to engulf the payments firm and tarnish the reputation of Germany’s financial regulator.

The one-time investor darling is holding emergency talks with banks and looking at the sale or closure of parts of its business to avert a looming cash crunch.

Felix Hufeld, the head of Germany’s financial watchdog, described the crisis, which has seen around 11 billion euros wiped off Wirecard’s market value, as a “total disaster”.

“It is a scandal that something like this could happen,” Hufeld said.

Bafin’s record has come under fire in Germany as Wirecard’s share price has imploded, hitting retail investors and some large money managers.

The regulator had focused on probing so-called short-sellers and journalists behind reports questioning Wirecard’s accounts, prompting criticism over its inaction.

German lawmaker Fabio De Masi said that Bafin had failed in its duty over Wirecard, whose credit rating was withdrawn by agency Moody’s (NYSE:) on Monday over “accounting irregularities”.

Wirecard, which processes payments for companies including Visa (NYSE:) and Mastercard (NYSE:), has appointed investment bank Houlihan Lokey (NYSE:) to help it survive.

In Monday’s announcement Wirecard also withdrew its financial statements for 2019 and said it was examining cost cuts to address the crisis at the company, which has long been held up as a rare technology success story in Germany.

“The Management Board of Wirecard assesses … that there is a prevailing likelihood that the bank trust account balances in the amount of 1.9 billion EUR do not exist,” it said.

‘SPURIOUS’

Wirecard said last week that auditor EY had refused to sign off its 2019 accounts as it was unable to confirm the existence of 1.9 billion euros in cash balances in trust accounts, about a quarter of its balance sheet.

EY had regularly approved Wirecard’s accounts in recent years, and its refusal to sign off for 2019 confirmed failings found in an external investigation by KPMG in April, which in turn followed investigative reports by the Financial Times.

Wirecard’s latest announcement follows the exit on Friday of former chief executive Markus Braun, who was replaced by James Freis, an ex-compliance officer at Germany’s stock exchange.

The company has been under scrutiny since a whistleblower alleged that it owed its success in part to a web of sham transactions. This culminated in a search for the missing cash, which hit a dead end in the Philippines.

The Philippine central bank said none of the money appeared to have entered the country, after Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and BDO Unibank said documents purporting to show Wirecard had deposited funds with them were false.

BPI Chief Executive Cezar Consing said a certificate purporting to be for a Wirecard deposit was “spurious” and reiterated that no cash from the company had entered the bank.

“It was very clear when we were shown the so-called certificate that it was spurious,” BPI’s Consing told Reuters, adding that he was informed about it on June 15 when EY asked whether the certificates were real.

Munich-based Wirecard joined Germany’s blue-chip in 2018. Analysts at Mirabaud said its DAX membership was now completely inappropriate and should be reviewed.

Wirecard, which operates both as an issuer of real and ‘virtual’ payment cards and as an acquirer on behalf of merchants, had marketed itself as a universal payments platform positioned to profit from the growth in digital payments.





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