THE WEEK’S OVERVIEW – CORPORATE

Items of interest that might have been missed in the press of events:

  • Verizon has begun the scaling back of its Media Unit which has struggled in recent years to meet revenue targets.  The latest move in that effort is the agreement to sell Tumblr (for which Yahoo once paid $1.1 billion) for a modest price to Automattic Inc., owners of WordPress.com.  Verizon acquired Tumblr in the Yahoo purchase deal.  Also included in the Media Unit currently are Yahoo and AOL web properties such as HuffPost, TechCrunch and others.
  • For some years now, SoftBank Group Corporation has been promising to build a global renewable energy empire capable of carrying solar power across continents (ref WSJ).  The Japanese investor worked to craft deals with Saudi Arabia, India and others and promised to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to tackle one of the world’s toughest challenges – meeting the growing demand for energy with less carbon-intensive sources.  SoftBank had announced plans to build 220 gigawatts of solar capacity in Saudia Arabia and India, which is half of what currently exists in the world today.  To date, however, the company has only managed to contract for 3 gigawatts in India, about 700 megawatts in Japan, and nothing to date in Saudia Arabia, with nothing in the works in that country.  Thus, the WSJ is calling the effort to date a “bust.”
  • Fox Entertainment has agreed to buy Bento Box Entertainment which produces prodigious amounts of animated content including several shows for Fox Corporation’s broadcast network. CEO Lachlan Murdoch has said that “The acquisition of Bento Box gives Fox the opportunity to access the next generation of animation’s creators and benefit from ownership of future intellectual property which we believe will be long-term revenue generators for the company,” (ref. WSJ).

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