Merry inks Luxshare deal
Audio electronics maker Merry Electronics Co (美律) yesterday said it has signed a letter of intent with Luxshare Precision Industry Co (立訊) to sell a major stake in its Chinese subsidiary. Luxshare is to invest between 400 million yuan and 600 million yuan (US$59.73 million and US$89.59 million) to acquire between 40 percent and 60 percent of Merry’s subsidiary in China, the firm said. Merry’s Chinese subsidiary accounted for 26 percent of its total revenue of NT$12.23 billion (US$381.9 million) last year. The Taiwanese company said the planned transaction has nothing to do with Luxshare’s Hong Kong subsidiary’s planned investment of NT$3.78 billion in Merry, which the Investment Commission blocked on June 30. Merry said it is still communicating with the commission, seeking the government’s approval for Luxshare to invest in the company.
Hacked ATMs to be retired
State-run First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) yesterday announced that it would permanently retire the 438 Wincor Nixdorf ProCash 1500 ATMs that were involved in last week’s hacking incident that resulted in the theft of more than NT$80 million (US$2.5 million) in cash. Procurement orders for replacement ATMs are to be submitted within a month, the company said, adding that services have resumed at 54 ATMs made by the German company that were not the same model. In addition, the company is conducting a review of its management team and a list of executives to be penalized would be announced, First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) chairman Joseph Tsai (蔡慶年) said. Tsai also acknowledged that the investigation of the hacking was beyond the company’s capabilities and that it had alerted the authorities on the day of the theft.
City Cafe revamp unveiled
President Chain Store Corp (PCSC, 統一超商) yesterday unveiled its latest marketing plan to refresh the image of its coffee brand, City Cafe, in a bid to boost revenue. PCSC plans to launch a series of new drinks, coffee cup sleeves and advertisements for a limited time this summer and hopes the new marketing strategies would boost sales of coffee-related products by 15 percent. The nation’s coffee market is estimated to be worth more than NT$70 billion a year, the company said in a statement.
NT dollar falls on outflows
The New Taiwan dollar depreciated against its US counterpart yesterday, falling NT$0.034 to close at NT$32.024 as foreign investors moved funds out of the nation after receiving cash dividends from Taiwanese listed companies, dealers said. Buying among local importers also gave an additional boost to the US dollar, helping the greenback snap a three-session losing streak and return to the NT$32 mark at the close, they said. Turnover totaled US$770 million during the trading session. The greenback gained strength in the wake of fund outflows by foreign investors during the dividend season, they said. According to a market estimates, listed companies were expected to pay out about NT$420 billion in cash dividends to foreign investors during the ex-dividend season. By the end of this week, the cash dividend allocation to foreign institutional investors is expected to hit NT$250 billion, which has paved the way for the investors to remit funds out of the nation, the dealers said.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the