Tata names Llistosella CEO
Tata Motors Ltd has appointed former
Daimler AG manager Marc Llistosella to become its next chief executive officer after Guenter Butschek asked to step down due to personal reasons. Llistosella, who previously headed Daimler Trucks in Asia, will take charge in July, Tata Motors said on Friday. Butschek, a former Airbus SE executive, has been CEO since 2016 and will stay on until June 30, according to the company. The Mumbai-based company is largely dependent on its Jaguar Land Rover luxury-vehicle unit and laid out plans last year to cut costs by ￡2.5 billion (US$3.5 billion).
Lanxess to buy Kalama
Lanxess AG agreed to buy Emerald Kalama Chemical BV for an enterprise value of US$1.075 billion, adding a maker of specialty chemicals used in foods and cosmetics to its stable, and expanding further into North America. The Cologne, Germany-based chemicals group is buying Emerald, which employs about 500 people and reported sales last year of US$425 million, from private equity firm American Securities, the company said in a statement early yesterday local time. Emerald Kalama had also attracted interest from buyout firms HIG Capital, Rhone Capital and TPG, Bloomberg News reported in December.
Macif leads French Aviva bid
French mutual insurer Macif has emerged as the frontrunner to acquire Aviva PLC’s insurance operations in the country, according to people familiar with the matter. Macif is seen as the most suitable buyer because it is a local player, the people said. The unit could fetch more than 3 billion euros (US$3.6 billion), according to the people. The company is competing against French private equity firm Eurazeo SE, the people said. Eurazeo was a latecomer to the auction and there could be some hesitation to sell to private equity, they said. A consortium of Allianz SE and Athora has been sidelined due to resistance to the latter firm’s links to US private equity, the people said.
Mustier to raise SPAC funds
Ex-UniCredit SpA chief executive officer Jean Pierre Mustier plans to raise funds for a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the latest former top banker to take advantage of the trend for blank check vehicles. Mustier, who left UniCredit last week after a boardroom power struggle, plans to work on the SPAC with former Bank of America Corp executive Diego de Giorgi, according to sources. The company will invest in financial services, including wealth management and fintechs, the people said. JPMorgan Chase & Co is advising on the venture, the people said. The bank declined to comment, as did a representative for Mustier.
Mercedes in software recall
Mercedes-Benz is recalling more than 1.3 million vehicles because the software in their emergency-call systems could send responders to the wrong location after a crash. The recall comes after Mercedes-Benz learned of a crash in Europe where the automatic emergency-call system sent the wrong position of the vehicle. It began an investigation in October 2019, and it eventually found other similar events. A company spokesman said that it found none in the US. The recall covers many vehicles from the 2016 through 2021 model years. The company’s Daimler Vans also announced recalls of 2016-2020 Metris vehicles and 2019-2020 Sprinter vehicles.
Idemitsu to sell electric car
Japanese oil company Idemitsu Kosan Co plans to market an electric vehicle this year, making it the first non-carmaking company in the country to step into the market, the Nikkei newspaper reported yesterday, without citing sources. Idemitsu has partnered with Tajima Motor Corp to build a four-passenger car that can travel up to 60kph, the report said. The car will be 2.5m long and 1.3m wide. It will cost between ￥1 million and ￥1.5 million (US$9,500 to US$14,300), the Nikkei reported. The venture will source batteries from abroad, the paper said, without citing company names.
Disgraced manager has plans
Disgraced fund manager Neil Woodford plans to start a new operation that will focus on investing in biotechnology companies, the Sunday Telegraph reported. “We’re going to rebuild the Woodford investment operation under a new brand called WCM Partners,” Woodford told the paper in an interview. “We’re going to focus on biotech sector, British biosciences and healtcare.” His new fund will raise money from professional investors and will look at companies that will develop into “the likes of Immunocore, Kymab, Synairgen, Nanopore,” the newspaper said. Woodford’s empire collapsed in 2019 when he could not sell his holdings quickly enough to meet redemption requests from his main fund.
Botswana picks Premium
Botswana picked Premium Nickel Resources Corp as the preferred bidder for its shuttered copper mining group BCL Ltd, according to Mmetla Masire, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security. The privately owned Canadian minerals investor has six months to conduct due diligence before making an offer for the state-owned miner, BCL’s liquidator Trevor Glaum said in a memorandum on Thursday to remaining workers at the group. Premium Nickel is seeking US$26.5 million of financing to be used for its due-diligence process, according to a presentation on the Web site of North American Nickel Inc last month.
Commerzbank trims bosses
Commerzbank AG chief executive officer Manfred Knof, who assumed his post last month, is shuffling the lender’s senior leadership ranks a day after presenting plans for an ambitious turnaround. The lender will “significantly reduce” the number of roles directly below the management board, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg. The executives affected have already been identified, and the bank expects to implement the changes by the end of the year, it said in the memo. A key plank of the new strategy is to slash costs by eliminating a third of positions in the company’s home market.
Amex discloses sales probes
American Express Co (Amex) disclosed a pair of federal probes over its sales practices, according to a securities filing on Friday. Amex said it was cooperating with a grand jury subpoena last month from the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York over its sales practices for small business cards. The disclosure followed reports it had used questionable tactics to sign up small businesses. The company has also received a civil investigative demand from the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over its sales practices to consumers, Amex said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Tesla Inc temporarily halted some production at its auto assembly plant in California because of problems with its supply chain, but work has begun to resume, CEO Elon Musk told employees in an e-mail on Thursday. “We are experiencing some parts supply issues, so took the opportunity to bring Fremont production down for a few days to do equipment upgrades and maintenance,” Musk said in an all-staff message seen by Bloomberg. The factory was “back up and running as of yesterday,” and would rapidly ramp up to full production of Model 3 and Model Y cars “over the next several days,”
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is expected to post a 25 percent year-on-year increase in sales in the first quarter of this year to US$12.91 billion, up from US$10.31 billion a year earlier, as its production is at full capacity, market advisory firm TrendForce Corp said in a note last week. The increase would help TSMC cement its leadership in the industry by taking a 56 percent market share in the global pure wafer foundry business, TrendForce said. Its forecast was in line with TSMC’s estimate in January, which pointed to a range of US$12.7 billion to US$13 billion for the
MULTI-USE: The arrangement of seats in future vehicles would be different, allowing passengers to do everything they do at home, the CEO of the firm’s EV platform said Electric vehicles (EVs) developed on a Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) platform would be built like “a smartphone on a different platform,” Jack Cheng (鄭顯聰), chief executive officer of the Hon Hai-initiated MIH Open Platform Alliance, said on Saturday. It would be the ultimate goal to make vehicles built on the platform an extension of the driver’s home, he said during an online presentation. The alliance aims to provide resources to automakers and boost Taiwan’s EV development, with a vision to make an EV its owner’s “second home,” Cheng said. “Whatever they can do in their home, they will be able
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was on Thursday set to sell local currency bonds, as it prepared for a spending blitz amid a global chip shortage. The world’s largest contract chipmaker planned to price about NT$16 billion (US$565.25 million) of notes in three parts in an auction, though the actual issuance size might change. The manufacturer would have to contend with a recent rise in rates globally that has sent many corporate bond yields up from record lows in the past few weeks. The debt offering comes at a promising time for the semiconductor industry as the world scrambles its way