August 4, 2022 | Editor: Henry Hofman
Alibaba plans primary listing in Hong Kong
Alibaba Group will apply for a primary listing in Hong Kong, with the process expected to be completed by the end of this year. Currently, the Chinese tech giant has a primary listing in the US and a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Alibaba’s announcement came just days before the US market regulator, SEC, put the company on its watchlist of foreign companies facing expulsion from the US market for not complying with audit legal requirements. The US and China have been at odds for years over China’s refusal to grant access to the audit files of Chinese US-listed companies due to security concerns. Alibaba said it would comply with the US regulators and strive to maintain its listings both in New York and Hong Kong. Separately, Alibaba has recently removed all executives of financial affiliate Ant Group from its partnership, in a bid to “enhance corporate governance.” The partnership, which was formed in 2010, can nominate a majority of the company’s directors.
SEC | Alibaba | CNBC (1) | CNBC (2) | Yahoo Finance | Fortune | WSJ |
Vivendi to divest unit to secure approval for Lagardère deal
Vivendi is considering spinning off its publishing unit Editis in order to avoid antitrust concerns as it is seeking to acquire Lagardère Group. Vivendi plans to divest its subsidiary, the second-largest publishing player on the French market, primarily by distributing Editis shares to Vivendi’s shareholders and having the shares admitted to trading on Euronext Paris. The Bolloré Group, Vivendi’s largest shareholder with 29% of the capital, is expected to sell all of the Editis shares it owns. Subject to the approval of competition authorities, Vivendi will own 57% of Lagardère’s capital and 47.3% of the voting rights.
Vivendi (1) | Vivendi (2) | US News | California 18 | Le Monde|
Elliott builds USD 2 billion stake in PayPal
PayPal’s stock rose around 13% after the company announced activist investor Elliott Investment Management is now one of its largest shareholders with a USD 2 billion stake and that its Q2 financial results have beaten expectations. PayPal and Elliott have entered into an information-sharing agreement on value creation with the two parties having committed to work on a “comprehensive evaluation of capital return alternatives.” PayPal’s board also authorized a new USD 15 billion share buyback program. The fintech company, whose share price has plummeted more than 50% in the past year, plans to save up USD 900 million in cost-cutting measures in 2022.
PayPal | Yahoo Finance | Pymnts | Biz Journals | Bloomberg (1) | Bloomberg (2)| CNBC |
Credit Suisse appoints Körner new CEO
Credit Suisse has appointed Ulrich Körner as its new CEO and announced a strategic review, as the bank posted a net loss of nearly CHF 1.6 billion in Q2. The financial result was impacted by the geopolitical situation following the Russia-Ukraine war and costs arising from the collapse of Archegos hedge fund. Körner has taken over from Thomas Gottstein, who had been at the helm of the Swiss bank since 2020. Credit Suisse has seen several leadership changes in the past years as the company has been involved in a string of governance scandals. Most recently, former Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio resigned in January after breaking COVID-19 quarantine rules.
Credit Suisse (1) | Credit Suisse (2) | Swiss Info | Yahoo Finance | CNBC |
Governance in Brief – June 1, 2023
Citigroup to IPO Banamex after Mexican gov’t interventions hamper sales deal Citigroup has announced a plan to spin off its Mexican business, Banamex, after a failure to sell the unit to conglomerate Grupo Mexico. Citigroup had been in talks with German Larrea, CEO and Chairman of Grupo Mexico, for over a year in an attempt to orchestrate the sale of the bank, which was first announced at the start of 2022.
Governance in Brief – May 25, 2023
Activist investor pushes for leadership and strategy changes at NRG Energy Activist investor Elliott Investment Management has disclosed a 13% stake in the US-based NRG Energy and called for leadership and operational changes at the company to remedy its “meaningful underperformance.” The investor urged NRG to add independent directors with experience in the power and energy sector to its board, noting that it has already identified five executives to guide the operational and strategic changes.
Governance in Brief – May 19, 2023
EU court sides with Ryanair on Lufthansa’s 2020 bailout. The EU General Court, the second-highest court in the EU, has annulled the European Commission’s decision on the approval of state bailout for Deutsche Lufthansa prompted by the 2020 pandemic. The judgment found the EC erroneously considered that Lufthansa could not obtain financing on the markets and failed to ask for the implementation of an incentive mechanism for the airline to buy back the German Government’s stake.
Governance in Brief – May 11, 2023
JPMorgan Chase takes over failed First Republic Bank JPMorgan Chase has acquired the assets and deposits of First Republic Bank after California authorities seized and auctioned the troubled lender. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), an independent governmental agency established to maintain financial stability through the insurance of banks’ deposits, took possession of First Republic Bank after the lender suffered a severe liquidity crisis following the failure of SVB and Signature Bank earlier in March.