Uma Thurman courting Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin B. Smith | Leisure Information

Uma Thurman dated Justin B. Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group.

The “Kill Bill” star reportedly started a romance with the media mogul after their relationship was mentioned in a New York Times article describing a party at Justin’s home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, DC. Is

The article listed Uma as a Bash participant and the article said she was “with Mr. Smith.”

She also told reporters, “I’m a news lover.”

Prior to his romance with Justin, Uma dated architect Peter Saves while his family was quarantined in the Hamptons last October.

According to a source, the horse met Peter and asked if he could see the dog swimming during his trip to Sag Harbor.

“At the time, Peter didn’t know who the horse was. He was walking on a beach near him that was locally called Long Beach, so he asked him to swim and see his dog.

“I saw his dog swimming and said the horse was fine and now, a few months later, they fell madly in love and wanted to buy a house in the Hamptons together. . “

The actress was also previously married to Gary Oldman and Ethan Hawke. Ethan Hawke has a 22-year-old daughter Maya and a 19-year-old son Levon.

Eight-year-old Luna ‘s mother, who is with ex-fiancé Arpad Busson, was single in her later years as she said it was related to the only character she played in the 2005 film “Prime”. I was talking about something earlier. “Because she knows what it’s like” to be alone. “

She said at the time, “I woke up ten years later, got single many times, and I know what it means to have a plan and think the plan has gone crazy.”

Uma Thurman is dating Justin B. Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group | Entertainment news

Source link Uma Thurman is dating Justin B. Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group | Entertainment news

GM CEO Mary Barra says firm is price extra conserving EV battery unit in home

General Motors unveiled its brand new Ultium modular platform and battery system on March 4, 2020 at its Tech Center campus in Warren, Michigan.

Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors

General Motors CEO Maria Barra on Wednesday again pushed back the spin-off of the up-and-coming battery business for electric vehicles.

Remaining the unit with GM will add more value to the company than the spin-off, Barra said.

“An electric vehicle is all about the battery,” she told CNBC.Screeching in the street. “” I think we will accelerate that value creation if we keep this technology close and use the extensive battery know-how that General Motors has that we have. “

bar announced the company’s plans to sell its Ultium battery cells as well as its Hydrotech fuel cell technology to other companies. GM has signed a contract with Honda Motor for two electric cars. The company also announced this week that it had signed a letter of intent for GM to develop and supply its Ultium battery and Hydrotec systems for Wabtec freight locomotives.

CNBC’s Jim Cramer told Barra he believed the battery business may be worth more than the entire automaker, which currently has a market cap of nearly $ 90 billion. He asked why investors are not allowed to buy into the battery business.

GM does not currently produce its own battery cells for electric vehicles. It has announced plans to build four plants for such production, including two currently under construction in the USA through a joint venture with LG Chem until 2025.

Speculation and pressure from Wall Street about a possible spin-off of GM’s electric vehicle business have been rife for some time. Deutsche Bank has said that such a company is likely to be worth at least $ 15-20 billion and could potentially be worth up to $ 100 billion.

GM President Mark Reuss said in November The automaker analyzed the potential of a spin-off and determined that it would not be the right move for its business. He cited the cost of outsourcing as well as the benefits of having the EV operations part of the larger company.

Hoplite Leisure CEO Jonathan Lee Smith Pleads Responsible To Wire Fraud – Deadline

Jonathan Lee Smith, the CEO of two Hollywood production companies specializing in the production of reality TV shows, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud for a $ 2 million business loan through forged documents and financial misrepresentation The situation of his company.

Smith who manages or owns Hoplite entertainment and Hoplite Inc., agreed to plead guilty to the crime, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

“To convince a private lender to fund a $ 2 million loan, Smith falsely presented last year that his two companies had claims of $ 3,348,000, and he put in fake licensing agreements and others Fakes to back up the claim, “said the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, which was pursuing the case, said Tuesday. “In order to convince the private lender to give them additional time to repay the loan, court documents state that Smith falsely stated that the payment was imminent. He also emailed a fake record of a $ 100,000 transfer from Hoplite, Inc. In reality, the loan was never repaid. “

Under the plea agreement, Smith agreed to pay $ 2 million in redress. He is expected to appear in the US District Court in Los Angeles on July 6th. The FBI is investigating the case and US Attorney General Alexander B. Schwab of the Department of Major Frauds is leading the indictment.

Hoplite Entertainment has reality shows like Wrecking Plan, Ink therapy, Geared Up, Culinary Escapes, Charged & Disbard, Hot Spots, Recipe Hunters, Drone Wars, Slope Slap, Back in the Game, Loud Life and We Bought a Vineyard.

Richard Robinson, longtime Scholastic CEO, lifeless at 84 | Leisure

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden tweeted Sunday that “Robinson was a giant and a legend in children’s literature,” citing his “enduring legacy” as a supporter of libraries and reading.

A native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Harvard College, Robinson was the son of Maurice R. Robinson, who founded Scholastic as a classroom magazine in 1920. The younger Robinson worked as a teacher and bricklayer, among other things, before joining Scholastic in the mid-1960s. He was named President in 1974, CEO in 1975, and Chairman of the Board in 1982.

Robinson’s time at Scholastic was marked by global expansion, financial ups and downs, even with the historic success of “Harry Potter” and occasional battles with censors who opposed books like “Potter”, “Captain Underpants” and Alex Gino’s “George . resisted “inappropriately for younger readers.

“We strongly believe that our books and magazines must cover difficult topics that are relevant, even if we get backlash or are boycotted,” Robinson told The Associated Press in 2020.

Robinson also led historical changes in business and culture, be it the rise of digital media or an increased emphasis on diversity and reviewing the past. In 2016, Scholastic drew “A Birthday Cake for George Washington,” a picture story about one of Washington’s slaves, after widespread allegations that the book portrayed a benevolent portrait of enslavement. This spring, Pilkey agreed to withdraw “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk” because of “harmful racial stereotypes”.

Amazon health-care menace? Teladoc CEO says it is ‘overrated’

The Amazon Pharmacy home screen on a smartphone arranged in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ask a sports star before a game whether their team is going to win and they’re likely to say yes with confidence. And then cue the headlines that will sensationalize the hubris. But would you expect an athlete to say — would you want them to think — they’re about to lose?

The heads of companies sometimes talk about the competition in a similar way, and they shouldn’t be in the CEO hot seat without confidence in their company’s ability to win.

Take Teladoc Health CEO Jason Gorevic, recently asked at the CNBC Healthy Returns Summit about the threat Amazon poses in health care.

“Based on the fact that it has one enterprise client of 385 employees, it is overrated,” Gorevic said, answering a question about Amazon Care, the retail and tech giant’s app-based primary care entry in Teladoc’s market, which signed up its first client, Peloton-owned fitness equipment company Precor, in May.

Should the Teladoc CEO be more worried? Even after Amazon’s deal with Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan to take on the status quo with its health care joint effort, Haven, fell apart, the merchandising giant still has a big market to exploit.

Amazon Care is expected to expand to its own employees in all 50 states this summer. It has been adding workers faster than any company in history, more than 500,000 in 2020. It also has had a deal with employer health provider Crossover Health for in-person employee health clinics that continues to expand across states with a goal of putting these clinics within a few miles of all Amazon employees, especially in light of the attention its workplace injury rates have received.

J.P. Morgan is moving on and deeper into health care after Haven, recently announcing it will move ahead with its own effort to invest in new health-care ideas, to be offered among its 165,000 employees and families.

Virtual health here to stay

As society has moved rapidly from the awareness phase of virtual care to the expectation phase, those expectations have increased, and Teladoc has added services like mental health treatment as part of what Gorevic tells CNBC is the future “unified experience” with patients.

“Virtual care is not a stay at home phenomenon,” Gorevic said. “The utilization we are seeing across multiple conditions all indicate it is here to stay.”

He cited first quarter 2021 results during which visit volume was up 69% year over year in spite of the fact that seasonal flu-related visits were down 90%.

Nevertheless, Teladoc shares have cratered, down from a peak earlier this year above $290 to roughly half that level, ending trading last week slightly above $146. But Gorevic says investors are missing the bigger picture, and overlooking improving numbers. The biggest quarterly number he cites: revenue per member, per month, which in Q1 2021 was $2.25, versus 87 cents a year ago.

Others cite the rapid M&A taking place in Teladoc’s market as reason to worry.

Walmart acquired MeMD in May; two other telemedicine competitors, Doctor on Demand and Grand Rounds, recently merged.

“Everyone feels like they have to have a press release that says something about telehealth to be relevant,” Gorevic told CNBC Healthy Returns. “I’m not surprised by any of these moves.”

“This pandemic has thrown the whole market into motion. As we looked at the market, we said we needed to be bold, and we see where it’s going,” the Teladoc CEO said, citing its $18 billion acquisition of chronic disease management company Livongo, which is focused on diabetes, and its expanding mental health services.

Gorevic says health-care consumers are overwhelmed by health-care websites and apps and want a unified experience, and the company is seeing that in multi-product bookings, which in 2020 represented two-thirds of bookings.

Amazon and the fear of disruption

Amazon’s ability to upend, or at least send waves of terror, through the health care industry has already been seen in the launch of its online pharmacy, which led to shares of Goodrx dropping from over $52 to roughly $33 after the announcement last October.

Wall Street analysts who cover Teladoc see Amazon’s presence as significant, yet not all agree it is an acute threat to Teladoc currently.

“Leery of Amazon’s initiatives here,” wrote Sean Wieland, managing director and a senior research analyst focusing on health-care information technology and health-care services at Piper Sandler, in response to an email.

“Even Amazon would have to get the enterprise market on board one employer at a time, as it’s a highly fragmented market and that would take years. Also, it’s a significant lift to go from offering urgent care visits on demand to whole person health care.”

More from CNBC’s Healthy Returns

Charles Rhyee, managing director and senior research analyst covering health-care technology and distribution at Cowen & Co., said Goodrx is a good example of how Amazon can disrupt health care, and it would be a mistake to ignore Amazon’s potential. But he thinks the threat in pharmacy is more direct than in telehealth.

“It’s is a mature market. There are tons of pharmacies out there and it is not a growth sector. In the truest sense, more of zero sum game,” Rhyee said, and that is something Amazon can afford to win at the expense of CVS or Goodrx.

Telehealth visits still a fraction of the market

Telehealth is still a nascent field and that may play to Teladoc’s favor in the years ahead.

“We are all talking about it because of Covid forcing everyone to seek virtual care, but if you think about how many visits Teladoc will do this year, it’s 12 million to 13 million visits,” Rhyee said.

That compares to a U.S. market in which there are one billion visits or more, annually, including mental health care.

Whether a Teladoc or American Well is growing in the telemedicine market, Rhyee says that amounts to about 2% to 3% of visits, a small fraction of what can be virtualized and an indicator that the market is going to expand.

“I’m not concerned,” Rhyee said. “Where Teladoc sits is not what Amazon is doing. It’s not just basic video visits to speak to a doctor for a minor thing. It is increasingly in multiple specialities and second opinions and Livongo. You can argue right now very few, if any, have that broad capabilities, and that’s why Doctor on Demand is merging with Grand Rounds.”

He looks at Amazon in basic care and pharmacy in a similar way to his analysis of Walmart’s health care after its acquisition of MeMD. “They want to provide some basic connectivity and prescriptions that can be dispensed at Walmart.”  

Why Teladoc shares have been volatile

Stocks move up and down in discrete periods of time, and that doesn’t always correspond to the longer-term trend. That’s part of the challenge for investors with Teladoc right now, trying to figure out what its growth looks like post-Covid.

Membership growth guidance for this year may not be as strong as some investors wanted coming out of Covid, and app tracking firms have shown slowing momentum in daily usage. Yet people using Teladoc less now than April of last year does not mean they are using it less than they were in 2019. And last year was unusual.

“We don’t know what virtual will look like in the end,” Rhyee said. 

The Cowen analyst has a $240 price target on the stock and says at $140 it is trading at roughly 8 times forward revenue, which is up from where it traded before Covid, but that was when “people didn’t believe it was a real business.”

Rhyee says he will worry more about Amazon if it starts stringing together acquisitions in health care, including in the chronic condition management space. “That would tell me they are much more serious about it,” he said.

As long as Amazon Care is one enterprise client and its own employees, the Teladoc outlook will be based elsewhere.

The idea of competition between Teladoc and Amazon may be missing the real threat Amazon poses in health care, according to David Grossman, research manager director at Stifel. That includes disrupting the legacy providers in insurance and pharmacy benefits managers.

Teladoc is disrupting traditional providers by creating a virtual 24/7 network on demand that can offer a potentially lower-cost alternative. Those traditional providers now forced to offer telemedicine are more of a near-term threat to Teladoc, in Grossman’s view, as they evolve from starting telehealth “literally overnight” to incorporating virtual care as a permanent feature of their care delivery models.

“Virtual care is now table stakes for providers, while 15 months ago it was barely on the radar screen,” he said.

Setting up appointments online and having telehealth as an option may be one of the features Amazon offers, but that is a shortsighted way to view what Amazon is after in the health care system.

Amazon is saying we take over everything. It’s not lets go after Teladoc. That’s incidental.

David Gross, Stifel analyst

Grossman, who is concerned about Teladoc’s ability to grow revenue and margins, says Gorevic is a smart guy building a reasonable model. Now they can pitch health plans on using a provider network they have created at lower cost for employers, if employees agree to access services virtually as a first stop. That disintermediates the traditional provider network, but he does not see Amazon stopping there or even thinking in those terms specifically.

“Amazon is saying we take over everything,” Grossman said, looking at traditional health care market that is flawed in delivery and pricing and adds little value. “It’s not lets go after Teladoc. That’s incidental.”

Taking cost out of the system is what Amazon already has proven to be great at, squeezing out players that don’t offer value and shouldn’t be there. “I’m rooting for them in that sense,” the Stifel analyst said.

But whether it is Amazon’s or Walmart’s efforts that are emerging in health care, the models to watch do not exclude Teladoc. “There is no indication we should write it off,” Grossman said.

Teladoc shares are down for a lot of reasons, starting with the market rotation out of growth names and the market acknowledging that traditional providers are ramping up their own telemedicine products.

“Everyone points to Amazon, and let’s be fair, it was a high multiple stock and the market is getting out of the stay at home trade and pricing how high can utilization translate into pricing” Grossman said. He added that Teladoc has struggled to convince the street of its pricing power. “They have been opaque.”

The company is growing monthly revenue per member, as Gorevic noted, but the Stifel analyst was quick to point out the recent Q1 growth relied on the acquisition of Livongo. Livongo is the largest provider of virtual chronic care and that is top of mind for employers, but Teladoc has a lot of work left to do to prove demand for it is a secular driver of its business growth.

Behavioral health, meanwhile, is the fastest- growing incremental service but there is only so much that can be delivered on an automated basis, so it becomes a staffing platform to match supply and demand and help sole mental health practice proprietors fill their book of business like an Uber or Lyft.

While the 8 times revenue the company is trading at might seem less than rich, double-digit revenue multiple companies tend to be in sectors like software, where scalability comes fast and at high margins. Teladoc’s subscription-heavy sales model means a majority of revenue is fixed while the costs remain variable.

“Their claim all along has been as utilization goes up it’s good for them, but there is no pricing algorithm around that. We don’t know how to calculate that,” Grossman said.

Companies like Teladoc and American Well can grow members, and grow utilization among members, but how either of those growth measures factor into pricing power remains unpredictable. Utilization can go up, but revenue not match it. And that contributes to investor concerns about its scalability.

“It is factually correct they can get more per member with more services and there are lots of opportunities, but lots of competition for each module and booking,” Grossman said. The company’s scale and visibility give it an advantage, “but lots remains uncertain,” he said.

Gorevic told CNBC this is not a pandemic story. “Something else is going on here. People are reaching out for other things.”

Mental health, dermatology, and chronic conditions including diabetes, and health issues linked to it such as weight loss. “Not one and done things, and that’s why I am convinced,” the Teladoc CEO said.

Building the virtual primary care model and convincing payers and employers that it is most cost-effective to choose this option, and agree to have members enter the health system virtually as the first step, is the bigger opportunity to drive higher revenue per member, Grossman said, and longer-term it is the more sustainable way to disrupt the traditional provider network.

In that sense, Teladoc is taking market share just like Amazon would, and they can grow for a longer period of time. That may be a discrete disruption in health care that becomes permanent. The biggest disruption in health care, though, is not about telemedicine.

“All roads lead into the payers,” Grossman said. “That’s where the level of satisfaction is low and the control they have is high.”

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Snowflake CEO urges buyers to be affected person with inventory throughout cloud transition

Frank Slootman, CEO of Snowflake, said Wednesday that shareholders will have to be patient with the company’s stock as the cloud transition won’t happen overnight.

“Our business is really going to be real for significant, long periods of time,” Slootman said in an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer on “Bad money.” “This is kind of a message to investors to really understand that we are signing up for a trip here that will last five to ten years.”

The comments came when Snowflake’s shares fell as much as 8% in post-company expanded trading reported first quarter results.

While revenue rose 110% year over year to a better than expected $ 228.9 million, the data analytics software company also posted a net loss of $ 203.2 million. That’s an increase of $ 93.6 million over the same period last year. At the same time, Snowflake has raised its full-year forecast for product sales.

Snowflake went public in September a record-breaking IPOThe shares close this first day of trading at $ 253.93. However, the stock was below that level at the close of trading on Wednesday. Snowflake shares have also fallen 16% since the start of the year as investors moved from high-flying growth names to economically sensitive companies that can benefit from Covid’s rebound.

Despite recent moves on Wall Street, Slootman emphasized that the company’s software becomes increasingly important as companies move away from databases that are tied to hardware.

“These are big, big changes we’re seeing in the marketplace and we’re just super happy to be in the thick of it and make it possible,” he said, adding that Snowflake has its focus on large-scale growth. “We are not a company that grows at any price.”

$100 million New Jersey deli firm fires CEO Paul Morina

Paulsboro coach Paul Morina cheers on George Worthy as he takes on Bergen Catholic s Wade Unger in the 152-pound bout during a wrestling match at The Palestra in Philadelphia,

Joe Warner | USAToday

The shareholders of the mystery $100 million New Jersey deli company Hometown International fired CEO Paul Morina — a high school principal and renowned wrestling coach — after weeks of questions about the firm and his role there, a financial filing revealed late Friday.

Hometown International’s majority shareholders also voted to remove the company’s only other executive, vice president and secretary Christine Lindenmuth, who works with Morina as an administrator at nearby Paulsboro High School. The deli, located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, is Hometown’s only operating business asset.

Their ousters came a week after a previously unreported resignation of the president of a shell company, E-Waste, which has multiple connections to to Hometown International

Securities and Exchange Commission filings show that the shareholders voting to remove Morina and Lindenmuth almost certainly included all or some members of two different groups of investment entities, one based in Hong Kong, the other based in Macao, a special administrative region in Hong Kong.

Morina, 62, held a slew of other titles at Hometown International before he was removed. According to financial filings, he owns 1.5 million common shares of the deli owner, making him, on paper at least, worth more than $18 million.

Morina was replaced as chief executive officer by Peter Coker Jr., who is Hometown International’s chairman.

Coker Jr., who is based in Hong Kong, is aligned with investment entities there that have major stakes in the deli owner.

Coker Jr.’s father, North Carolina businessman Peter Coker Sr., himself is a major investor in the company.

The related shell company E-Waste also has replaced its president, John Rollo, 66, after similar questions were raised by CNBC about him, that company and its similarly preposterous sky-high market capitalization despite a total lack of ongoing business.

Rollo, a Grammy-winning recording engineer, until recently was working as patient transporter at a New Jersey hospital.

Rollo, also a New Jersey resident, was replaced as E-Waste’s president by 31-year-old Elliot Mermel, a California resident who is getting paid $8,000 per month in that role.

Mermel’s colorful business background includes founding a company that raised crickets as human food, and a partnership in a cannabis-related business with Paul Pierce, the former Boston Celtics superstar basketball player.

Pierce, who won an NBA title with the Celtics, last month was fired as an analyst by ESPN for a racy Instagram Live poss that showed him in a room with exotic dancers.

On Saturday, the Boston Globe reported that Pierce will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as part of its 2021 class.

Mermel also founded a biotech company and an artificial intelligence company, and was a business development consultant to a fertilizer company, according to a financial filing.

Mermel, a Colby University graduate, has another company, Benzions LLC, that had been collecting $4,000 each month since December under a consulting agreement with E-Waste.

That agreement was terminated as part of his taking over management of E-Waste, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday.

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce waves to the crowd after reaching No. 2 on the all-time Celtics scoring list, surpassing Larry Bird, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats in Boston on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Elise Amendola

SEC filings show that Benzions in March signed another consulting agreement with a second shell company, Med Spa Vacations, connected to Peter Coker Sr., which likewise pays Mermel’s firm $4,000 per month.

CNBC has reached out for comment from Morina, Lindenmuth, Rollo, Mermel, Hometown International’s lawyer and a spokesman for the Hong Kong investors.

The current president of Med Spa Vacations is former E-Waste president Rollo, who took that job in February, according to filings.

The changes in executive leadership at both Hometown International and E-Waste were disclosed in 8-K filings with the SEC.

The deli owner’s filing gave no reason why shareholders who control 6 million shares of common stock — which represents about 77% of the company’s voting power — voted out Morina and the 46-year-old Lindenmuth. At least 5.5 million of Hometown International’s common shares are controlled by the Hong Kong and Macao investors.

Both Morina and Lindenmuth remain principals in the deli itself, according to the SEC filing.

Morina also is involved in an entity that leases the deli space to Hometown International.

E-Waste’s filing said that Rollo resigned as president on May 7, a day after CNBC reported on the opaque nature of the Macao group of investors.

Your Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, N.J.

Google Earth

The moves appear — like other recent ones by each of the money-losing companies — to be an attempt to eliminate controversial issues that could harm their joint goal of merging with other firms in a transaction that would exploit their status as publicly traded companies on U.S. markets.

Hometown International first drew widespread attention last month when hedge fund manager David Einhorn, in a letter to clients, pointed out the company’s market capitalization, which had topped $100 million despite owning only a single small Italian deli.

That eatery had sales of less than $37,000 in sales for the past two years combined and was closed for nearly half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Einhorn noted the incongruity of Morina being Hometown International’s CEO while working his day jobs as high school principal and wrestling coach.

Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, N.J.

CNBC

Morina’s team at Paulsboro high school is a perennial contender for state titles, and he is among the most successful coaches in New Jersey wrestling history.

But he has no apparent history of operating either a publicly traded company or food service business before the Hometown Deli opened in his own hometown.

However, Morina, whose brother is a New Jersey county sheriff, wrestled in the 1970s at Paulsboro High School with a man named James Patten, who works at Coker Sr.’s firm Tryon Capital.

Patten was barred by FINRA, the broker-dealer regulator, from acting as a stockbroker or associating with broker-dealers, according to the regulator’s database.

Before that sanction, Patten was the subject of repeated disciplinary actions by FINRA, which included not complying with an arbitration award of more than $753,000 for violating securities laws, unauthorized trading and churning a client’s account.

Since Einhorn’s letter, CNBC has reported other eyebrow-raising details about Hometown International and E-Waste, whose stocks, traded on the low-tier Pink over-the-counter market, in the past year have risen to stunning levels as ties have been formed between them.

Among those questions was why some investors would pay so much to buy shares in either thinly traded company, given their lack of meaningful revenue in the deli owner’s case, or, in E-Waste’s case, a lack of any revenue at all.

Even if both companies achieve their goal of engaging in reverse mergers or similar transactions with private firms looking to become publicly traded, current investors will not receive payments that reflect — in any way — the trading price of the stocks.

On Friday, just 205 shares of Hometown International were traded, closing at $12.40 per share. Given the company’s nearly 8 million shares of common stock outstanding, that gives it a market capitalization of $96.68 million.

E-Waste closed Friday at $9 per share, after no shares traded hands. With 12.5 million shares outstanding, E-Waste has a market cap of $112.5 million.

In recent weeks, both the deli owner and E-Waste disavowed their stock prices, saying in extraordinary SEC filings that there was no financial justification for their market capitalizations.

The moves followed the demotion of Hometown International from a more prestigious OTCQB over-the-counter market platform for what OTC Markets Group called “irregularities” in their public disclosures, and OTC Markets telling CNBC that it would be eyeing E-Waste as well.

A trio of Hong Kong investment entities led by Maso Capital, which last year became some of the largest investors in Hometown International’s biggest investors, are understood to be involved in likewise positioning E-Waste as a reverse merger candidate.

The Hong Kong investors include entities that are investment arms of Duke and Vanderbilt universities.

E-Waste’s biggest single investor, Macao-based Global Equity Limited, is also the largest investor in the deli owner, and in Med Spa Vacations, another shell company linked to Coker Sr..

The office building on Avenida Da Praia Grande in Macao, China, the address for multiple entities listed as investors in Hometown International, the owner of a single New Jersey deli.

Catarina Domingues | CNBC

Rollo remains the president of Med Spa Vacations, a shell company with no business operations whose office address is that of a business operated by Coker Sr.

Hometown International loaned Med Spa Vacations $150,000 in February, records show.

That loan came after E-Waste was loaned an identical amount by Hometown International in November, according to an SEC filing.

Records show that Coker Sr. loaned E-Waste $255,000 last September, most of which was used to pay the prior owners of E-Waste before they sold their shares to Global Equity Lmiited.

CNBC’s articles have detailed how Coker Sr., a former college basketball star who has refused to comment when contacted by a reporter, has been sued for allegedly hiding assets from a creditor to whom he owed nearly $900,000 and for business-related fraud. He denied wrongdoing in those cases.

He also has been arrested for soliciting a prostitute, according to a Raleigh, North Carolina, police report, and for exposing himself to and trying to proposition three underage girls, according to a 1992 newspaper article.

Peter Lee Coker mugshot from the Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification (CCBI).

Source: Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification

A firm controlled by Coker Sr., Tryon Capital, had until recently been collecting $15,000 a month from Hometown International under a consulting agreement. E-Waste was paying Tryon Capital $2,500 per month for its own consulting agreement.

Those agreements were terminated last month after CNBC articles described those deals and Coker’s tangled legal history.

SEC filings show that Med Spa Vacations is paying Tryon Capital $2,500 per month for its own consulting agreement.

Coker Sr.’s partner in Tryon Capital, Peter Reichard, in 2011 was convicted in a North Carolina court of his role in a scheme that facilitated the illegal contributions of thousands of dollars to the successful 2008 campaign for governor by Bev Perdue, a Democrat.

The scheme involved the use of bogus consulting contracts with Tryon Capital. Coker Sr. was not charged in that case.

Peter Reichard, a top Perdue aide, takes the oath before his apearance in Wake County Court, Wednesday, December 14, 2011 in Raleigh, N.C.

John Rottet | The News & Observer | AP

Reichard is also a managing member, with Coker Sr., of an entity called Europa Capital Investments, which owns 90,400 common shares of Hometown International, and has warrants for another 1.9 million shares.

Reichard is the son of Ram Dass, the late spiritual and LSD guru who gained renown in the 1960s and 1970s.

CNBC earlier this week detailed how Coker Sr. and Reichard in 2010 created eight shell companies that were later sold off to other owners.

Most of those shell companies, after they were sold, ended up having their registrations revoked by the SEC for failing to keep current in their disclosure filings, records show.

One of the companies ended up being owned by a real estate tax lawyer in New York named Allan Schwartz, who did work for former President Donald Trump decades ago in connection with Trump’s real estate holdings. Schwartz told CNBC he knew nothing about Reichard and Coker Sr., or the deli owner.

Hometown Deli, Paulsboro, N.J.

Mike Calia | CNBC

Records show that a securities lawyer named Gregg Jaclin was involved in the creation of those shell companies. Jaclin also was involved three years later in the creation of Hometown International.

Jaclin was disbarred as an attorney last year after pleading guilty to federal criminal charges related to his creation of shell companies to sell to individuals “who used those shell companies as publicly traded vehicles for market manipulation schemes,” court records show.

None of the shells in that scheme were one of the ones created by Coker Sr. and Reichard, or to Hometown International.

Sonos CEO expects to capitalize on the ‘golden age of audio’ to promote extra house leisure gear

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said on CNBC Thursday that the company is tracking three worldly trends that he expects to maintain growth momentum after the coronavirus pandemic.

“The first is the golden age of audio. We’re in,” he said in a “Bad money“Interview with Jim Cramer.

Streaming music has become the norm thanks to services offered by the likes of Spotify and Apple. Their platforms have made music and podcast content easily accessible with a tap of a finger.

Spence also anticipates the rise of social audio such as Clubhouse and Twitter Rooms to upgrade Sonos’ speakers and home sound systems.

Sonos also plans to take advantage of the growing amount of video content being sent direct to the consumer, such as: B. Movies and TV shows broadcast by Netflix and other streaming companies. A number of films, such as “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Mulan,” bypassed theatrical releases last year when Covid-19 was banned.

“We expect it to stay that way,” said Spence. “More films are released right at home, more people are enjoying it at home.”

Meanwhile, Sonos sees opportunities in a real estate market that has grown hot during the move to remote working. Spence is counting on the “big reshuffle” to get more consumers to buy home entertainment systems.

“A lot of people who now have new flexibility and freedom to work anywhere, and that’s why they’re moving, building a new home, and that’s perfect for Sonos,” he said.

The comments come a day after Sonos reported its fiscal second quarter results. The Santa Barbara, Calif. Based company saw total sales increase 90% year over year, primarily due to speakers.

The stock rose 7% on Thursday to close at $ 33.83 per share.

Abbott CEO says it has a workforce of ‘virus hunters’ on new Covid variants

An Abbott Labs employee receives the BinaxNOW Covid-19 antigen rapid test at her workplace.

Abbott Labs

Abbott Labs A team of “virus hunters” are working with health officials around the world to monitor Covid-19 variants as some mutant strains show the ability to evade detection, CEO Robert Ford said during an interview published Tuesday at It was broadcast as part of the CNBC Healthy Returns event.

“They’re always on the lookout for new viruses, and in this case we’ve put a team together to monitor all possible mutations,” he said of the coalition pandemic defense. “It can’t be just a US thing, you have to work with all the countries, all the universities, all the different collection points, then I think this is the way to go.”

The Food and Drug Administration alerted clinical staff in January that new variants can lead to false negative Covid-19 test results. The agency identified three tests, none of which were performed by Abbott, and which may be less accurate because the part of the SARS-CoV-2 gene sequence that the tests were looking for was mutated in some variants.

Ford also made it clear that with the rate at which Covid-19 is mutating, there is no time to be wasted. Scientists need to “chase these mutations,” he said.

In the meantime, scientists are developing a new generation of tests that will look for parts of the virus that are less likely to mutate and give false negative results.

Antigen tests, such as those used in Abbott’s popular Binaxnow Covid-19 tests, target proteins in the virus that are less likely to mutate over time.

BioNTech CEO assured shot works in opposition to India pressure

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told CNBC on Thursday he was “confident” that the company is using the Covid-19 vaccine US partner Pfizer is effective against a variant of coronavirus that was first identified in India.

The trunk, known as B.1.617, contains two key mutations which were found separately in other coronavirus variants. The variant, also known as “double mutant”, was first discovered in Indiawhere it is viewed by some as the cause of a recent surge in new Covid-19 cases.

The variant has since been identified in other countries, including the United States.

Sahin said the German drug maker had tested its two-dose vaccine, currently not available in India, against similar “double mutants”. Based on that data, Sahin said he feels confident the shot will still be protective.

“We evaluate [the strain] … and the data will be available in the coming weeks, “he told CNBC.

“However, we had similar double mutants in our previous tests and are confident from the data we had in the past that we could see a similar way of neutralizing this virus. But we will only know when we have the data. ” in our hands, “he added.

In recent months, US health officials have said they fear that new, highly contagious variants of the virus may one day be able to evade the protection of currently approved vaccines. They urge Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible before new and potentially more dangerous variants emerge.

Studies have shown that the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine still protects against other strains. including B.1.526, the variant first identified in New Yorkand B.1.1.7, the variant found in Great Britain

An Israeli study found that B.1.351, the variant discovered in South Africa, was able to bypass part of the protection of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, although the shot remained highly effective.

Although the shot continues to be effective, Sahin said people will likely need a third shot of his two-dose Covid-19 vaccine as immunity to the virus wears off. Consent to previous comments prepared by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and BioNTech Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ozlem Tureci.

In February, Pfizer and BioNTech said They tested a third Dose of their Covid-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response to new variants of the virus.

Sahin said Thursday that researchers are seeing a decrease in antibody responses to the virus after eight months.

“If we give a boost, we could actually increase the antibody response beyond what we had at the beginning, and that could give us a real comfort of protection for at least 12 months, maybe 18 months,” he said.