Robinhood IPO: Deal raises much less cash than it hoped

The rapidly growing trading company couldn’t raise as much money as hoped. Robinhood’s IPO at a price of $ 38 per share, the lower end of the expected range. That suggests that demand for the controversial company may have been weaker than expected. The deal values ​​Robinhood at about $ 32 billion, making it more valuable than big companies like Nasdaq (NDAQ), Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Kroger (KR). That is well above the $ 12 billion price of Robinhood in its most recent private funding round.

And yet Robinhood failed to reach its target valuation of $ 35 billion.

The IPO brings in $ 2.1 billion and Robinhood is expected to trade on Thursday under the symbol “HOOD” on the Nasdaq.

The deal is still a major milestone for a company that revolutionized the way Americans invest and is growing explosively.

Robinhood reveals new regulatory probes on the eve of its blockbuster IPO

“The business was great fun. They have a great platform to build on, ”said David Weild, former vice chairman of Nasdaq and now CEO of investment bank Weild & Co.

Robinhood’s sales have increased 245% to $ 959 million last year as user growth and trading volume skyrocketed.

Robert Le, an analyst at PitchBook, said Robinhood seemed to be leaving some cash on the table to help its stock price rise on day one.

“Robinhood is playing it safe here,” Le said in an email. “A successful novel IPO has more than a few hundred million dollars in the company’s bank.”

“It seems to be rich”

But investors are paying a premium for that growth.

At the high end of Robinhood’s IPO palette, the deal would have valued the company at roughly 22 times trailing revenue, according to Renaissance Capital. That compares to multiples of just five for Charles Schwab (SCHW), a rival that is expanding more slowly. “It seems to be rich – unless the company can maintain that high growth,” said Kathleen Smith, a director at Renaissance Capital who manages the Renaissance IPO ETF (initial public offering). Robin Hood completely disturbed the online brokerage industry through the pioneer of commission-free trading. When Robinhood attracted new and existing investors to its platform, competitors were forced to cut trading fees and band together to survive.

Now Robinhood is disrupting the IPO process. The company allows its users to buy a portion – up to a third – of the IPO’s stock before they start trading on the Nasdaq. Usually only corporate insiders and powerful institutions get access to these coveted stocks.

New regulatory probes revealed

Robinhood’s public debut was delayed by a Series of controversies, the end record-breaking settlements too massive Failureswho have favourited questions about the business model, the management team, and the company’s ability to keep up with its explosive growth. Just this week Robinhood announced that regulators are investigating the fact that CEO Vlad Tenev is not with FINRA. licensed, Wall Street’s powerful self-regulatory agency. (Robinhood has argued that Tenev does not need to be licensed because he is the CEO of the parent company, not the broker-dealer). The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission are also investigating whether Robinhood employees have shares in GameStop (GME), AMC (AMC) and other “meme” stocks ahead of the trading platform’s infamous trading restrictions in January. Robinhood settles lawsuit against 20-year-old trader who died of suicideLast month, FINRA beat the brokerage firm with its highest sentence to date, accusing the company of harming millions of customers and providing “false or misleading information” to investors. FINRA quotes in partial options trading proceedings in the center of a Recently settled family lawsuit a 20 year old Robinhood dealer who died of suicide last year.

Robinhood has neither admitted nor denied the FINRA charges.

Weild, the former Nasdaq executive, said Robinhood’s struggles may have only raised public awareness of the company – something that ironically helps. He compared the situation to the challenges America Online faced during its rapid expansion.

“All it did was increase their visibility and branding,” said Weild.

Other companies with legal problems have also been able to go public, including Airbnb and above (ABOUT).

“These are not free apps”

But Robinhood’s struggles have also shed bright light on the company’s controversial business model known as paying for the flow of orders. Like some other online brokers, Robinhood makes most of its revenue from selling its retail order flow to high-speed trading companies like Citadel Securities.

Robinhood argues that this tactic will benefit everyday investors as it paved the way for commission-free trading. But others say it’s really the high-speed trading firms that benefit – otherwise they wouldn’t be paying Robinhood for the flow of orders.

A surprising tech company could join the Dow nextNow the business model that Robinhood relies on is in question. The Securities and Exchange Commission verifies the payment for the order flow. SEC chairman Gary Gensler warned in May that there were “inherent” conflicts of interest with this business model and expressed concern about them playful nature of trading apps.

“These are not free apps. They are just free apps. The costs are within the scope of the order,” Gensler told the legislature.

If the SEC bans paying for the flow of orders, it would deal a blow to Robinhood.

“We believe paying for the flow of orders is a benefit for retail investors,” said Le. “But if the regulators don’t see it that way and forbid it, Robinhood will have to find new sources of income. That would be a great risk.”

Leveraged by the market boom

Robinhood not only faces competition from established online brokers, but also from Upstarts like Public.com and Invstr market the fact that they do not sell the retail order flow to high speed traders.

Smith, the manager of Renaissance Capital, said another risk was how closely Robinhood’s bottom line was tied to the fate of booming markets.

“What if we get a negative market? People could easily be put off if they lose money,” said Smith. “This company is so focused on the equity and crypto markets. A downturn would hurt Robinhood more than a Charles Schwab. ”

Tricks to cope with Covid easing anxiousness

Commuters, some with PPE, on a busy London Underground.

TOLGA AKMEN | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON – Covid rules have been relaxed in many places around the world, including England and parts of the US, with rules on wearing masks, social distancing and the number of people who can meet both indoors and outdoors are relaxed.

While this relaxation of measures has been hailed by many, especially younger people, after nearly 16 months of on-off lockdown, many others are concerned about the changes, especially those with underlying medical conditions and health problems.

Almost all restrictions were lifted in England on Monday, dubbed “Freedom Day” (although it was delayed by a month due to rising Covid cases as a result of the Delta variant). Meanwhile in the USA The CDC relaxed its Covid guidelines on masks for fully vaccinated people on May 13th, said they did not need to use them or keep them 6 feet apart “except as required by state, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidelines.”

Many experts criticized this relaxation of the rules, saying it comes at a time when the infection rate is extremely high, especially among those under 30. In the meantime, many individuals have expressed concern for their own safety and the safety of others, especially those who may be clinically vulnerable, such as cancer patients or the disabled.

Macmillan Cancer Support was one of many charities that criticized the move to open it up. and offers advice and support to all those affected. It tweeted Monday that “despite the easing of restrictions, 1 in 5 cancer patients in England today feels unable to return to a normal life.”

Tim Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London and directs it Study on Zoe Covid Symptoms, an ongoing UK study that will allow the public to enter their Covid symptoms into an app when scientists can then analyze the data.

On Monday Spector and his team published seven tips to help people make the most of their newfound freedoms. Here are their simple tips:

1) Respect others

Be aware of personal space and choice, said Spector on Monday as Freedom Day broke in England. “Some people may not be willing to hug, kiss, shake hands, or distance themselves from one another. Don’t assume what people are comfortable with. Instead, ask them questions and respect their personal decisions. “

This is especially true with the choice to wear face masks, noted Spector. the subject became something of a battlefield in Britain and the United States

“Respect the choices made by people with limited government directives about where and when we should wear face covering. If someone feels more secure by wearing a mask, they have the right to keep wearing one, ”Spector said.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to use common sense and courtesy when it comes to masks and advised them to wear them in crowded rooms. In the US a number of state and local officials are official to have re-introduced rules for wearing masks.

2) socializing outdoors

Socializing outdoors remains one of the best ways to reduce Covid-19 transmission, according to experts, and it’s much easier now in the summer. England and Wales no longer have rules limiting the number of people who can attend outdoor gatherings, but restrictions still apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“Fresh air means that very small droplets and aerosol particles containing infectious viruses cannot hang around and disperse quickly, so outdoor spaces are the best places to be with friends and family,” said Spector.

3) Wear a mask in poorly ventilated or confined areas

In crowded, poorly ventilated places such as subways or busy buses or trains, particles in the air can multiply quickly.

So if you’re in a confined space, Spector recommends continuing to wear face-covering when possible. Some airlines have already announced that they will continue to introduce mandatory masking.

4) Continue to practice good hygiene

Compliance with basic, good hygiene was one of the most important recommendations to the public during the Covid pandemic. Virus droplets can be transmitted from your hands to your face, so avoid touching your mouth and eyes if you’ve been out and about and haven’t washed your hands in a while, noted Spector and the Zoe Covid study team.

Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, but if you don’t have access to soap and water, use an available hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

5) Get your second dose of vaccine

6) Know all of the Covid symptoms

You could easily be forgiven for not knowing the main symptoms to look out for with Covid as government advice changed during the public health crisis. The symptoms were also updated when new variants appeared.

The “classic” Covid symptoms were persistent cough, loss of taste and smell, fatigue, and a sore throat (and variations on that subject), but analysis of the Zoe Covid study identified new common symptoms.

The main symptoms extracted from the data from the Zoe-Covid study in the 30 days ending July 14th are after two doses of a vaccine:

  1. Runny nose
  2. a headache
  3. Sneeze
  4. Sore throat
  5. Loss of smell

For the unvaccinated, the top 5 symptoms are:

  1. a headache
  2. Sore throat
  3. Runny nose
  4. fever
  5. Persistent cough

7) Keep a record of all Covid symptoms you get

The Zoe Covid study team recommends the UK public to keep logging all symptoms with their ongoing study, arguing that it is more important than ever given the easing of restrictions.

“By continuing to log your symptoms, your contributions can help us stay on the front lines to discover the top current symptoms that indicate COVID infection before and after vaccination,” it reads. The data can also help experts figure out how effective the vaccines are in the long term and could also help determine whether or not booster vaccines are needed in the fall.

Billionaire Joe Tsai is the “thriller purchaser” behind $157 million Manhattan residence deal

Joe Tsai, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of the Alibaba Group.

S3studio | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai is the mysterious buyer behind a $ 157 million apartment deal in Manhattan’s most prestigious condominium tower, according to people familiar with the deal.

Tsai, who also owns the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, bought two condos in 220 Central Park South in two transactions totaling $ 157.5 million, say people close to the deal. The purchase marks what is believed to be the third most expensive home ever sold in the U.S. The most expensive home ever sold in America is in the same building – Ken Griffin’s purchase of four floors (51 to 53) for $ 238 million in 2019.

Tsai’s purchase is two stories (the 60th and one above) and offers breathtaking views of Central Park and Midtown Manhattan. The deal also includes a studio apartment on the 18th floor, likely for the staff.

Thanks in part to Griffin’s purchase and blue-chip buyers like Sting and Daniel Och, 220 Central Park South continued to appreciate in value even during the pandemic and is more than 90% sold out. The units Tsai purchased were both sold for more than their original retail price. The 61st floor sold for $ 51.4 million last year while the 60th floor sold for $ 50.9 million.

A spokesman for Tsai did not respond immediately.

The purchase comes at a sensitive time for Tsai and Alibaba. Alibaba shares have fallen a third since October, and Chinese authorities are cracking down on the country’s big tech companies to limit their power and data reach. Tsai’s Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has largely withdrawn from public life after criticizing Chinese regulators and Beijing foiled the IPO of its fintech giant Ant.

Tsai remains Executive Vice Chairman and Alibaba’s second largest shareholder. Tsai, who is worth about $ 10 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.

Tsai was born in Taiwan, attended school in New Jersey, and lived and worked in New York as a lawyer and private equity manager in the mid-1990s. After making his fortune in China at Alibaba, he split his time between San Diego and Hong Kong. He holds both Canadian and Hong Kong passports.

Tsai acquired a minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets in 2017 and acquired the rest of the team and operating rights to the Barclay’s Center in 2019 for a total of more than $ 3 billion. Tsai also sits on the board of directors of NBA China and owns the WNBA’s New York Liberty.

Tsai often attends Nets games and told the New York Post he plans to be more visible in New York after buying the team. “New York is an incredible city. I have an affinity for New York, “he told The Post in 2019.” My first job after graduating from law school was in New York. I met my wife here. So New York is my second for me. “At home.”

Now he is getting an even bigger home for his second home.

EU urges UK to simply accept Swiss-style deal to finish agri-food standoff

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union on Tuesday urged London to consider a Swiss-style veterinary agreement with Brussels on agri-food to end a post-Brexit “sausage war” dispute over certain goods between the UK and its province of Northern Ireland .

Tensions over trade deals for Northern Ireland, particularly for chilled meat, have increased as the province’s open border with EU member Ireland is now part of the UK’s border with the EU’s single market.

Commissioner Maros Sefcovic, who has been the EU executive’s chief interlocutor with the UK since the exit from the EU last year, said the main challenge for Brussels is to restore confidence and realign its relations with London.

“In order to build trust in one another, a cooperative collaboration and the avoidance of surprises are required,” he said, referring to the unilateral extension of the transition periods for some food imports into the province of Northern Ireland by Great Britain.

“In response, we have been forced to initiate infringement proceedings (legal action) and without satisfactory UK action to remedy these actions we will have no choice but to step up these legal proceedings,” he said at a conference.

The EU fears that goods from Northern Ireland could flow freely into the bloc’s internal market.

London says an important part of Brexit is not bound by EU rules and urged the EU to be more flexible in finding solutions to the stalemate.

Britain has also accused the EU of overly legalistic interpretation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, an agreement that regulates post-Brexit trade agreements.

Sefcovic said legal action over the protocol was not the EU’s preferred option and that an agreement last week to extend the free movement of chilled meats in the province for three months signaled its willingness to find pragmatic solutions.

He said a longer-term solution to avoid health and phytosanitary controls (SPS) on agricultural and food products, which range from live animals to fresh meat and plant products, could be in line with an EU agreement with Switzerland.

This pact eliminates almost all physical SPS controls, but not document controls, and does so through a dynamic regulatory mechanism that creates a common veterinary area.

“This could be negotiated very quickly and would resolve many concerns,” said Sefcovic. “The UK, which continues to apply the EU SPS rules, will abolish the vast majority of controls in the Irish Sea and would not require controls elsewhere, for example in Northern Ireland.

He said he was aware of the UK government’s concerns about such a solution, but added that it was important “not to get too involved in concerns about the alignment of rules and regulations between the UK and the EU”.

Additional reporting from Gabriela Baczynska, editor of Timothy Heritage

Eagles focusing on big-money deal for tight finish Dallas Goedert as Zach Ertz prepares to maneuver on, per report

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles with the Minnesota VikingsUSATSI

The expected split between Zach Ertz and the Eagle has been postponed for months as Philadelphia hopes for better compensation in a potential deal, but for anyone skeptical of Ertz’s future exit, John McMullen of SI.com’s EagleMaven reports that the team has already taken several steps to prepare for 2021 and beyond without the long-term tight end. This also includes striving for a “big money contract extension” for Ertz’s tight-end colleagues Dallas Goedert, as well as informing Ertz that Goedert will take the majority of the snapshots at the position, regardless of who is on the list.

“Both sides want to move on,” McMullen wrote this week, “but Eagles (General Manager) Howie Roseman has continued to play hard when it comes to Ertz’s worth … What we do know is that the Eagles plan for life to Ertz and tries to work out a (deal) with Goedert. What’s more, the team has informed Ertz that Goedert will definitely get the lion’s share of the snapshots at the position. “

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Meanwhile, New Eagles coach Nick Sirianni wants to “get away from a two-tight-end-centered offensive and get more speed on the field,” reported McMullen. Philadelphia recently re-signed the Veterans Reserve Richard Rodgerswho would likely open as the team’s # 2 tight end in 2021 if Ertz is dealt or released.

The reasons for Ertz’s expected departure have been amply set out this off-season; the three-time pro bowler will forever be a Philadelphia legend for eight years of consistent production Super bowl LII performance, but at 30, after an injury and looking for a new setting and maybe a new contract, the ship has already sailed unofficially. As for Goedert, the former second-round pick admitted in June that he was hey Talks about a new deal started.

Goedert, 26, will join the Free Agency after this season. The Eagles could potentially use the 2022 Franchise Tag. forecast to be $ 11.3 millionto keep it after 2021. A long term contract could net him something on the order of $ 12 million to $ 14 million per season, making him one of the NFL‘s four highest paid players in his position, according to other tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith redeemed on deals Pay $ 12.5 million a year this off-season. The Eagles would save $ 8.5 million this year by cutting or bargaining Ertz.

Fertitta Leisure Provides Property to SPAC Deal

From Dave Sebastian

Fertitta Entertainment Inc., a holding company for Golden Nugget Casinos and Landry’s Restaurants, is adding additional assets to the deal with the special acquisition company that will bring Fertitta public, the companies said.

Fertitta said she agreed to bring in the Mastro brand, the Aquariums, the Pleasure Pier, Vic and Anthony’s, and a handful of others, adding a total of 42 goodwill that was not originally included in the transaction announced in February. It also said it will acquire Catch restaurants, including Catch Steak, the restaurant group of which is 50% owned by Fertitta owner Tilman Fertitta.

The company will bring in the operational business without additional debt, it said. Mr. Fertitta will receive additional equity in the combined company and his total equity interest upon completion of the transaction with Fast Acquisition Corp. increase to about 72%.

The amended transaction results in a company valuation for Golden Nugget / Landry’s of approximately $ 8.6 billion, the companies said. Fertitta expects to use the proceeds from the transaction to accelerate its growth initiatives, fund its operations and reduce its existing debt.

“The contribution of the new business assets significantly improves the company’s operating cash flow, provides better assets for organic growth, and makes the company much less of a debt as the company does not incur any additional debt as part of the revised transaction,” said Fertitta.

Fertitta said sales for the three months ended June 30, including additional assets and business units, are expected to be $ 917 million to $ 920 million. It provides for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $ 270 million to $ 275 million for the quarter or more than $ 800 million for the full year with the contribution or acquisition of all operations on Jan. 1 was completed. 2021.

The companies expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter.

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

How Asbestos Revealed The place the Cash Went on a Dangerous Constructing Deal

101 Ash St. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

It’s pretty wild, which we would never have found out if it wasn’t for urban contractors destroying asbestos on 101 Ash Street.

The building, the former headquarters of Sempra, which the city hoped would permanently house hundreds of workers, has been a scandal for many years – mostly a scandal of incompetence. How could the city lease a lemon like that? Every building of that time has asbestos, why was the city so terrible when it was remodeled that it became uninhabitable? Why did they rent it to own rather than buy it outright?

It had clearly been a failure, an outrage for the former mayor’s claim to be a good public affairs manager, a legal swamp, a health hazard, an embarrassing waste. However, none of the revelations had confirmed that anyone was walking far richer than they had been.

Until now. On Monday we learned that Jason Hughes had actually deviated from the deal with more than $ 4.4 million.

Hughes has been a major figure in San Diego public affairs for nearly nine years. Previously, he had helped destroy a plan by former Mayor Jerry Sanders that he had worked out to get San Diego a new city hall. Sanders had hoped to save the city money on its many commercial leases and to redesign the C Street corridor.

But Hughes joined then councilor Carl DeMaio to argue that the city could simply use market knowledge and renegotiate its leases. Hughes would even do it for free, he said.

Sanders left, but the new Mayor Bob Filner didn’t and they got closer.

(It was around that time I also met Hughes. He became a major donor to the Voice of San Diego and my wife had a job graphic designer and marketing for his company. In 2016, he helped our employees get a new hire in downtown, right across from 101 Ash. His last donation was in 2019, although his company helped us extend our option in the current office.)

Filner and Hughes were a dynamic couple. They delivered new rental contracts and planned a complete redesign of the city center on the weekends. Over and over we heard how Hughes, who worked for free, brought so much value to the city.

“I see this not only as a civic duty, but also as a way to protect the rest of my customers in the city center …”, he told reporters when he and Filner started new business. When Filner dropped out, new mayor Kevin Faulconer picked up where they left off.

Hughes began wooing many politicians, including Senator Ben Hueso and MP Lorena Gonzalez, who helped him keep track of new bills, one of which was successful in forcing commercial agents to disclose when they were both the landlord and the renter represented in a lease negotiation.

That was his advantage, that was his declaration of separation: he would only represent the tenant and never the landlord. Too often other brokers represented landlords and tenants at the same time. He, on the other hand, was the champion of the small business seeking space. The new law helped him to emphasize the point: he would not have to fill out this information because he was only representing tenants.

Faulconer brought Hughes on to his task force to find a new stadium for the Chargers – another unpaid gig – and then, in 2014, Faulconer put Hughes in one of the toughest situations.

Hundreds of city workers worked on the Civic Center Plaza across from City Hall. It housed most of the city’s lawyers. But the owner of the building wanted out of town, and the purchase negotiations were a mess. Hughes had to work. He got a company, Cisterra, to buy the building and immediately negotiate a lease with the city. He told the city that this was a more complex deal and that he would like to be paid.

But as far as the public knew, he was still voluntary. There was no financial disclosure that he would get any money from this new landlord while he was representing the town for free. The deal was spot on for the city. It didn’t have to Borrow trouble with moneywhich is difficult sometimes. It would have a building in a prime location within a few decades.

We learned on Monday that Cisterra paid Hughes a $ 5 million commission for helping them make this deal a reality.

We never would have expected it if it hadn’t been for 101 Ash Street, a completely different building. Hughes, who was still working with the mayor and still the public assumed he was a volunteer, began helping with another problem. Hundreds of city workers, mostly from development services, needed offices quickly.

Sempra had also vacated its long-standing headquarters next to the town hall. While it wasn’t great for Sempra, it was a big improvement for the city’s staff. Hughes began speaking to its owners, Sandy Shapery and Doug Manchester. But Manchester is a very controversial figure and a major financial backer of Faulconer’s political campaigns and the Republican Party. Buying a huge piece of land from him would have been a big political problem. Whether it was that or the price, the city staff couldn’t make a deal.

Hughes called Cisterra again. They worked out a similar deal. The city would avoid having to shop at Manchester and Shapery. It would avoid borrowing money. Cisterra would buy the building and the city would immediately lease it from Cisterra.

But soon after, Hughes had an argument with Faulconer. The city’s real estate agency has published a tender for construction management services. Hughes’ company was seen as a successful bidder.

However, city officials were concerned about conflicts of interest and asked the city attorney if Hughes could get the contract given his volunteer service. In January 2017, the city made a deal to acquire 101 Ash – and in May 2017, the city appeared ready to continue that deal with Hughes Marino – except that it did not include any work on 101 Ash.

Hughes was furious when he learned that 101 Ash was not part of the contract. He was so angry that he never signed the contract to possibly manage projects in other city facilities.

Other workers got the 101 Ash job and they somehow destroyed asbestos in the building. The city could not draw workers in. Eventually, Jeff McDonald of the Union-Tribune began calculating how much this was costing the city, and his story sparked discussions about the building and the trash. Eventually, the city called in workers to evacuate them immediately after the county air pollution control authorities said it was unsafe.

The scandal broke out. It became a big part of the mayor’s race when one candidate angered the other for signing the deal and then the other candidate slammed the first for signing the renovation. But the question arose again and again: why had the city signed the lease? And where was the money?

Our Lisa Halverstadt has started to put together the offers. She discovered that Hughes had notified the city that he wanted to be paid for the deal with the Civic Center Plaza. But the city stood firm that he had never given up on being paid. When Halverstadt started to summarize his role as architect on both deals, she asked him directly if he had been paid.

“I have too much respect for the principals of the 101 Ash Street transaction to discuss their dealings in the press, especially if those principals are involved in legal disputes, but you can be absolutely certain that I would not be in any transaction without a information required to do so. Any claim to the contrary would be defamatory. “

That’s not a no.

The city called in Hughes and others seeking an answer to the same question Halverstadt had asked. And just when we wanted to hear the results of it, Cisterra and Hughes decided to get the facts out. Yes, they said Hughes got paid, nearly $ 10 million total for both deals.

Why would they be so ready to admit it? Why should they in one day level the facade that had lasted eight years on which Hughes was doing volunteer civic service? It’s because the city try to unravel now both deals stem from the allegation that Hughes had a serious conflict of interest that void both agreements. It’s because they decided on their best defense. The only way to save the deal and maybe $ 24 million in clawbacks is to argue that the city knew Hughes was getting paid all along. Faulconer knew and signed it is their claim.

If that’s true, then Faulconer has been lying for years that his close associate, donor, and volunteer real estate advisor actually received nearly $ 10 million over many years without disclosing it in any way. Faulconer’s team deny they knew this.

Here’s a disturbing reality: we wouldn’t know about it if Hughes had managed to get the construction contract and not done the efforts to keep asbestos out of the air as badly as the city or its contractors.

He would have remained known as a volunteer for the city that few knew made nearly $ 10 million in his service. What we need to know now is whether the former mayor was one of them.

California funds deal consists of cash to place 4-year-olds in kindergarten

SACRAMENTO, Calif .– California Governor Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers are nearing approval of a final operating budget.

Legislators tabled a massive bill on Friday that represents a broad consensus between Newsom, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Speaker of Parliament Anthony Rendon.

Much of the spending had been announced beforehand, including discounts for most tax-paying adults and money to send 4-year-olds to kindergarten. But some important details remain unfinished. The bill allocates billions of dollars to fighting forest fires and drought, but lacks details of how that money will be spent.

In addition, the legislature is still negotiating details on salary increases for childcare workers.

Shares of start-up Luminar surge on lidar cope with Volvo

Chesnot | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Volvo is integrating Luminar Technologies’ lidar system into the automaker’s upcoming flagship electric SUV, the first major automaker to incorporate the technology into a vehicle as standard equipment.

Luminar’s new iris lidar system, an advanced sensor that enables vehicles to better “see” their surroundings, will be standard with the SUV, the Swedish automaker and start-up lamp Announced Thursday. The vehicle, a successor to the current Volvo XC90, is expected to be unveiled next year.

Shares of Luminar that went through a SPAC. to the public Deal in December, up more than 12% ahead of Thursday’s market opening.

“Volvo Cars is and has always been a leader in safety. It will now define the next level of vehicle safety,” said Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson in a press release. “With this hardware as standard, we can continuously improve safety functions over the air and introduce advanced autonomous drive systems, which strengthens our leadership position in matters of safety.”

Lidars or light detection and distance measurement systems can capture the environment and help cars avoid obstacles. They use light to create high-resolution images that offer a closer look at the world than cameras or radar alone.

There has been a lot of talk about lidar for self-driving vehicles like vans and trucks, but not as much for consumers because of the cost. Initially used to increase vehicle safety, Luminar said its system will only cost businesses about $ 1,000 per vehicle.

Depending on when the vehicle comes on the market, it could be the first with lidar as standard equipment. It’s a huge win for Luminar.

“This is the first time it’s standardized, but it certainly won’t be the last,” Austin Russell, founder and CEO of Luminar, told CNBC during a technology demonstration in Detroit.

Russell said Luminar’s technology will be integrated into Volvo’s next generation EV platform, which could mean Volvo will offer it as standard or optional on all upcoming EVs. A Volvo spokesman did not immediately respond to a comment.

Volvo has announced that it will be an all-electric car company by 2030, which would greatly help Luminar scale its lidar technology. The vehicles are expected to eventually feature advanced hands-free driving on the freeway with some self-driving capabilities, the companies said.

“This is something that will really help usher in the next wave of safety,” said Russell. “I think it’s going to spark a huge growth trend across the board from that security perspective.”

Russell said 2023 will be the company’s “first major ramp-up” of the company’s lidar technology for the automotive industry.

“By the second half of this decade we will easily have millions of vehicles on the road with all of this,” he said.

Virgin Orbit in talks with SPAC for $three billion deal to go public

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit takes off on a rocket under the wings of a modified Boeing 747 jetliner for a major drop test of its high-altitude launch system for satellites from Mojave, Calif., July 10, 2019.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch spin-off from Sir Richard Bransons Virgo galactic, is in advanced discussions of an initial public offering valued at approximately $ 3 billion by a SPAC led by a former Goldman Sachs Partner, CNBC confirmed on Saturday.

The company is in talks about a deal with NextGen acquisition IIa person familiar with the discussions told CNBC. NextGen II is a special-purpose acquisition company led by George Mattson, who previously co-directed Goldman’s global industrial group.

Sky News reported first Talks on Saturday said a deal would be announced in the coming weeks. Virgin Orbit declined CNBC’s request for comment.

The company is a spin-off from Branson’s space tourism company Virgin Galactic. Virgin Orbit is privately owned from Branson’s multinational conglomerate Virgin Group with a minority stake in Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala.

The company’s first demonstration launch in May 2020.

Greg Robinson | Jungfrau Railway Or

Virgin Orbit uses a modified one Boeing 747 aircraft to launch their missiles, a method known as air launch. Rather than launching missiles from the ground like competitors like Rocket Lab or Astra do, the company’s aircraft carries its LauncherOne missiles up to an altitude of around 45,000 feet and drops them just before they fire the engine and accelerate into space – a method that the company advertises as being more flexible as a ground-based system.

LauncherOne is designed to carry small satellites weighing up to 500 kilograms, or around 1,100 pounds, into space. Virgin Orbit completed its first successful launch in January and plans to have its second later this month.

Next Gen II raised $ 375 million when it completed its IPO in October. The funds would primarily be used to help Virgin Orbit scale its business. Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart told CNBC in October that the company plans to raise approximately $ 150 million in fresh capital.

Branson made Virgin Galactic public through a SPAC deal in 2019 With Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya.

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