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TALKING POINTS

Santander opening branch in Miami

Santander
SantanderDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP via Getty Images

BANKING

Santander opening branch in Miami

Santander’s US retail banking division is stepping outside its core Northeast footprint, to open up a full service branch in Miami. The US subsidiary, based in Boston, has primarily kept to the New England and Mid-Atlantic states occupied by its predecessor, Sovereign Bank. Santander, based in Spain, has a heavy presence in Latin America, and Miami is considered a gateway to the United States for many of the countries where Santander does business. Seven employees will staff the bank branch at the start. A spokeswoman said the bank wants to see how the branch performs in this location before adding other branches outside of its legacy footprint. The branch is located in the headquarters building of Banco Santander International, a global private banking arm of Santander. — JON CHESTO

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HEALTH CARE

Shields and Reliant Medical Group open another surgery center

Shields Health Care and Reliant Medical Group have teamed up on another ambulatory surgery center. Dubbed New England Surgical Suites, it just opened in a 13,000-square-foot space in Natick. The two companies already opened one location near Interstate 290 in Shrewsbury in 2018, through a partnership with UMass Memorial Health Care. Shields, of Quincy, and Worcester-based Reliant have two different partners in Natick: Orthopedics New England and New England Hand Associates. Shields says the Natick center, where about 20 people work, will be able to offer surgical procedures, ranging from joint replacements to tonsillectomies, at a price that’s up to 40 percent below the state average at acute-care hospitals. Shields anticipates having contracts for the Natick center with all major health insurers in the state by the end of the year. Shields is also planning on similar partnership-owned surgery centers in Medford and Chelmsford. — JON CHESTO

MEDIA

WBUR to retool nationally syndicated ‘On Point’

WBUR (90.9 FM) is revamping “On Point,” its nationally syndicated live call-in show hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti. Starting Monday, the weekday program will be shortened to one hour from two and will drop the live-caller format. WBUR, an NPR affiliate whose license is owned by Boston University, said “On Point” will feature a mix of taped enterprise stories and live interviews with a broader range of experts. It is the latest change made by CEO Margaret Low, who took over the station in January. In June, amid a recession-driven drop in revenue, WBUR laid off 10 percent of its staff and decided to end production of “Kind World,” a local “Morning Edition” feature and podcast, and “Only A Game,” a nationally syndicated sports program. — LARRY EDELMAN

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MARIJUANA

Canopy to begin selling cannabis-infused drinks in the US next year

Canopy Growth Corp., the cannabis company that attracted Corona beer producer Constellation Brands Inc. as an investor, is moving to bring cannabis beverages to the United States in 2021. The drinks will contain THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, in dosage amounts designed to keep people buzzed and social in a similar way to beer, cocktails, or wine, the company said in a statement. Canopy, based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, said Acreage Holdings Inc. will start selling the drinks in California and Illinois next summer with its distribution network and move into other states in following months. They’ll appear first in dispensaries, with aims to get them into liquor stores or other retail locations once that becomes legally permissible. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

RETAIL

H & M fined for violating the privacy of employees

An H & M unit was fined 35.3 million euros ($41.4 million) by a German data protection watchdog after managers trampled on the private lives of staff, storing details ranging from workers' religious beliefs to their medical history. The privacy violations started in 2014. They included wide-ranging surveys of staff and the storing of their private situations, such as concrete examples from people’s holidays or symptoms and medical findings for certain illnesses. Some managers also sought further private details in informal chats, including family issues or religious beliefs, which were then stored as well. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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MEDIA

Playboy to go public, minus the magazine

Playboy Enterprises Inc., the storied men’s magazine publisher turned prolific brand licensor, will return to the public markets after nearly a decade through a special-purpose acquisition company. Playboy said Thursday it will merge with Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp., which will then take the Playboy name and trade under the symbol PLBY. The equity purchase price is $239 million, with Mountain Crest also assuming $142 million in Playboy debt, according to the company’s statement. In a signal of Playboy’s transformation, that statement doesn’t once include the word magazine. The company, founded by the late Hugh Hefner in 1953, published the final regularly scheduled print issue of what had become a quarterly publication this past spring. While it still publishes articles and pictorials online, Playboy now mainly bills itself as a consumer-products company for what it calls the Pleasure Lifestyle, in the categories of sexual wellness; style and apparel; gaming and lifestyle; and beauty and grooming. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TRADE

British beef comes to the US for first time since Mad Cow scare of the 90s

British beef is on the way to the United States for the first time in at least two decades, at a time when food remains a sticking point between the countries in post-Brexit trade talks. The first shipment left on Wednesday from a plant in Northern Ireland, and trade could total 66 million pounds ($85 million) over the next five years, the UK government said in a statement. The US had banned British supplies since a mad-cow disease outbreak in Europe in 1996, but lifted restrictions earlier this year. Agriculture talks with the US have proven tense as the UK’s transition agreement with the European Union comes to an end on Dec. 31. Washington wants more market access for its farm products in any free-trade deal, sparking food-standard concerns in Britain. Chicken washed with chlorine and hormone-treated beef have become synonymous with US food and animal-welfare standards that are deemed inferior to those in the UK. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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BANKING

Goldman Sachs latest to cut staff

The global cull of banking jobs continues with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. joining the growing list of lenders resuming cuts paused during the coronavirus pandemic. The Wall Street firm is embarking on a plan to eliminate about 1 percent of its workforce, or roughly 400 positions, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Adding that to disclosures this week by other banks would take the total announced this year to 67,844, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg. — BLOOMBERG NEWS