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Four NBA stars to invest in Allston project

Harvard Business School
Harvard Business SchoolBloomberg via Getty Images


Four NBA stars to invest in Allston project

Harvard University’s Enterprise Research Campus project in Allston is getting a big-time assist from four NBA All-Stars. Andre Drummond of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks, Andre Iguodala of the Miami Heat, and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors have all committed to invest in Tishman Speyer’s mixed-use development of 14 acres on Western Avenue, across the street from Harvard Business School. (Their names were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.) New York-based Tishman Speyer won the development rights in part by committing to Harvard that at least 5 percent of the development’s equity would come from Black and Latino investors. The NBA players are part of that group. It also includes several businesspeople from Boston, including developer Richard Taylor and Boston Impact Initiative chief executive Betty Francisco, according to Tishman Speyer. The developer is considering building up to 1.9 million square feet in two phases at the site. Penny Pritzker, board member of the Harvard Allston Land Co., said this project is a natural extension of Harvard’s commitment to diversity. “Oftentimes, there’s a massive disparity in wealth creation in communities of color compared to white communities,” Pritzker said. “Why? Maybe it’s access to good deals. This plan ensures more diverse investors, and is a win-win for everyone.” — JON CHESTO



Amazon to drop arbitration requirement after flood of Alexa complaints

Amazon has stopped requiring customers to pursue claims in arbitration — rather than a court of law — after tens of thousands of people inundated the company with complaints that the Alexa digital assistant was improperly collecting voice recordings. Amazon’s terms of service, which govern everything from buying products on the company’s Web store to using its consumer gadgets, now lets customers file class-action suits against the company in state or federal court. Previously claimants had to enter arbitration as individuals. All cases must be filed in King County, Wash., where Amazon is based, according to rules that were last updated on May 3. The change follows the filing of some 75,000 Alexa-related arbitration claims — almost entirely from people represented by Chicago law firm Keller Lenkner LLC — in the last 16 months. The cases likely added up to tens of millions of dollars in filing fees payable by Amazon, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the move earlier Tuesday. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



May was a good month, as pace picks up

US manufacturing expanded at a faster pace in May, propelled by stronger orders growth that underscores sustained, robust demand. A measure of factory activity rose to 61.2 from 60.7 a month earlier, according to data released Tuesday by the Institute for Supply Management. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, and the May figure was about in line with projections. The increase in the group’s gauge of new orders — just below a more than 17-year high — and the longest delivery times since 1974 indicate manufacturers continue to struggle with supply shortages and shipping delays. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


AMC cashes in on meme craze

The movie theater chain AMC is raising $230.5 million through an 8.5 million share sale, cashing in on the meme stock frenzy that has sent its stock price up more than 1,100 percent this year. Theaters and other beleaguered industries like restaurants and concert venues are anticipating the return of crowds over the next few months with the massive US vaccination effort ongoing. John Krasinski’s thriller sequel “A Quiet Place Part II” opened over the Memorial Day weekend to a pandemic-best $48.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. AMC is part of a Wall Street phenomenon that began this year pitting larger, institutional hedge funds against a cadre of online investors. Companies like GameStop and AMC have been shorted by hedge funds and other big investors, a bet that stock in the company will fall. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Krispy Kreme’s sales are up as it eyes IPO

Krispy Kreme reported a rebound in sales ahead of its planned return to public markets as American diners begin to come back to breakfast restaurants across the United States. Net revenue at the doughnut chain rose 23 percent to $321.8 million in the first quarter that ended April 4, the company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday ahead of its initial public offering. Its losses in the period significantly narrowed to $378,000 compared with nearly $11 million a year earlier. Since its acquisition by JAB in 2016, Krispy Kreme has expanded its e-commerce business, which now accounts for close to a fifth of sales in the United States, fueled by its Insomnia Cookies delivery concept. It has also tightened control of its distribution network by buying back some of its franchises in the United States, plus purchasing the existing businesses in the UK, Australia, Mexico, and Japan. JAB also controls restaurant brands Panera and Pret a Manger. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


OPEC Plus to ramp up production

With oil futures rising to levels not seen since 2018, officials from OPEC and allied producers like Russia met Tuesday and decided to stick with a plan to gradually ease production curbs agreed in April. OPEC meetings sometimes drag on for days, but Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Saudi oil minister, said during a news conference that Tuesday’s gathering had required less than half an hour. The group, known as OPEC Plus, is still adjusting to a market that collapsed a year ago when the pandemic took hold of the global economy, forcing a huge cutback in petroleum output. Under the plan the group agreed to in April and confirmed at Tuesday’s meeting, the oil states will add 350,000 barrels per day in June and 441,000 barrels per day in July. Saudi Arabia will also continue to unwind the 1 million barrels a day in voluntary cuts it announced earlier this year. The Saudis plan to produce 350,000 barrels a day in June and 400,000 barrels a day more in July on top of the other states’ expansions. — NEW YORK TIMES



Verizon follows competitors in offering free phones

Facing pressure from its fellow wireless carriers, Verizon is offering free phones from Apple and Android to customers who get 5G unlimited plans. Once a holdout on giveaways to existing customers, Verizon is now following similar trade-in promotions by peers AT&T and T-Mobile — part of efforts to reverse recent subscriber losses at the largest US carrier. Starting Tuesday, new Verizon customers who chose a premium 5G unlimited plan can qualify for as much as $1,000 in credit toward an Apple iPhone or $1,100 for the Samsung Galaxy S21. Current customers are eligible for $700 toward an iPhone or $800 for an Android model if they move up to a higher-priced unlimited plan. The move comes after Verizon lost 178,000 phone customers in the first quarter. — BLOOMBERG NEWS