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TALKING POINTS

PayPal showing interest in Pinterest

Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

PayPal is exploring an acquisition of social media company Pinterest, people with knowledge of the matter said. PayPal, based in San Jose, Calif., has recently approached Pinterest about a potential deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The companies have discussed a potential price of around $70 a share, which would value Pinterest at roughly $39 billion, one of the people said. PayPal’s interest comes at a complicated time for Pinterest. The social media company announced this month that co-founder Evan Sharp, who oversaw its design and product teams, is stepping down. It’s also been dealing with a number of accusations from former employees that Pinterest discriminated against female workers. BLOOMBERG NEWS

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INTERNET

Verizon releases details on wireless broadband subscribers

Verizon has spent three years developing wireless technology to beam high-speed Internet connections into homes and now it’s finally ready to talk about the new growth area. Verizon reported 55,000 new wireless broadband subscribers for the third quarter, bringing its total to 150,000 — the first time the company has disclosed details of the business. The service, unlike mobile, is a fixed point-to-point connection using a mix of 4G and 5G signals. Verizon has expanded the network to parts of 80 cities and is aiming the fast, landline-type speeds to compete with rivals including T-Mobile and cable companies including Comcast and Charter Communications. BLOOMBERG NEWS


CYBERSECURITY

Top executives of defunct company charged with duping investors

A company that vowed to protect the cyber activities of customers is instead charged with fleecing its investors. The scheme, prosecutors say, amounted to more than $50 million. In it, they say, the top executives of defunct cybersecurity company GigaMedia Access Corp. duped investors by faking financial statements and having one of them pose as a customer. Robert Bernardi, the founder and former chief executive officer of GigaMedia, which also did business as GigaTrust, Nihat Cardak, the company’s former chief financial officer, and Sunil Chandra, its former vice president for international business development, were arrested on fraud charges Wednesday morning, prosecutors in New York said. They were also sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bernardi, 68, and Cardak, 51, are accused of using fabricated bank statements to obtain multiple rounds of loans and investments for the company, which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in November 2019. Prosecutors said they made up fake statements that overstated the amount of cash deposits, concocted false audit materials that exaggerated the company’s performance, and forged a letter from its lawyers. BLOOMBERG NEWS

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INTERNATIONAL

Abu Dhabi wealth fund invests in Indonesian startups

Abu Dhabi’s biggest sovereign wealth fund has agreed to lead a pre-IPO fund-raising at GoTo Group, formed earlier this year by the merger of Indonesia’s two most valuable startups. The $400 million commitment by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will be the first principal investment by its private equity arm into a technology business in Southeast Asia and its largest deal in Indonesia, according to a statement on Wednesday. GoTo, a combination of ride-hailing giant Gojek and e-commerce firm PT Tokopedia, has begun the process of raising $1 billion to $2 billion at a valuation of $25 billion to $30 billion ahead of an initial public offering at home this year and a subsequent US listing, people familiar with the matter said in July. BLOOMBERG NEWS

COLLEGES

Princeton Club of New York could close

The Princeton Club of New York, a midtown oasis for Ivy League alumni, could soon be without a home after $40 million in mortgage debt went into default and is being sold to the highest bidder. The 10-story private club, which includes two restaurants, banquet space, squash courts, and 58 guest rooms, is running low on cash after being closed for 15 months during the pandemic and losing about one-third of its 6,000 dues-paying members, according to people familiar with the club’s operations. BLOOMBERG NEWS

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LUXURY

Burberry hires new CEO from Versace

Burberry chose Jonathan Akeroyd from Italian fashion house Gianni Versace as its new chief executive officer, tapping a proven turnaround expert to continue the trench coat maker’s push to become a top-tier luxury label. Akeroyd, a 54-year-old Briton who led the revival of Alexander McQueen before taking over at Versace, will join the British brand in April. He’ll replace Marco Gobbetti, who is leaving to run Salvatore Ferragamo. BLOOMBERG NEWS

FOOD

Fake eggs could be rolling into EU

Alternative food producer Eat Just moved a step closer to expanding sales of its eggs made from mung beans into Europe, a key market for plant-based produce. The European Union’s food watchdog said the product was safe, paving the way for the company to access Europe’s $10.7 billion egg market. Eat Just already sells its fake eggs in North America, South Africa, and parts of Asia including China, and is targeting the UK and European markets in 2022. Consumers are increasingly choosing alternatives to animal products on health concerns and worries over the environmental impact of raising livestock. So far, the market has been dominated by plant-based meat and milk, though more startups and food companies are developing faux cheese and egg products. BLOOMBERG NEWS

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BANKING

Overdraft fees at an all-time high

Overdraft fees rose to a record this year, even as many of the biggest US banks took steps to wean themselves off the increasingly contentious revenue source. The average cost to overdraw a checking account climbed to $33.58 from $33.47 last year, according to a Bankrate study released Wednesday. The figure increased for a third straight year, with Philadelphia having the highest average fee among major metropolitan areas, at $35.70, and Cincinnati at the bottom, at $30.42. BLOOMBERG NEWS

RETAIL

Could be not-so-happy holidays for many

This Christmas season will be marked by a growing divide between high and low earners, according to a study from Deloitte LLP. The survey, released Wednesday, shows that 11.5 percent of US holiday shoppers say they plan not to spend anything on gifts and services this holiday. That’s up from 4.9 percent in 2020 and 2.9 percent the previous year. It’s the highest in at least 10 years, according to Rod Sides, a vice chairman of Deloitte. For those who don’t plan to spend, almost two-thirds make less than $50,000 a year, according to Deloitte. About one in eight of the non-spenders make $100,000 or more. BLOOMBERG NEWS

EQUITY

PNC foundation to establish center for Black entrepreneurship at Howard

PNC Financial Services’ charitable foundation announced a $16.8 million grant to Howard University that would establish a center focused on furthering Black entrepreneurship. The goal of the Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship will be to provide Black business owners with education and resources to help them grow their businesses, according to a statement. The initiative is also meant to help them network with other business owners and chambers of commerce. Pittsburgh-based PNC is among US lenders that have pledged to help address inequality amid a worldwide racial-equality movement following the murder of George Floyd. While the financial sector has promised billions toward that effort, recruitment from historically Black colleges and universities has progressed more slowly. BLOOMBERG NEWS

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