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Reebok added to SPARC Group

Hollie Adams/Bloomberg


Reebok added to SPARC Group

Future Reebok owner Authentic Brands Group has tapped its joint venture, SPARC Group, to be the core licensee and US operator of Reebok, the Boston-based athletic shoe company, after it is sold by Adidas early next year. Authentic Brands created SPARC with mall operator Simon Property Group to run several retail companies; the addition of Reebok will increase New York-based SPARC’s store count to 1,600 locations and total retail sales to about $5.5 billion. The Reebok Design Group will also be included under SPARC; it will handle all design, development and innovation for Reebok products around the world. Authentic Brands plans to maintain Reebok’s Boston headquarters, including top leaders Matt O’Toole (Reebok’s president) and Todd Krinsky (senior vice president). Authentic Brands is lining up licensing partners to run Reebok sales and operations in other countries. Other SPARC-managed retail chains include Nautica, Aeropostale, Lucky Brand, Forever 21, Eddie Bauer, and Brooks Brothers. Authentic Brands reached a deal in August to acquire Reebok from Adidas for $2.5 billion. — JON CHESTO



Polaris launches electric version of Ranger

Polaris unveiled an electric version of its Ranger off-road vehicle, a staple of rural America and the best-selling product in the company’s $7 billion motorsports empire. The battery-powered machine, formally dubbed the Ranger XP Kinetic, will not only be virtually silent but roughly one-third more powerful than similar models that run on gas; Polaris also reckons the rig will be about 70 percent cheaper to service and maintain. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Revived Toys ‘R’ Us opens in N.J. mall

Toys “R” Us, a resuscitated version of the mega-toy seller that went bankrupt and out of business, is returning to its New Jersey home turf with a store in the state’s newest megamall. The new owner of the brand plans to open a flagship location in mid-December at American Dream, the heavily indebted mall a few miles outside of Manhattan that’s working through its own decades-long string of troubles. The two-level store will occupy 20,000 square feet, according to a statement, with the outlet steps away from the mall’s kid-friendly Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and DreamWorks Water Park. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Match settles suit filed by Tinder’s founders

Match Group Inc. said it will pay $441 million to resolve a hard-fought legal battle with Tinder’s founders over the valuation of the mobile dating app, ending a nearly month-long trial just before it went to the jury. Match announced the settlement on Wednesday morning, a day before the parties were to give closing statements in the trial over a lawsuit brought by Tinder founder Sean Rad and other early executives and employees against Match and its controlling investor, IAC/Interactive Corp. Rad, who created Tinder during a hackathon at IAC’s Hatch Labs incubator, and the other plaintiffs in the case say they were cheated by the companies, which valued Tinder at $3 billion in 2017, instead of the $13.2 billion they claim it was actually worth. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


GM teams up with S.Korean company to build battery materials plant

General Motors is forming a joint venture with Posco Chemical of South Korea to build a North American battery materials plant as it brings more steps in the electric vehicle supply chain under its umbrella. The Detroit automaker said Wednesday that details of the venture are still being worked out, including investment amounts and the plant location. GM said the factory will supply materials to make cathodes, the energy center of a battery that amounts to 40 percent of the cost. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Capitol One drops overdraft fees

Capital One said Wednesday that will get rid of all overdraft fees, the latest bank to do so this year and one of the largest financial institutions to shy away from the long-hated practice. The Virginia-based bank said it will still allow customers to overdraft, but it will no longer charge a fee to do so. Any eligible customers can opt into fee-free overdraft at any times, the bank said. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Growth continues amid ongoing supply chain problems

US manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in November with producers trying to keep up with demand amid ongoing supply shortages and delays. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to a reading of 61.1 in November, just above September’s 60.8. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing sector has recorded 18 straight months of growth going back to spring of 2020 when the pandemic broke. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Judge tosses suit alleging McDonald’s discriminates against Black TV networks

A judge threw out media mogul Byron Allen’s lawsuit against McDonald’s but left the door open for him to file an amended complaint if he can better back up his claims of discrimination. Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks Inc. sued McDonald’s in May, claiming the fast-food giant discriminates against Black-owned TV networks like his Weather Channel, spending its advertising money with white-owned stations. The suit, which seeks $10 billion in damages, is part of a campaign by Allen to correct what he says is long-running bias against Black-owned businesses. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Companies added 534,000 jobs in November, ADP says

US companies added workers at a healthy clip in November, suggesting employers continue to chip away at filling a near-record number of open positions. Businesses’ payrolls increased by 534,000 last month after a 570,000 gain in October, according to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday. The figures suggest steady improvement in a labor market where skills mismatches, job switching, and pandemic-related factors are still making it difficult for employers to attract and retain workers. Total employment as measured by ADP remains well below its pre-pandemic level, and the emerging Omicron variant represents a risk to labor force participation. The data precede Friday’s monthly employment report from the Labor Department, which is forecast to show that private payrolls increased by 525,000 in November. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


New commuter rail runnel under Hudson River wins final approval

The new Gateway commuter-rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey has received final regulatory approval, meaning the long-awaited project can begin construction once it receives federal funding. The US Army Corps of Engineers permit allows the digging of a new tunnel under the Hudson River, the Gateway Development Commission said in a statement Wednesday. The project includes repairing the current link — 110 years old and eroded by seawater — which is a major part of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line, carrying more than 2,200 daily trains between Washington and Boston. The $12.3 billion Gateway project stalled under former president Donald Trump, but has received key federal approvals this year. New York and New Jersey are splitting funding with the US government. Officials anticipate major construction on the new tunnel will begin in August 2023 once funding is in place, and take 12 years to complete. — BLOOMBERG NEWS