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TALKING POINTS

Curaleaf buys Arizona dispensaries

Curaleaf has a medical cannabis cultivation and processing facility in Ravena, N.Y.Hans Pennink

CANNABIS

To Curaleaf Holdings, there’s nothing arid about Arizona. The Wakefield-based cannabis provider said Tuesday it has agreed to buy Arizona-based Bloom Dispensaries for about $211 million in cash. Within the past two months, Curaleaf has spent more than half a billion dollars on acquisitions to expand its footprint in Arizona to 16 dispensaries. As part of the deal with Bloom, Curaleaf will gain control of the only dispensary in Sedona, as well as 63,500 square feet of cannabis cultivation and processing space near Phoenix. Bloom is profitable, with expected 2021 revenue of $66 million. The acquisition is expected to close in January. Curaleaf reported generating $317 million in revenue during the third quarter, up 74 percent from the comparable period last year. The company operates 128 dispensaries across 23 states, including five in Massachusetts, and employs about 5,200 people. — ANISSA GARDIZY

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HOUSING

Home prices jumped again in October

US home prices surged again in October as the housing market continued to boom after last year’s coronavirus recession. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, out Tuesday, climbed 18.4 percent in October from a year earlier. The gain marked a slight deceleration from a 19.1 percent year-over-year increase in September but was about in line with what economists had been expecting. All 20 cities posted double-digit annual gains. The hottest markets were Phoenix (up 32.3 percent), Tampa (28.1 percent), and Miami (25.7 percent). Minneapolis and Chicago posted the smallest increases, 11.5 percent each. ASSOCIATED PRESS


INTERNATIONAL

Ant shuts crowd-funding site amid Chinese crackdown

Ant Group Co. said it will shutter its “mutual aid” health care platform Xianghubao, following similar moves by other Internet giants including Meituan and Waterdrop Inc., amid China’s crackdown on the once-booming fintech business. Xianghubao, which uses crowd funding to help pay medical costs for critical illnesses, will cease operations Jan. 28 to protect the interests of all participants in the longer run, according to an e-mailed statement. Existing members will no longer bear claims settlement costs, it said. BLOOMBERG NEWS

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OFFICE SPACE

Meta Platforms bets workers will return

It’s been a bright spot for a New York office market that has been hit hard by the pandemic: Technology companies have continued to sign leases in Manhattan even as employees work remotely. That includes Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook, which is betting on offices despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic. While many companies have reduced their space, the social media giant is expanding in New York, with a goal of bringing workers back early in 2022. Last year, Meta signed a lease for the redeveloped Farley Building across from Pennsylvania Station. It was the largest New York office deal in 2020. The company will occupy 730,000 square feet at the former post office and employees will begin relocating there next year. Vornado Realty Trust, a major Manhattan landlord, developed the space, which is a central piece of a new technology and finance corridor that is taking shape just west of Madison Square Garden. That includes Hudson Yards, where Facebook already has an office and is renovating additional space. BLOOMBERG NEWS


ENERGY

Shell ordered to stop offshore seismic survey in South Africa

Score one for the small fishermen. Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered by a South African court to temporarily halt an offshore seismic survey after local communities took legal action to block the project. The groups on Tuesday were granted an interim interdict that will stand until a ruling can be made on whether further environmental authorization is required, according to the judgment by a High Court in the Eastern Cape division. The claimants argue the activity will harm local marine life and disrupt fishing, while Shell maintains the practice has been in use for decades to search for oil and gas. BLOOMBERG NEWS

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INTERNATIONAL

Telefonica to lay off thousands of older workers

Telefonica reached an agreement with unions in Spain to cut about 2,700 jobs through voluntary layoffs of older workers. The departures are expected to cost about $1.7 billion that will be booked in fourth quarter earnings, the company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday. The plan targets workers turning 55 or older in 2022 and with seniority of more than 15 years. This is the third voluntary layoff at Telefonica’s Spanish unit in five years. The first saw some 6,300 workers leave between 2016 and 2018, while some 2,600 workers took part in a plan in 2019. The unit had 18,500 workers before Tuesday’s announcement. BLOOMBERG NEWS


FOOD

German agriculture minister calls for even-higher food prices

Germany’s new agriculture minister, Cem Oezdemir, took to the country’s biggest tabloid over the weekend to call for higher prices for food and agricultural goods, telling Bild am Sonntag that “junk prices” drive “farms into ruin, prevent more animal welfare, promote the extinction of species, and pollute the climate.” While that push is in line with his Green Party’s standard repertoire, it comes at a time when inflation is at a three-decade high. Compared with European Union peers Germans already paid more than the bloc’s average, according to Eurostat data for 2020. BLOOMBERG NEWS

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ENERGY

LNG tankers being diverted from Asia to Europe

Traders are ramping up diversions of liquefied natural gas cargoes from China to Europe, where an energy crunch has boosted prices to new records. Seven vessels have changed course to head toward Europe after initially signaling North Asia as their destination, said Mathew Ang, an analyst at market intelligence firm Kpler. That’s up from just two vessels that were diverted earlier this week, and more cargoes could follow suit, Ang said. BLOOMBERG NEWS


SPACE

China says Musk’s satellites nearly collide with its space station

Beijing says it complained to the United Nations about near collisions its space station allegedly had with SpaceX satellites, a sign that tensions are rising in the space race between China and the United State. Two satellites from the company founded by Elon Musk came close to the station in July and October, forcing astronauts on board to take evasive action, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday at a regular press briefing in Beijing. The Chinese government told UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about the incident on Dec. 3, Zhao said, adding the United States wasn’t meeting its obligations under the Outer Space Treaty. The space rivalry between the two countries has been heating up in recent years. Earlier this month a top Chinese scientist said his nation may be able to send astronauts to the moon for the first time by 2030. Those comments came just weeks after President Biden’s top space official set out a similar timetable for new American lunar exploration, setting up the possibility of dueling missions between two of the world’s best-financed space powers. Both China and the United States are signatories to the space treaty, which holds nations “responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities.” It also says states are liable for damage caused by their space objects. SpaceX has more than 1,600 Starlink satellites in orbit. Musk is also CEO of Tesla, which has received unprecedented policy concessions and extensive government assistance in building a factory in Shanghai.

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