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Takeda to cut as many as 180 jobs in Mass.

Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg


Takeda to cut as many as 180 jobs in Mass.

Japanese drug maker Takeda has notified Massachusetts officials that it plans to eliminate as many as 180 jobs in the state. In a required notice filed under the state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act, the biopharma giant said it will reduce its payroll by 138 jobs at four Takeda Development Centers America sites in Cambridge, starting in early July and continuing through March 2024. Takeda said in a separate notice that an affiliate, Takeda Shire Human Genetic Therapies, will pare 42 additional jobs in Lexington, Cambridge, and North Reading between July and the end of the year. Company representatives declined to specify the number of jobs cuts planned. In a statement, they said, “Changes are being made in a few very specific areas of the organization that impact some roles as a result — but there is no plan for a companywide reduction.” Takeda employs more than 6,300 people in Massachusetts and about 47,000 globally, the company said. — ROBERT WEISMAN



Employers are in a gloomier mood

Business optimism in Massachusetts may be at its breaking point, if the latest Associated Industries of Massachusetts poll results are any indication. The statewide employer group’s Business Confidence Index lost 1.4 points in one month, falling to 50.1 in April, its lowest level since December 2020. The index is now essentially even with the threshold between negative and positive outlooks. Results above 50 indicate a generally optimistic mood, while readings below that threshold show that the outlook among employers is more downbeat. The confidence index has fallen 8 points in the past year. Massachusetts employers are seeing signs of slowing business activity after 10 consecutive increases of short-term interest rates by the Federal Reserve. One reason for that: Many clients are postponing buying decisions as they wait to see whether the United States will enter a recession this year, AIM officials said. AIM chief executive John Regan said he’s also heard increasing concerns about the standoff between the White House and Congress over raising the national debt ceiling. The AIM index is based on a monthly survey of more than 140 Massachusetts employers; since its launch in 1991, it has ranged between a high of 68.5 (in the late 1990s) and a low of 33.3 (in February 2009). — JON CHESTO



6 River Systems sold to UK firm

Waltham-based warehouse robot maker 6 River Systems has been sold by its Canadian owner Shopify to the Ocado Group, a UK-based online grocery company. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed. Shopify purchased 6 River in 2019 for $450 million, but is selling off its warehouse logistics operations as part of a restructuring that has also featured layoffs of 20 percent of Shopify’s workforce. 6 River was founded in 2015 by former executives of Kiva Systems after that company was acquired by online giant Amazon. 6 River makes collaborative robots that work alongside human warehouse workers to fulfill customer orders. — HIAWATHA BRAY


Graduate workers at Northeastern file unfair labor charge

About 2,500 graduate workers at Northeastern University filed an unfair labor practice charge against the college Friday, alleging that the school has sent police officers into members’ workplace to interrogate them about their participation in a union action. “I was shocked to have armed officers show up at my lab desk without notice to threaten me with false charges,” said employee Niki Thomas in a statement. The students initially unionized with UAW in February, in the footsteps of graduate workers at Boston University, Harvard University, and MIT, among others. — DITI KOHLI



Conservative group fails in bid to remove Buffett as chair of Berkshire Hathaway

A long-shot bid by a conservative group to remove Warren Buffett as chair of Berkshire Hathaway failed by a wide margin at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha on Saturday. The National Legal and Policy Center said in its proposal that Buffett’s ties to Bill Gates and his political views could hurt investors as it urged the separation of Buffett’s roles. Berkshire has said that Buffett will remain the board chair as long as he is chief executive, but once he steps down, a non-management member of the board would serve as chair. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Jenny Craig files for bankruptcy

Weight loss brand Jenny Craig has begun liquidating its operations in the United States after efforts to ease a cash crunch fell short. Jenny C Holdings LLC and affiliates filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Friday in Delaware, court papers show. The move means Jenny Craig will cease operating and see its assets sold off in pieces. Founded by Jenny Craig in 1983, the company was known for its regimented programs to help members lose weight. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based company has nearly 500 company-owned and franchised locations across the United States and Canada, and roughly 600 centers worldwide. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Amazon to distribute its content to other outlets

Amazon is launching a new unit to distribute its movies and TV shows to other media outlets besides its Prime Video streaming service. Amazon MGM Studios Distribution will make the programming available to rent or buy on other services and on airplanes. It will also license the shows to foreign TV networks. The unit will tap the company’s library of 4,000 films and 17,000 TV episodes, including originals produced by its Amazon Studios division, such as “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the company said in a release Monday. The originals will be offered on other outlets after their initial run on Prime Video. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Tyson notches a loss in the second quarter on higher costs

Tyson Foods suffered a surprise loss in the second quarter, something not since 2009, and cut its sales forecast due to the cost of plant closures and layoffs. Tyson has been trying to cut costs over the last six months. It closed its corporate offices in Chicago and South Dakota late last year and consolidated its workforce in Arkansas. In March it announced the closure of two plants in Arkansas and Virginia in order to better use available capacity at other facilities. Tyson laid off 15 percent of its senior leadership and 10 percent of its corporate workers last month as it faces steep inflation on labor, grain, and other costs. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


BioNTech looks to expand beyond COVID vaccine

BioNTech reported better-than-expected earnings from COVID-19 vaccines as the German company looks to develop products for fighting other infectious diseases and cancer. First-quarter sales of €1.28 billion ($1.4 billion) exceeded the €1.1 billion average analyst estimate. BioNTech is plowing its war chest of money from COVID vaccines into a pipeline of experimental medicines that are targeting other infectious diseases and tough-to-treat cancers. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



EU may expand trade restrictions on Chinese companies

The European Union has proposed extending strict trade restrictions to several Chinese companies for the first time as it cracks down on firms supplying Russia with banned goods and technologies that have aided its war machine in Ukraine. The bloc’s executive arm has asked member states to target about 35 more entities, including businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as companies in Uzbekistan, Armenia, and the United Arab Emirates, according to documents seen by Bloomberg. — BLOOMBERG NEWS