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Boston Scientific to buy Minnesota company

Bloomberg News


Boston Scientific to buy Minnesota company

Boston Scientific Corp. has reached a deal to buy Relievant Medsystems, a Minnesota-based maker of devices that treat chronic low back pain, with an upfront cash payment of $850 million and undisclosed additional payments based on hitting sales targets over the next three years. Relievant is a privately held med-tech company that sells the Intracept system, which involves a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to stop low-back nerves from transmitting pain signals to the brain. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2024. Relievant is on track to generate more than $70 million in revenue this year, and more than $100 million next year. The Intracept will join Marlborough-based Boston Scientific’s existing portfolio of radiofrequency ablation devices designed to block pain signals. Relievant employs 220 people, with a corporate headquarters in Edina, Minn., and R&D operations in Sunnyvale, Calif.— JON CHESTO



Workers at Mass. Planned Parenthood clinics approve first contract

Employees at the four Planned Parenthood clinics in Massachusetts approved their first union contract last this week, guaranteeing annual raises for about 150 registered nurses, health care assistants, and other workers, including an immediate $2.50 an hour increase that will boost pay for the lowest-paid workers by 13 percent. The contract will also increase parental leave and strengthen discrimination protections for working parents. The effort to join 1199SEIU took shape as it became increasingly clear that the Supreme Court was about to overturn Roe v. Wade, and workers in Massachusetts, where abortion would remain legal, anticipated an influx of patients from other states that would increase pressure on a workforce that employees said was already understaffed and underpaid. Indeed, in the first four months after Roe was reversed in June of 2022, a new study found that the number of patients seeking abortion care in Massachusetts grew an estimated 37.5 percent compared to what would have been expected otherwise. In a release issued by the union, Ellen Frank, interim president of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts, said that the process went relatively quickly because management and staff both wanted to support the well-being and longevity of the workforce. Tim Foley, executive vice president of 1199SEIU, noted: “This workforce has been on the frontlines for far too long without the protections they deserve, and now they have a contract that will help them remain in the jobs they love [while] also being able to care for themselves and their families.” “This is a huge win for everyone at PPLM,” said Jon Marx, an organizer in Western Massachusetts for PPLM. “Not only are our rights protected, but our gains will address many of our long-held concerns. This contract will ensure better wages, an end to merit raises, and an established grievance process. This is the foundation for a better future for all PPLM workers.” — KATIE JOHNSTON



Disney to spend $60 billion on parks and resorts

Walt Disney Co. said it plans to nearly double investment in its parks and resorts segment to $60 billion over the next 10 years, according to a filing Tuesday. The world’s largest theme park operator said it has over 1,000 acres of land it could develop and cited the growth it has seen over past years from investing in rides, cruise ships, and other attractions tied to its movies and characters. The company is hosting a three-day series of events for Wall Street analysts at its Walt Disney World resort. The program, which began Monday, includes tours of the theme parks as well as of its newest cruise ship, the Disney Wish. Also scheduled were presentations from chief executive Bob Iger, ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro, and theme parks chief Josh D’Amaro. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


A box truck displaying the Amazon Prime logo drives through a neighborhood in Torrance, California on Sept. 12.PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images


Amazon to hire 250,000 for the holidays

Amazon says it will hire 250,000 employees this holiday shopping season and boost average pay for logistics personnel to about $20.50 an hour as it seeks to recruit and retain workers amid a labor shortage. The hires will include full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers at hourly rates ranging from $17 to $28 per hour depending on location, the company said Tuesday in a blog post. Some new hires will be eligible for bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. The Seattle-based company typically ramps up hiring in the fall to ensure it has enough workers for the crucial holiday shopping season. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Women and people of color say performance reviews aren’t helpful

Women and people of color consistently report getting less helpful feedback in performance reviews than white men, and it’s making them more likely to start looking for a new job. Just 54 percent of Asian workers said they understand what their manager expects from them to earn a promotion, compared to 80 percent of white workers, according to new research from Textio, a firm that analyzes job ads to help businesses create unbiased listings. About 70 percent of Black and Latinx workers as well as women, trans, and non-binary people felt the same way, the data show. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Warren backs strict antitrust enforcement

US Senator Elizabeth Warren has once again reiterated the need for more strict antitrust enforcement, backing efforts by Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan and the Justice Department to overhaul the government’s guidelines for vetting mergers and acquisitions. The so-called merger guidelines proposed by antitrust enforcers “are necessary at a time of rapid consolidation and inequality,” 22 lawmakers including Warren said in a letter Monday to FTC commissioners and Jonathan Kanter, who runs the DOJ’s antitrust division. Under the proposal, companies would have to turn over much more information than they do now about transactions, which could delay and complicate deals. They’d also be required to disclose more details about acquisitions during the previous decade, information on company officers, directors and board observers, and workforce data. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

A contractor works on a house under construction at the Toll Brothers Regency at Folsom Ranch community in Folsom, California on May 18.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg


New construction hit three-year low in August

New US home construction dropped in August to the lowest level since June 2020, highlighting the toll of declining housing affordability. Residential starts decreased 11.3 percent last month to a 1.28 million annualized rate, according to government data released Tuesday. The drop was largely driven by a sharp decline in multifamily construction. Applications to build, a proxy for future construction, picked up to 1.54 million. That’s the most in nearly a year. Permits to build one-family homes accelerated to the fastest pace since May 2022, indicating optimism about future demand. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Google has unveiled its next move in the race to dominate generative artificial intelligence: putting the technology directly into many of its most popular products. Google announced on Tuesday that it would equip services like Gmail, Maps, Docs, and YouTube with its Bard chatbot. First released in February, Google’s Bard has lagged behind OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Google’s executives, facing scrutiny from regulators around the globe, have said they will not rush to release AI services. — BLOOMBERG NEWS