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TALKING POINTS

Danaher completes acquisition of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences division

LIFE SCIENCES

Danaher completes acquisition of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences division

Danaher Corp. has completed the $21.4 billion acquisition of General Electric’s Healthcare Life Sciences division, a unit that employs about 850 people in Massachusetts. Under Danaher’s ownership, the business will be called Cytiva, loosely based on the Greek word for “cell.” Cytiva is already ramping up hiring locally, with plans to add 40 to 50 jobs at its operations in Westborough and Marlborough, according to Cytiva president Emmanuel Ligner. In Massachusetts, Cytiva makes bioreactors, filtration devices, and other equipment for the biotech industry and has research and administrative operations here. The entire Cytiva business reported $3.3 billion in revenue last year, and about 7,000 employees. Ligner said he expects the company to continue on its growth trajectory, in terms of revenue and workforce. He said he’s proud of his company’s role in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, by supplying companies that are working on vaccines and tests. While Ligner is based in the United Kingdom, the Massachusetts operation is considered one of Cytiva’s main business hubs. — JON CHESTO

ONLINE

Pandemic is quickly making converts to e-commerce

The coronavirus pandemic is sparking enormous changes in e-commerce over a very short period of time, according to a study from Adobe Analytics. Average daily online sales for groceries, for example, doubled by the middle of March compared with the start of the month, the study shows. Overall, e-commerce is up 25 percent over the same period, which compares March 13 to 15 with the first 11 days of the month. Using a longer view, grocery spending now represents 8 percent of overall e-commerce, up from 6 percent three years ago, Adobe Analytics said. The buy-online-pickup-in-store option, known as BOPIS, saw a 62 percent surge in the Feb. 24 to March 21 period compared with a year earlier, according to Adobe Analytics. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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INTERNATIONAL

German companies file nearly 500,000 applications for help

German companies filed almost half a million applications for financial aid under a government support program in March, when factories and other businesses were forced to shut because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Federal Labor Agency said. The pandemic sparked thousands of furloughs in Europe’s largest economy, a development echoed across the continent. Figures published Tuesday showed 470,000 companies sought kurzarbeit, a form of state wage support, this month. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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GOVERNMENT

The Fed once again intervenes in the world’s lending markets

The Federal Reserve is intervening once again to try to smooth out the world’s lending markets, this time by lending dollars to other central banks in exchange for Treasurys. The Fed’s move Tuesday marks its latest aggressive effort to keep borrowing rates down and ensure that financial markets can continue to function in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. The virus has caused a near-shutdown of economic activity in the United States and abroad and made it harder for some banks and companies to borrow. The Fed is trying to facilitate lending and boost confidence that it’s ready to do everything it can to support the global financial system. The new lending program will allow other central banks to access dollars without having to sell Treasury securities. Excessive selling of Treasurys typically causes their interest rates, or yields, to rise, and that makes borrowing more expensive. The Fed is trying to prevent this. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AVIATION

Dubai pledges aid to prop up sidelined Emirates airline

Over the course of more than three decades, Dubai has morphed from distant desert outpost into business metropolis, relying on state-owned airline Emirates to funnel many millions of travelers through the bustling hub each year. Now that the coronavirus has forced the carrier to suspend operations, the government is quickly swooping in to protect its most important growth engine. Dubai’s deputy ruler, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said on Tuesday that the state will grant unspecified financial aid to Emirates, and that the government is committed to providing the full support by injecting fresh capital. It’s among the first state-sponsored bailouts of a carrier due to the coronavirus, which has upended the industry on an unprecedented scale. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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INTERNATIONAL

Retail sales in Hong Kong fell 44 percent

Hong Kong’s shops and businesses buckled under the full force of the coronavirus outbreak in February as retail sales plummeted by the most on record amid growing travel restrictions and social-distancing measures. Retail sales by value fell 44 percent in the month, the largest drop on record, to $2.93 billion, according to a government release. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

CRUISE LINES

Carnival looking in many places to raise $6 billion in cash

Cruise line operator Carnival Corp. is turning to all corners of the capital markets to raise $6 billion of cash after the COVID-19 pandemic halted travel, bringing its business to a near standstill. The company is tapping bond investors on both sides of the Atlantic with a $3 billion sale of secured notes in dollars and euros, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the details are private. The new notes will be secured by a first-priority claim on the company’s assets and mature in three years, the people said. Carnival said it also plans to raise $1.25 billion by issuing common shares and another $1.75 billion through the sale of convertible notes to improve its liquidity position. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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AVIATION

British Airways suspends operations at Gatwick, Orly shuts down Tuesday

British Airways suspended operations at its second London hub at Gatwick airport as the airline industry enters deep hibernation to weather the impact of the coronavirus. With just over a week to go until the Easter holidays, the carrier is contacting customers with the news that flights are off, a spokesperson said by email. Gatwick largely serves British Airways’ leisure travelers, and some flights are still operating from its larger Heathrow hub. The Gatwick halt mirrors moves by rivals to preserve cash. EasyJet Plc announced Monday that it had parked all its planes, while Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair last week announced plans to ground over 90 percent of its fleet in coming weeks. In France, Orly airport outside the capital was to shut down by the end of Tuesday, with all remaining flights transferred to Paris-Charles de Gaulle, where five terminals have been closed and three remain in operation. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

Italian leader looks to help those in the underground economy

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is preparing an unprecedented emergency handout for workers trapped in Italy’s underground economy, as his government seeks to stave off the risk of social unrest during a nationwide lockdown. Conte is expected to host a cabinet meeting this week to approve a request to parliament for a wider budget deficit, paving the way for a second stimulus package worth at least 30 billion euros ($33 billion), according to officials. Italy’s initial package was worth 25 billion euros. The government is assessing emergency relief for the country’s hardest-hit workers which may be worth 600 euros a month, valid for the duration of the lockdown period, the officials said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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