Talking Points

Talking Points

Roku aims to raise as much as $219 million in initial offering

The Roku Premiere streaming TV device.
Patrick Sison/Associated Press/File 2016
The Roku Premiere streaming TV device.


Roku aims to raise $219 million in IPO

Roku Inc., the maker of devices and software for streaming video, aims to raise as much as $219 million in its initial public offering. The company and selling shareholders are marketing 15.7 million shares for $12 to $14 apiece, with 9 million shares being sold by Roku, according to a filing Monday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said it plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including research and development and marketing. Menlo Ventures, the biggest current holder of Roku, is selling 6 million shares. The firm will still hold 30 percent of the voting power after the offering, the filing said. Roku, based in Los Gatos, Calif., was an early mover in what’s now a crowded market of home devices and streaming tools. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Prices at the pump down 5 cents

The price of gas in Massachusetts is down 5 cents this week. AAA Northeast found in its weekly survey released Monday that the price of self-serve, regular is averaging $2.65 per gallon. That’s 3 cents above the national average of $2.62. The average price of gas in Massachusetts was 55 cents lower — $2.10 — a year ago at this time. The drop comes weeks after prices shot up to the highest they’ve been locally in two years due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey. AAA officials say prices are dropping as Gulf Coast refineries are coming back online. Hurricane-related spikes are historically dramatic, but brief. AAA found regular selling for as low as $2.49 and as high as $2.79 per gallon. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Ryanair cancels flights because of pilot vacations

Irish budget airline Ryanair was under pressure Monday to provide more information to travelers after canceling up to 50 flights a day over the next six weeks because it mismanaged its pilots’ holiday schedules. Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline by passenger numbers, canceled the flights because it had ‘‘messed up in the planning of pilot holidays.’’ The company promised to publish a full list of the canceled flights by Tuesday, but as of Monday there were only details on canceled flights through Wednesday. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Toys “R” Us tries to avoid bankruptcy


Some suppliers to Toys “R” Us Inc. have scaled back shipments to the retailer as it struggles to refinance debt and avoid a potential bankruptcy filing, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Toys “R” Us has been in talks with lenders over a new loan that would allow the company to continue operating through bankruptcy proceedings, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The loan is being marketed by Lazard Ltd. to banks and existing creditors, said one of the people. The company is continuing negotiations with creditors and no decision about seeking court protection has been made. The toy merchant has been seeking to refinance $400 million of debt that comes due next year. A possible bankruptcy by the company was previously reported by CNBC, and Debtwire reported last week that the company was exploring a bankruptcy loan, known as debtor-in-possession financing. Toys “R” Us has vexed private equity owners Bain Capital, KKR & Co., and Vornado Realty Trust, which loaded the retailer with debt in a $7.5 billion buyout more than a decade ago. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Amazon to locate fulfillment center in southwest Ohio

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Amazon has made it official: It plans to locate one of its fulfillment centers in the southwest Ohio city of Monroe, bringing more than 1,000 jobs. Ohio recently approved a 1.39 percent, 10-year tax credit for the project, along with a tax credit for a planned fulfillment center near Cleveland that could employ 2,000 people. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant says the Monroe center will add to more than 6,000 Amazon employees already in Ohio. It says associates at the 1-million-square-foot facility will pick, pack, and ship larger customer items such as sports equipment, gardening tools, and pet food. Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request Monday for information on when the Monroe center will start hiring and become operational. Monroe has more than 13,000 residents along Interstate 75. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Portugal’s finances on the upswing

Portugal’s stock market is surging and its government borrowing rates are falling after the country recovered its investment-grade rating from Standard & Poor’s. The Lisbon stock exchange rose more than 1 percent Monday and the 10-year bond yield dropped 0.29 percentage points — an unusually large one-day increase — to 2.49 percent, the lowest rate since late 2015. S&P said late Friday that Portugal has made ‘‘solid progress’’ in restoring its financial health since needing a 78 billion euro ($93 billion) bailout in 2011 amid the eurozone crisis. It raised its rating from BB+, or junk status, to BBB-. Fitch and Moody’s, the other two main ratings agencies, still rate Portugal’s debt at junk. After a period of austerity and recession, Portugal expects the economy to grow 2.5 percent this year. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Slack gets $250 million in new funding

Slack Technologies Inc. closed a $250 million funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund, giving it more ammunition for expansion in an increasingly competitive market for workplace messaging services. The financing round values the startup at $5.1 billion, up from $3.8 billion the last time. More than half of the new funding came from SoftBank, Slack’s chief executive Stewart Butterfield said in an interview in London Monday. San Francisco-based Slack said the money is for “operational flexibility,” and not for a particular use. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


GE focusing on using AI in electrical grids

General Electric Co. is working on a way to use artificial intelligence in electricity grids, a technology that it expects will save $200 billion globally by improving efficiency. “We’re also putting a lot into the machine learning side, a lot,” said Steven Martin, chief digital officer at GE’s energy connections business. “We have a lot of people working on this.” The technology would optimize how electricity flows in and out of storage devices such as batteries and points of consumption, in real time. This is expected to significantly increase the efficiency of the grid and save consumers money. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Student debt delays millennial housing buys by seven years


The typical student debt load for millennials in the United States is $41,200, surpassing their median annual income of $38,800. One impact of that burden: first-time home purchases are being delayed by seven years. That’s according to survey results released Monday by the National Association of Realtors and the nonprofit group American Student Assistance. Only a fifth of millennial respondents own a home, with 83 percent of nonowners citing student debt as the reason. Among those who do own, 28 percent said they’d sell their current home and purchase a better one, if not for student loans. — BLOOMBERG NEWS