Frontrunning: April 18

  • Britain’s May seeks snap election to boost Brexit hand (Reuters)
  • Trump to seek changes in visa program to encourage hiring Americans (Reuters)
  • Trump appointee Gorsuch energetic in first U.S. high court arguments (Reuters)
  • Pence Reaffirms U.S.-Japan Alliance Amid North Korea Provocations (WSJ)
  • Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Said to Have Advised Trump Team (BBG)
  • Young White America Is Haunted by a Crisis of Despair (BBG)
  • Oil Prices Fall on Saudi Minister’s View of Output Deal (WSJ)
  • Facebook Gives Staff Green Light to Protest Trump on May 1 (BBG)
  • In Afghanistan, Battle With Islamic State Grinds On (WSJ)
  • Democrats aim to ‘make Trump furious’ in Georgia election (Reuters)
  • Opponents seek to annul Turkish vote as Erdogan’s new powers become reality (Reuters)
  • Theranos Agrees to Two-Year Ban From Blood Testing (WSJ)
  • Facebook murder suspect remains at large as police ask public for help (Reuters)
  • Crude Oil Likely to Surge by $10, Citi Says (BBG)
  • Banned at sea: Venezuela’s crude-stained oil tankers (Reuters)
  • How to Top the iPhone? For Foxconn, It’s With TVs (WSJ)
  • GOP Goes After Trillion-Dollar Democratic State Tax Deduction (BBG)
  • Post Holdings Buys Weetabix in $1.76 Billion Deal (WSJ)
  • Profits Parked in the Caribbean Jam U.S. Economic Data (BBG)
  • Arkansas Supreme Court Halts Two Executions Set for Monday Night (WSJ)
  • Two held in France planned ‘violent’ attack ahead of elections (Reuters)
  • Eleven Celebrities on How They Spend Their Money (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest


– Theranos Inc and its founder pledged to stay out of the blood-testing business for at least two years in exchange for reduced penalties from federal health authorities, in an agreement that resolves a year-long regulatory impasse.

– The top court in Arkansas halted the executions of two inmates scheduled for Monday night, fraying plans by Governor Asa Hutchinson to put to death six men before the state’s lethal-injection drugs expire at the end of the month.

– The number of applications for the H-1B visas used by high-tech companies and others to bring highly skilled workers to the U.S. dropped this year after years on the rise, the government said Monday.

– President Donald Trump will sign an executive order in Wisconsin on Tuesday directing a government-wide review aimed at putting new teeth back into decades-old “Buy American” and “Hire American” directives.

– The special election on Tuesday to fill a Georgia House seat has drawn staggering sums of money, a barrage of advertisements and the intervention of the president as Democrats attempt to win a seat that Republicans have held since 1979.

– A Beijing-based investment fund, CMC Capital Partners, is buying a small stake in Creative Artists Agency and creating a joint venture designed to help one of Hollywood’s biggest talent agencies expand its presence in China.



* British cereal company Weetabix is set to be bought by Post Holdings, the No.3 U.S. cereal company, for about $1.76 billion, according to people involved in the transaction.

* Britain is looking at a 2-year fixed visa for young Europeans seeking jobs in the low-skilled sectors in the United Kingdom.

* The owner of the Daily Mail newspaper, Daily Mail and General Trust, has sold its viral video-sharing website Elite Daily to Bustle Digital Group for an undisclosed amount.



– Investment firm Silver Lake plans to announce on Tuesday that it has closed its fifth buyout fund at $15 billion, one of the biggest ever dedicated to technology deals. That exceeds the $12.5 billion fund-raising target that the firm had previously aimed for and brings the firm’s total assets and committed capital to about $39 billion.

– Arconic Inc’s CEO Klaus Kleinfeld has been ousted from the company after mounting pressure from the big hedge fund Elliott Management and a letter he sent in response without his board’s approval.

– Officials in New York City are moving to require Uber Technologies Inc to provide a tipping option in the ride-hailing application. The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission announced a proposal on Monday requiring car services that accept only credit cards to allow passengers to tip the driver using their card.

– Facebook Inc is facing a backlash over a shooting video, as it grapples with its role in policing content on its global platform. Criticism built swiftly on Monday after the company took more than two hours to pull down the video.

– The threat of a Hollywood strike is getting real. On Wednesday, television and movie writers will begin voting on whether to authorize a walkout. If members approve a strike, and no pact with studios has been reached by May 1, picketing will begin the next day.




** Seeking to tame a roaring housing market in greater Toronto, the Ontario government is considering a speculation tax on home purchases by non-residents.

** A group of judges publicly complained that Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) officials and their Department of Justice counsel have not included enough information in their warrant applications.


** Gibraltar Growth Corp has announced that it will acquire Montreal-based LXR Produits de Luxe International.

** Royal LePage joined the chorus of those repeating that Ottawa and its provincial counterparts should tread cautiously before considering everything from rent control to a tax on foreign investors.



The Times

Tesco Plc is facing fresh questions over the impact of its proposed 3.7 billion pound ($4.65 billion) takeover of Booker Group after a rival wholesaler argued that it would give Britain’s biggest supermarket group “an obvious level of influence” over thousands of convenience stores.

The Co-op has attracted 750,000 new members in the past six months by offering a 5 percent cash back reward on purchases of own-brand products and a 1 percent donation to local charities.

The Guardian

Theresa May said the energy market was “manifestly” not working after a flurry of price rises by the big six companies – British Gas, e.on, EDF, npower, ScottishPower, and SSE – and dozens of smaller suppliers. A government crackdown was most likely in the form of a price cap on the standard variable tariffs affecting nearly two-thirds of households.

Ticketmaster has been accused of not doing enough to stop professional ticket touts bypassing strict purchase limits imposed on ordinary fans. Fans can use the site to buy tickets when they first go on sale. But it also owns the resale sites GetMeIn and Seatwave. Critics of these “secondary” sites say they have become a lucrative haven for professional touts.

The Telegraph

One of Britain’s best loved breakfast cereals is expected to be gobbled up by the American ­cereal giant Post Holdings Inc in a 1.4 billion pound deal. The maker of Golden Crisp and Cocoa Pebbles was tipped as the frontrunner in the race to buy Weetabix last month, and is expected to confirm the long-awaited deal when U.S. markets open on Tuesday.

Sky Plc and Virgin Media are close to a landmark deal to join forces in the advertising market, in a move meant to challenge local media and tempt spending away from Google and Facebook.

Sky News

Vice is in talks with private equity firms including the former owner of Formula One motor racing about an investment valuing it at close to $5.5 billion.

Supermarket giant Tesco Plc is in line for a 105 million pound cut in business rates on its biggest stores, while small firms are set to be hit with hikes.


One of Britain’s most powerful business lobby groups is urging the Government to ramp up efforts towards making the UK economy the world’s most competitive by 2030, just as Westminster begins the arduous process of disentangling from the European Union.


Source: ZeroHedge