Uber: Discord at Uber ahead of share offering
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has tried to “clean up the mess left by the company’s exiled founder,” said Mike Isaac in The New York Times. But before Uber goes public on May 10, there is lingering internal drama. Travis Kalanick “asked to take part in the hallowed New York Stock Exchange tradition of ringing the opening bell.” But Khosrowshahi fretted that might “rekindle public memories” of his scandal-filled tenure. Of more concern for investors: “Uber still loses money on nearly every fare,” and bankers recently cut its valuation from the $100 billion range Uber hoped for to between $80 billion and $90 billion.
Media: Disney sells its sports channels
Disney finally found a buyer for its troubled regional sports networks: Sinclair, said Joe Flint in The Wall Street Journal. The nation’s largest owner of local television stations is becoming “a force in cable programming,” after paying $10.6 billion to buy the 21 properties formerly known as Fox Sports Networks. That’s about half the price Disney had wanted to get for the networks, acquired as part of the megadeal for 21st Century Fox. The value of the regional networks has fallen as younger viewers have turned to sports content online.
Fed: Moore steps down from board fight
Stephen Moore withdrew his name from consideration for the Federal Reserve board, said Dan Mangan in CNBC.com. The conservative pundit had drawn scrutiny “for his economic views, a messy divorce, a $75,000 IRS income tax lien, and past statements that belittled women.” Moore, like President Trump, has been sharply critical of the central bank, creating concern that he would “politicize the Fed.” Several GOP senators said last week that Moore was unlikely to get enough votes for confirmation. President Trump’s other preferred nominee, Herman Cain, dropped out earlier after failing to get Senate backing.
Retail: A Pets.com for the new millennium
The online pet-supply retailer Chewy.com filed to go public last week, reminding some investors of a similar venture that became “synonymous with the dot-com bust,” said Matt Levine in Bloomberg.com. In 2000, the ill-fated Pets.com seemed to “capture the insanity” of the internet bubble when it folded 10 months after going public. “‘I can’t believe people bought the IPO of a money-losing pet food company’ is a thing that people really went around saying.” Will it be déjà vu? Chewy, owned by PetSmart, has yet to turn a profit, and lost $268 million on sales of $3.5 billion last year.