Kraft Heinz’s new CEO inherits challenges left behind by cost-cutting

That strategy at Kraft Heinz — the company 3G formed when it teamed up with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in a $49 billion deal — didn’t work. Kraft Heinz hasn’t done a major transaction since the 2015 merger. While Kraft Heinz later got the contract back, its net sales of salted snacks that year fell 28 percent, according to FactSet. Despite a stronghold in dairy, Kraft Heinz was slow to invest in trends like artisanal cheese, say analysts. He was referring to the breakfast brand Kraft He


That strategy at Kraft Heinz — the company 3G formed when it teamed up with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in a $49 billion deal — didn’t work. Kraft Heinz hasn’t done a major transaction since the 2015 merger. While Kraft Heinz later got the contract back, its net sales of salted snacks that year fell 28 percent, according to FactSet. Despite a stronghold in dairy, Kraft Heinz was slow to invest in trends like artisanal cheese, say analysts. He was referring to the breakfast brand Kraft He
Kraft Heinz’s new CEO inherits challenges left behind by cost-cutting Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-23  Authors: lauren hirsch, olivia michael
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, inbev, company, kraft, ceo, private, heinz, heinzs, inherits, challenges, patricio, retailers, marketing, 3g, brands, left, costcutting


Kraft Heinz's new CEO inherits challenges left behind by cost-cutting

Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital built its reputation by scooping up iconic consumer brands, aggressively cutting costs and using those savings to fund acquisitions.

That strategy at Kraft Heinz — the company 3G formed when it teamed up with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in a $49 billion deal — didn’t work. Kraft Heinz hasn’t done a major transaction since the 2015 merger. Its share price is less than half what it was when the deal was announced. Last quarter, the company slashed its dividend by 36 percent and wrote down two of its biggest brands, Kraft and Oscar Mayer, by $15 billion. It also disclosed an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into its accounting and procurement practices.

Now, it needs to rebuild a company that was once emblematic of powerful marketing and iconic brands. The executive they’re putting in charge of those efforts is Miguel Patricio, a 52-year-old native of Portugal, who was named CEO on Monday, effective July 1.

Unlike outgoing CEO Bernardo Hees, a partner at 3G Capital, Patricio has no direct affiliation with the private equity firm. Hees spent his early years running a Brazilian railroad company; Patricio has spent decades in the marketing industry, including two decades at Anheuser-Busch InBev, part of which he spent as chief marketing officer. AB InBev is affiliated with 3G Capital but not owned by the private equity firm.

During his run at AB InBev, Patricio oversaw brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois, boosting sales growth excluding impact from mergers and acquisitions by high single digits. The brands accounted for nearly a third of overall such growth in 2018. In his final year as chief marketing officer, AB InBev was the most awarded brand owner at the Cannes Lions awards for advertising and creative communications.

Still, Hees’ departure raises questions of what went wrong at Kraft Heinz and how Patricio can fix it.

Part of Kraft Heinz’s struggles are due to a failed 2017 bid for Unilever, which threw an unexpected wrench into its M&A strategy. Others are a result of consumers shunning older, bigger food brands for healthier eating. It has also been hurt by the pressure retailers are facing as they react to their own competitive threats.

But many of the issues boil down to how the company was run in recent years. Industry insiders and experts said 3G failed to invest enough in its brands, allowed relationships with retailers to deteriorate and lost crucial employees with in-depth knowledge of the food industry.

Kraft Heinz extracted roughly $1.7 billion in savings over two years. The company helped support those savings by slashing research and development and tightening marketing dollars, analysts say. It also cut 2,500 jobs — roughly 5 percent of its workforce — within a month of the merger. Then, three months later, it slashed another 2,600 jobs.

Partially because of the culture that 3G instilled, none of the business unit heads in place when Kraft and Heinz merged are in the same role, and many have left.

Kraft Heinz clamped down on paying retailers for in-store promotions and shelf space, believing its status as the third largest U.S. food company gave it more bargaining power. In 2017, it lost a vital contract for its Planters peanuts business with Walmart’s Sam’s Club amid a spat over pricing pressure, according to people familiar with the matter. While Kraft Heinz later got the contract back, its net sales of salted snacks that year fell 28 percent, according to FactSet. (A Sam’s Club spokeswoman declined to comment on negotiations with a specific supplier).

“We may have made a mistake in terms of trying to push hard against certain … retailers and finding out that we weren’t as strong as we thought,” Buffett said on CNBC earlier this year.

The company also shifted its focus from pumping out scores of new products that often fall flat for Big Food brands to taking limited “big bets” on new products. It redid its Oscar Mayer facilities at a rapid-fire rate but was plagued with operational issues, analysts said.

Despite a stronghold in dairy, Kraft Heinz was slow to invest in trends like artisanal cheese, say analysts. Meanwhile, companies like artisanal meat brand Columbus Craft Meats tried to capitalize on consumer perception of Kraft Heinz meats as being old and processed, launching a marketing campaign with the hashtag “nobaloney,” a person familiar with Columbus’s strategy said.

“When Heinz acquired Kraft, there was a hope that with a foreign background they would be able to inject some new ideas into the portfolio, but in hindsight the efforts weren’t broad or aggressive enough,” said Wells Fargo analyst John Baumgartner.

“They did have some small successes, like Just Crack an Egg, pulling out artificial ingredients, but overall, the efforts just weren’t impactful enough in aggregate.” He was referring to the breakfast brand Kraft Heinz launched in 2018 that allows consumers to make an egg scramble in under two minutes.

The strategy’s shortcomings were evident in the results of some key brands, which ceded ground to competitors.

For example, Oscar Mayer’s share of the lunch-meat industry fell from 34 percent to 30.5 percent from 2015 to 2018, according to Nielsen data. Rival Hillshire, owned by Tyson Foods, saw its share jump from 7 percent to 9 percent in that period, while private label lunch meat grew from 15 percent to 18 percent.

Buffett and executives at 3G have acknowledged they made mistakes. Appointing Patricio as CEO is taking that acknowledgement one step further.

“My profile will bring a much more consumer-centric [vision],” Patricio told CNBC in an interview Monday. He also stressed that he would focus on improving Kraft Heinz’s speed, sales growth and brand building.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-23  Authors: lauren hirsch, olivia michael
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, inbev, company, kraft, ceo, private, heinz, heinzs, inherits, challenges, patricio, retailers, marketing, 3g, brands, left, costcutting


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Adidas may have underestimated Tiger, this private equity firm may win

A few years ago, Adidas was struggling to find much interest in its TaylorMade golf clubs. After Tiger Woods’ historic Masters win on Sunday, it may want them back. At the time TaylorMade signed its deal with Woods, his comeback was very much in doubt. The golf champion used TaylorMade golf clubs for his victory match. Pre-sale special edition replica TaylorMade Tiger Woods irons are now available for $2,000, a roughly 40 percent markup from standard irons.


A few years ago, Adidas was struggling to find much interest in its TaylorMade golf clubs. After Tiger Woods’ historic Masters win on Sunday, it may want them back. At the time TaylorMade signed its deal with Woods, his comeback was very much in doubt. The golf champion used TaylorMade golf clubs for his victory match. Pre-sale special edition replica TaylorMade Tiger Woods irons are now available for $2,000, a roughly 40 percent markup from standard irons.
Adidas may have underestimated Tiger, this private equity firm may win Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-15  Authors: lauren hirsch, david cannon, getty images sport, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sale, taylormade, golf, woods, adidas, tiger, win, equipment, underestimated, signed, firm, brand, equity, private


Adidas may have underestimated Tiger, this private equity firm may win

A few years ago, Adidas was struggling to find much interest in its TaylorMade golf clubs. After Tiger Woods’ historic Masters win on Sunday, it may want them back.

The sportswear giant put the unit up for sale in 2016 to focus on its shoes and clothing, as the golf industry was under pressure.

Woods had lost his luster and and millenials were seeking pastimes that were less time-intensive and more accessible. The pain was felt from equipment makers to retailers like Golfsmith, which that year filed for bankruptcy.

It took Adidas about a year to find a buyer. In the interim, multiple private equity firms passed, balking at the brand’s finances and expressing broader concerns about golf.

It finally found a buyer in May 2017: Private equity firm KPS Capital Partners, which bought the brand, along with Adams Golf and Ashworth, for $425 million.

The sale was a negative drag on Adidas’ earnings and a far cry from the $1.4 billion it paid in 1997 to buy TaylorMade’s then owner, French equipment maker Salomon S.A.

Adidas may have dumped the brand too soon. It announced the sale several months after TaylorMade had signed a deal with Woods, for an undisclosed amount.

The partnership between Woods and TaylorMade came as Nike — the brand long most associated with Woods —shuttered its own golf equipment division after facing similar industry pressure.

At the time TaylorMade signed its deal with Woods, his comeback was very much in doubt. But on Sunday, that doubt was eradicated.

Woods made his historic comeback at the 2019 Masters golf tournament, marking his 15th major win and unleashing an immediate surge in renewed Tiger interest. The golf champion used TaylorMade golf clubs for his victory match.

Pre-sale special edition replica TaylorMade Tiger Woods irons are now available for $2,000, a roughly 40 percent markup from standard irons.

KPS — which funded its purchase of TaylorMade half in cash and half in secured notes and contingent considerations —also has other investments that include engineering equipment company, International Equipment Solutions, and running gear company, DexKo Global.

TaylorMade declined to comment, while KPS and Adidas did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment after work hours.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-15  Authors: lauren hirsch, david cannon, getty images sport, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sale, taylormade, golf, woods, adidas, tiger, win, equipment, underestimated, signed, firm, brand, equity, private


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These colleges have the cheapest out-of-state tuition

Why college is so expensive in America 5:16 PM ET Tue, 2 April 2019 | 18:06With college costs soaring and student loan debt at a record high, more students and families are considering public schools simply because of the generally lower tuition. At public, four-year institutions, average costs for the current school year, including room and board, were $21,370, according to the College Board, while tuition plus room and board at four-year private universities was more than double that: $48,510


Why college is so expensive in America 5:16 PM ET Tue, 2 April 2019 | 18:06With college costs soaring and student loan debt at a record high, more students and families are considering public schools simply because of the generally lower tuition. At public, four-year institutions, average costs for the current school year, including room and board, were $21,370, according to the College Board, while tuition plus room and board at four-year private universities was more than double that: $48,510
These colleges have the cheapest out-of-state tuition Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-09  Authors: jessica dickler, phelan m ebenhack, bloomberg, getty images, photo, pacificboyksu, melanie stetson, christian science monitor, source, dasonnenfeld
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, costs, colleges, tuition, universities, cheapest, public, school, room, college, board, schools, private, outofstate


These colleges have the cheapest out-of-state tuition

Why college is so expensive in America 5:16 PM ET Tue, 2 April 2019 | 18:06

With college costs soaring and student loan debt at a record high, more students and families are considering public schools simply because of the generally lower tuition.

At public, four-year institutions, average costs for the current school year, including room and board, were $21,370, according to the College Board, while tuition plus room and board at four-year private universities was more than double that: $48,510 on average.

Some public schools are far more affordable than others, particularly for those applying out of state. Personal finance site GOBankingRates ranked 100 public universities by out-of-state tuition costs, based on data from schools and U.S. News & World Report.

People assume a private school is better, but “these public schools are equally good and they have huge resources,” said Andrew DePietro, the lead researcher and data analyst at GoBankingRates.

In addition, not only are the schools near the top of the list relatively less expensive, but most also have a high acceptance rate, making them particularly attainable for college-bound seniors.

Here are the public colleges that made the top 10:


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-09  Authors: jessica dickler, phelan m ebenhack, bloomberg, getty images, photo, pacificboyksu, melanie stetson, christian science monitor, source, dasonnenfeld
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, costs, colleges, tuition, universities, cheapest, public, school, room, college, board, schools, private, outofstate


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Chuck E. Cheese’s parent is going public again

Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company is returning to the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with a special purpose company, making it the first restaurant company to enter the public market in four years. After the deal closes, Queso Holdings, which owns CEC Entertainment, the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza, will trade on the NYSE with the ticker CEC this summer. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management bought Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company in 2014 for about $948


Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company is returning to the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with a special purpose company, making it the first restaurant company to enter the public market in four years. After the deal closes, Queso Holdings, which owns CEC Entertainment, the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza, will trade on the NYSE with the ticker CEC this summer. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management bought Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company in 2014 for about $948
Chuck E. Cheese’s parent is going public again Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-08  Authors: amelia lucas, justin sullivan, getty images, cnbc, tj fabian
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, cheeses, million, company, private, going, deal, cec, plans, public, chuck, parent, entertainment, cheese


Chuck E. Cheese's parent is going public again

Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company is returning to the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with a special purpose company, making it the first restaurant company to enter the public market in four years.

Special purpose acquisition companies have no assets but use the proceeds from an IPO, combined with bank financing, to buy and take privately held consumer companies public. Leo Holdings, the SPAC merging with the parent of the children’s party chain, was founded by executives of Lion Capital, a British private equity firm, to acquire a consumer business.

After the deal closes, Queso Holdings, which owns CEC Entertainment, the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza, will trade on the NYSE with the ticker CEC this summer.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019. Leo Holdings also plans to change its name to Chuck E. Cheese Brands. CEC Entertainment will be a subsidiary of Chuck E. Cheese Brands.

Proceeds from the deal will go toward paying down the company’s debt. Excluding capital lease and sale leaseback obligations, CEC Entertainment had $978.9 million in outstanding debt as of Dec. 30, according to company filings.

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management bought Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company in 2014 for about $948 million, taking it private. Apollo will not sell any of its shares as part of the deal and will retain a 51 percent stake in the newly formed company.

The company believes CEC Entertainment will have an enterprise value of $1.4 billion. In fiscal 2018, the company reported net sales of $896 million at its 750 venues across the Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza brands. More than half its revenue comes from entertainment and merchandise, with the remaining 45 percent coming from food and beverage.

While the company was private, executives focused on investing in the business by bringing more parent-friendly games and revamping its menu.

“As I joined the company [in 2014], I saw what a lot of parents saw at the time,” CEC Entertainment CEO Tom Leverton said. “Chuck E. needed to be reenergized, revitalized.”

In its first quarter of fiscal 2019, CEC Entertainment reported preliminary same-store sales growth of 7.7 percent. Leverton said the launch of All You Can Play, which lets parents buy a chunk of time for their children to play games rather than purchasing tokens, was the primary driver of that growth.

Chuck E. Cheese has plans to add new limited-time food offers — like unicorn churros to celebrate National Unicorn Day on Tuesday — and to branch out internationally. Leverton named Mexico and Saudi Arabia as its top two international markets. The company is also planning to add its first store in India by early next year.

Chuck E. Cheese is also in the middle of renovating its stores. The company has plans to reimage 60 stores by end of 2019, bringing its total number of remodeled locations to 92 out of its 515 company-owned stores.

Correction: This story was revised to correct Apollo Global’s purchase price for Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company in 2014. It was $948 million.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-08  Authors: amelia lucas, justin sullivan, getty images, cnbc, tj fabian
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, cheeses, million, company, private, going, deal, cec, plans, public, chuck, parent, entertainment, cheese


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Private jet service JetSmarter agrees to $3 million arbitration settlement

JetSmarter was the subject of a CNBC investigation that also raised questions about its security procedures and passengers. As part of the settlement, JetSmarter will create a fund of $3 million to pay members, who may also be eligible for free memberships and flight credits. Attorneys for many of the members say they plan to opt out of the settlement and continue to pursue their lawsuits. “Our firm has reviewed the proposed class action settlement and believe that it fails to provide adequate c


JetSmarter was the subject of a CNBC investigation that also raised questions about its security procedures and passengers. As part of the settlement, JetSmarter will create a fund of $3 million to pay members, who may also be eligible for free memberships and flight credits. Attorneys for many of the members say they plan to opt out of the settlement and continue to pursue their lawsuits. “Our firm has reviewed the proposed class action settlement and believe that it fails to provide adequate c
Private jet service JetSmarter agrees to $3 million arbitration settlement Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-08  Authors: robert frank, source
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, agrees, memberships, states, members, million, company, subject, settlement, private, arbitration, jet, agreement, lawsuits, jetsmarter, say, service


Private jet service JetSmarter agrees to $3 million arbitration settlement

JetSmarter has reached an agreement to settle claims made by some of its members that the company engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, according to a settlement notice.

The private jet company, which once had more than 8,000 members and a self-proclaimed valuation of over $1 billion, has been the target of more than a dozen lawsuits and claims from members who say the company failed to deliver services promised in their memberships. JetSmarter was the subject of a CNBC investigation that also raised questions about its security procedures and passengers.

The agreement is preliminary and is still subject to a final approval hearing in June. More than 10,000 of the company’s current and former members could be eligible to participate as a class member. The agreement covers customers who were members between Sept. 5, 2014, and June 19, 2018.

As part of the settlement, JetSmarter will create a fund of $3 million to pay members, who may also be eligible for free memberships and flight credits.

In a statement as part of the settlement, JetSmarter said it “strongly denies these allegations and believes the facts show that at all times, it complied with the membership agreement and with all applicable laws.” The company added that it agreed to the settlement “because it wishes to put this matter behind it and move forward to serve its members as best as possible.”

JetSmarter didn’t immediately respond for additional comment.

The arbitration settlement won’t end the company’s legal battles. More than a dozen members have filed lawsuits against the company in New Jersey, California and other states. Attorneys for many of the members say they plan to opt out of the settlement and continue to pursue their lawsuits.

“Our firm has reviewed the proposed class action settlement and believe that it fails to provide adequate compensation for the losses of the JetSmarter members,” said Bruce Baldinger, a New Jersey attorney who represents several JetSmarter members who have filed lawsuits.

But the lawsuits face continued challenges in court, since JetSmarter’s membership agreement states that any disputes with the company must be settled in arbitration.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-08  Authors: robert frank, source
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, agrees, memberships, states, members, million, company, subject, settlement, private, arbitration, jet, agreement, lawsuits, jetsmarter, say, service


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Meet the CNBC Technology Executive Council

From corporations — public and private — to nonprofits and government entities, the CNBC Technology Executive Council comprises top tech executives who are transforming organizations by leveraging innovation and disruption. The council, in conjunction with CNBC, lead ongoing high-priority discussions about employing breakthrough technologies to solve problems and power growth while addressing the challenges presented by these innovations.


From corporations — public and private — to nonprofits and government entities, the CNBC Technology Executive Council comprises top tech executives who are transforming organizations by leveraging innovation and disruption. The council, in conjunction with CNBC, lead ongoing high-priority discussions about employing breakthrough technologies to solve problems and power growth while addressing the challenges presented by these innovations.
Meet the CNBC Technology Executive Council Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-08  Authors: cnbccom staff, agilent tech, mark papermaster, evp, technology, engineering, cto amd, american water, applied materials, aruba
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, council, private, executive, tech, transforming, technology, meet, problems, solve, technologies, public


Meet the CNBC Technology Executive Council

From corporations — public and private — to nonprofits and government entities, the CNBC Technology Executive Council comprises top tech executives who are transforming organizations by leveraging innovation and disruption. The council, in conjunction with CNBC, lead ongoing high-priority discussions about employing breakthrough technologies to solve problems and power growth while addressing the challenges presented by these innovations.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-08  Authors: cnbccom staff, agilent tech, mark papermaster, evp, technology, engineering, cto amd, american water, applied materials, aruba
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, council, private, executive, tech, transforming, technology, meet, problems, solve, technologies, public


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Several private firms still interested in buying Nielsen as sale process drags on

Nielsen, the media research firm famous for its TV ratings, is still contemplating an outright sale, fueled by continued private equity interest, according to people familiar with the matter. Advent and Goldman have consistently shown interest and recently attended Nielsen management presentation, although it’s unclear if the consortium will be willing to pay enough to get a deal done, two of the people said. A sale isn’t imminent, and while Nielsen is a willing seller, a deal for the company ha


Nielsen, the media research firm famous for its TV ratings, is still contemplating an outright sale, fueled by continued private equity interest, according to people familiar with the matter. Advent and Goldman have consistently shown interest and recently attended Nielsen management presentation, although it’s unclear if the consortium will be willing to pay enough to get a deal done, two of the people said. A sale isn’t imminent, and while Nielsen is a willing seller, a deal for the company ha
Several private firms still interested in buying Nielsen as sale process drags on Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-05  Authors: alex sherman, michael short, bloomberg via getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, nielsen, sale, company, revenue, drags, buying, interest, firms, interested, review, segment, familiar, process, management, private


Several private firms still interested in buying Nielsen as sale process drags on

Nielsen, the media research firm famous for its TV ratings, is still contemplating an outright sale, fueled by continued private equity interest, according to people familiar with the matter.

Advent International is working with Goldman Sachs Group on a bid, as well as Apollo Global Management, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Advent and Goldman have consistently shown interest and recently attended Nielsen management presentation, although it’s unclear if the consortium will be willing to pay enough to get a deal done, two of the people said.

A sale isn’t imminent, and while Nielsen is a willing seller, a deal for the company has always been challenging because of the company’s size. Nielsen has a market capitalization of $9.3 billion and has an additional $8.4 billion in total debt. An acquisition of the entire company would be one of the largest private takeovers in years and well above the typical size of an acquisition for Advent, in particular. Final bids aren’t due for several weeks, two of the people said.

Spokespeople for Advent and Nielsen declined to comment. A spokesman for Apollo couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which has an 8.4 percent in the company, has pushed Nielsen to find a buyer. Nielsen said in September that it was working with investment banks JPMorgan Chase and Guggenheim Securities, as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an “expanded” review of strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company.

Nielsen began holding management presentations for potential buyers in January after naming David Kenny as its new CEO, people familiar with the matter told CNBC in December. While both Blackstone Group and Bain Capital had met with the company and considered an acquisition, neither is still involved in the process, said people familiar with the matter.

“The Nielsen Board of Directors continues to move ahead with its strategic review, which includes a broad range of options, including continuing to operate as a public, independent company; a separation of either Nielsen’s Media or Connect segment; or a sale of the company,” Nielsen said in a statement. “There can be no assurance that this review will result in a specific transaction or other alternative. The company will provide updates on the review when it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or required.”

Kenny joined Nielsen after serving as the head of IBM’s Watson AI platform and portfolio business. He was also formerly chairman and CEO of the Weather Company, a portion of which he sold to IBM. His hiring piqued the interest of several private equity firms because of his background with leverage buyouts, according to two people familiar with the matter. Kenny spent a decade at Bain from 1987 to 1997.

Nielsen shares have slumped in recent years as revenue growth has stalled. 2018 revenue fell about 1% from 2017. The company’s “Watch” segment, which includes TV ratings, has been more successful than its “Buy” segment, which provides marketing information about what people buy on a global basis. While Watch revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018 decreased 3.5% to $881 million, Buy sales declined 8.4% to $777 million, which Nielsen blamed on decreased spending and demand from large multinational corporations.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-05  Authors: alex sherman, michael short, bloomberg via getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, nielsen, sale, company, revenue, drags, buying, interest, firms, interested, review, segment, familiar, process, management, private


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World’s largest money manager BlackRock sharpening focus on alternative investing to boost growth

The world’s largest asset manager, with $6 trillion in assets under management, is increasingly betting on nontraditional investments including private equity, hedge funds, commodities and real estate. The firm added at least four new roles to its alternative business unit that will combine the sales and investment teams, according to an internal memo circulated Tuesday. Edwin Conway, who served as global head of the firm’s institutional client business, will become global head of BlackRock Alte


The world’s largest asset manager, with $6 trillion in assets under management, is increasingly betting on nontraditional investments including private equity, hedge funds, commodities and real estate. The firm added at least four new roles to its alternative business unit that will combine the sales and investment teams, according to an internal memo circulated Tuesday. Edwin Conway, who served as global head of the firm’s institutional client business, will become global head of BlackRock Alte
World’s largest money manager BlackRock sharpening focus on alternative investing to boost growth Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-02  Authors: yun li, scott eells, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, manager, unit, money, private, equity, focus, blackrock, firm, memo, largest, business, alternative, growth, investment, boost, worlds, firms, sharpening, investing


World's largest money manager BlackRock sharpening focus on alternative investing to boost growth

BlackRock is undergoing a large reorganization, shuffling the roles of about 20 directors and aiming to take its alternative investments business “to the next level,” according to an internal memo.

The world’s largest asset manager, with $6 trillion in assets under management, is increasingly betting on nontraditional investments including private equity, hedge funds, commodities and real estate. The firm added at least four new roles to its alternative business unit that will combine the sales and investment teams, according to an internal memo circulated Tuesday.

“The dramatic changes transforming both the markets and our industry … represent the biggest opportunity in a decade to differentiate BlackRock – but only if we are willing to be bold and decisive,” the firm’s CEO, Larry Fink, and its president, Rob Kapito, said in Tuesday’s memo.

Edwin Conway, who served as global head of the firm’s institutional client business, will become global head of BlackRock Alternative Investors. Jim Barry, who has led the firm’s real estate and infrastructure groups, will become chief investment officer of the alternative unit, the memo said.

BlackRock is already making waves in the alternatives sector. It is reportedly raising around $10 billion for its private equity fund to replicate the investment approach of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The Wall Street giant in February also partnered with private equity firm KKR to invest $4 billion in the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., becoming the first institutional investors joining forces with a national oil producer in the Middle East.

The reorganization comes as the New York-based firm and other asset managers are working through major shifts in their business. BlackRock has seen a slowdown in profits amid the continuing fee war among money managers. Fourth-quarter revenue fell short of expectations and its assets under management dropped 5 percent, to $5.98 trillion, over the last 12 months.

BlackRock revealed in January that it plans to cut 500 jobs, or 3 percent of its workforce this year.

The moves announced Tuesday are part of the firm’s effort to get closer to clients “to deepen our relationships with them,” the memo said.

“We are incredibly excited about these changes. They show our commitment to constant reinvention and to the ongoing development of our senior leaders. They are also designed to reinvigorate our approach at every level of the firm – and with every employee – at a critical time,” Fink and Kapito said in the memo.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-02  Authors: yun li, scott eells, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, manager, unit, money, private, equity, focus, blackrock, firm, memo, largest, business, alternative, growth, investment, boost, worlds, firms, sharpening, investing


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China’s factory activity unexpectedly grows in March, a private survey shows

Manufacturing activity in China expanded unexpectedly in March at its fastest pace in eight months, a private survey showed on Monday. The Caixin PMI is a private survey focused on smaller businesses and offers a first glimpse into the operating environment. Despite the strength of China’s March manufacturing data, there are still reasons to be cautious about the country’s near-term outlook, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics. “On that note, the official PMI


Manufacturing activity in China expanded unexpectedly in March at its fastest pace in eight months, a private survey showed on Monday. The Caixin PMI is a private survey focused on smaller businesses and offers a first glimpse into the operating environment. Despite the strength of China’s March manufacturing data, there are still reasons to be cautious about the country’s near-term outlook, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics. “On that note, the official PMI
China’s factory activity unexpectedly grows in March, a private survey shows Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-01  Authors: huileng tan, str – afp – getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sector, unexpectedly, trade, activity, private, data, grows, pmi, talks, chinas, factory, manufacturing, official, rose, survey, shows


China's factory activity unexpectedly grows in March, a private survey shows

Manufacturing activity in China expanded unexpectedly in March at its fastest pace in eight months, a private survey showed on Monday.

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 50.8 for March. Analysts had expected it to come in at 49.9 for a second month, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

A reading below 50 signals contraction, while a reading above that level indicates expansion.

New orders climbed to their highest level in four months, while the index for new export orders returned to expansionary territory, “showing that both domestic and external demand rebounded moderately,” wrote Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin.

Markit and Caixin said in a joint press release that staffing levels at factories rose in March to mark their first expansion since October 2013. Some firms also hired additional workers to support greater production and new business developments, they added.

“Overall, with a more relaxed financing environment, government efforts to bail out the private sector and positive progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks, the situation across the manufacturing sector recovered in March,” said Zhong.

Results of the private survey came after data on Sunday showed the official Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.5 in March from February’s three-year low of 49.2. It marked the first expansion in four months, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The manufacturing numbers come amid ongoing tariff talks between the U.S. and China aimed at resolving their trade differences. High-level trade negotiations between the two economic powerhouses are set to resume in Washington this week following last week’s talks in Beijing.

The Caixin PMI is a private survey focused on smaller businesses and offers a first glimpse into the operating environment. It is closely watched as an alternative to the official PMI.

Despite the strength of China’s March manufacturing data, there are still reasons to be cautious about the country’s near-term outlook, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics.

The breakdown of both the official and private PMI indexes suggests a slight recovery in external demand, with most of the improvement coming from a pick-up in domestic demand, wrote Evans-Pritchard in a note on Monday.

“We suspect that this was driven by stronger fiscal support since local governments have stepped up bond issuance recently,” he added. “On that note, the official PMI for the construction sector rose last month, consistent with an acceleration in infrastructure spending.”

China’s growth could still weaken in the near-term as indicated by recent credit growth data and a sharp decline in land sales purchases, Evans-Pritchard said.

Results of the Caixin PMI survey for the services sector are due to be released on Wednesday.

— Reuters contributed to this report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-01  Authors: huileng tan, str – afp – getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sector, unexpectedly, trade, activity, private, data, grows, pmi, talks, chinas, factory, manufacturing, official, rose, survey, shows


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Saudis accessed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone and gained private data, security chief says

Saudi Arabia accessed Jeff Bezos’ phone and obtained private data belonging to the Amazon CEO, security specialist Gavin de Becker said in an article posted on The Daily Beast Saturday, laying out the findings of his investigation. Bezos had tasked de Becker, his security chief, with investigating how the National Enquirer had obtained and published intimate texts that the Amazon CEO had sent to his mistress, former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. De Becker said his investigation had concluded “with h


Saudi Arabia accessed Jeff Bezos’ phone and obtained private data belonging to the Amazon CEO, security specialist Gavin de Becker said in an article posted on The Daily Beast Saturday, laying out the findings of his investigation. Bezos had tasked de Becker, his security chief, with investigating how the National Enquirer had obtained and published intimate texts that the Amazon CEO had sent to his mistress, former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. De Becker said his investigation had concluded “with h
Saudis accessed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone and gained private data, security chief says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-30  Authors: spencer kimball, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images, jeniece pettitt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, michael, source, phone, national, chief, private, data, gained, security, ami, ceo, jeff, sanchez, bezos, investigation, saudis, post, saudi, enquirer, becker


Saudis accessed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' phone and gained private data, security chief says

Saudi Arabia accessed Jeff Bezos’ phone and obtained private data belonging to the Amazon CEO, security specialist Gavin de Becker said in an article posted on The Daily Beast Saturday, laying out the findings of his investigation.

Bezos had tasked de Becker, his security chief, with investigating how the National Enquirer had obtained and published intimate texts that the Amazon CEO had sent to his mistress, former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.

In a shocking post in February, Bezos alleged that National Enquirer publisher AMI blackmailed him by threatening to publish intimate photos if he did not publicly state that the tabloid’s coverage of him was not politically motivated. AMI has maintained that it acted lawfully in its reporting on Bezos.

De Becker said his investigation had concluded “with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone and gained private information.”

Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post, which has run critical coverage of the Trump administration and the Saudi government. In October, Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, sparking international outrage against Riyadh.

“Some Americans will be surprised to learn that the Saudi government has been very intent on harming Jeff Bezos since last October, when the Post began its relentless coverage of Khashoggi’s murder,” de Becker said.

De Becker went on to say that it is unclear if AMI was aware of the details, but pointed to what he called a close relationship between AMI chairman David Pecker and the Saudi government.

The Saudis have previously denied having anything to do with the National Enquirer’s coverage of Bezos.

“This is something between the two parties, we have nothing to do with it,” Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in February.

The Saudi embassy could not be immediately reached for comment.

De Becker said his investigation quickly identified Michael Sanchez, the estranged brother of Lauren Sanchez, as a paid source of the National Enquirer. AMI has said Michael Sanchez was the single source for the story.

But de Becker suggested that “the initial information came from other channels—another source or method.”

A spokesperson for AMI, in a statement to CNBC, maintained that Michael Sanchez was the single source for the National Enquirer story: “There was no involvement by any other third party whatsoever,” the company said.

Here’s the full statement from AMI:

Despite the false and unsubstantiated claims of Mr. de Becker, American Media has, and continues to, refute the unsubstantiated claims that the materials for our report were acquired with the help of anyone other than the single source who first brought them to us. The fact of the matter is, it was Michael Sanchez who tipped the National Enquirer off to the affair on Sept. 10, 2018, and over the course of four months provided all of the materials for our investigation. His continued efforts to discuss and falsely represent our reporting, and his role in it, has waived any source confidentiality. There was no involvement by any other third party whatsoever.

De Becker said the findings of his investigation have been turned over to federal officials.

Read the full article in The Daily Beast


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-30  Authors: spencer kimball, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images, jeniece pettitt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, michael, source, phone, national, chief, private, data, gained, security, ami, ceo, jeff, sanchez, bezos, investigation, saudis, post, saudi, enquirer, becker


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