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Exclusive-Major Toshiba shareholder objects to break-up, urges board to solicit offers

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Toshiba Corp’s second-largest shareholder on Wednesday objected to the Japanese conglomerate’s plan to split itself into three companies and called on it to instead solicit offers from potential buyers.

Hedge fund 3D Investment Partners, which owns more than 7% of Toshiba, laid out its objections in a three-page letter to the company’s board, becoming the first major shareholder to formally oppose the break-up plan outlined this month.

The letter, seen by Reuters, highlights shareholder discomfort over Toshiba’s proposal – an unease reflected in the company’s recent weak stock performance – and raises the possibility that the break-up may struggle to win approval at a shareholder meeting early next year.

A Toshiba spokesperson said it does not comment on individual exchanges with shareholders. 3D declined to comment.

The proposed break-up is “extremely unlikely” to resolve any of Toshiba’s current problems and “is instead very likely to create three underperforming companies in the image of today’s Toshiba,” Singapore-based 3D said in the letter.

Some other hedge fund shareholders have also told Reuters, on condition of anonymity, that they were disappointed Toshiba had turned down the idea of going private.

In its letter, 3D said Toshiba should “open a formal process, develop a compelling plan for each of the businesses, provide detailed diligence materials and management meetings to interested financial and strategic parties, encourage and enable stretch proposals from those parties and evaluate the best path forward”.

Toshiba launched its strategic review after pressure from investors following a governance scandal over management’s alleged collusion with Japan’s trade ministry to pressure foreign shareholders.

FIVE-MONTH REVIEW

During the five-month review, Toshiba’s review committee held talks with six private equity firms, which sources said included KKR & Co and Brookfield, seeking strategic ideas including going private.

While the review committee never conducted an auction process with due diligence for a possible sale, it has said talks with private equity firms suggested potential offers were “not compelling relative to market expectations”.

The review committee, which consists of five external board directors, has said it did not receive any bona fide proposals to take the company private. The idea of going private, it has said, raised concerns inside Toshiba.

However, in its letter – which was also addressed to the review committee – 3D criticised the committee for what it said was a failure to ask for proposals for the sale of Toshiba, or the partial disposition of some of its businesses.

“Overly reliant upon an intransigent management team’s uninspired projection model and dubious claims of regulatory, employee morale and customer concerns about a different ownership structure, the (committee) appears to have compromised its review and relented,” the fund said.

3D, founded by former Goldman Sachs banker Kanya Hasegawa in 2015, was one of dozens foreign hedge funds that participated in a $5.4 billion capital injection Toshiba received during a crisis stemming from the bankruptcy of its U.S. nuclear power unit in 2017.

Toshiba plans to complete the overhaul by March 2024.

Founded in 1875, Toshiba plans to house its energy and infrastructure divisions in one company while its hard disk drive and power semiconductor businesses will form the backbone of another. A third will manage Toshiba’s stake in flash-memory chip company Kioxia Holdings and other assets.

Shares of Toshiba have dipped more than 4% since the plan was first reported by the Nikkei business daily on Nov. 8.

The stock was down 1.2% at 4,688 yen versus a 0.7% decline in the benchmark Nikkei index early on Wednesday.

 

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by David Dolan and Christopher Cushing)

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Instagram Unveils New Features to Show Everyone It Really Cares About Teens’ Mental Health – Gizmodo

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Image for article titled Instagram Unveils New Features to Show Everyone It Really Cares About Teens’ Mental Health
Illustration: Olivier Douliery / AFP (Getty Images)

Instagram wants you to know it really cares about teens’ mental health and safety, despite everything you may have heard. In fact, it’s rolling out a slew of new tools and features it says will protect teens that use its app.

Company head Adam Mosseri unveiled the new features for teens and parents in a blog post on Tuesday, one day before he’s set to testify before Congress, and also included measures the app will take to promote safety. Instagram’s announcement around teens comes amidst a public reckoning over its failure to protect its youngest users, even though it knew the app affected their mental health.

For teens, Mosseri said Instagram will be launching tools to help them “better manage” their experience on the app. This includes rolling out the previously announced “Take a Break” feature, which encourages young users to close Instagram if they’ve spent too much time on it, to the U.S., UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The feature was available to users in these countries on Tuesday.

Teens will also be able to delete content they’ve posted in bulk, including photos, videos, likes, and comments. Mosseri said this tool, which will roll out in January for all users, will allow teens to “manage their digital footprint” and help them understand what information others can see about them. I will give Instagram credit on this one. Everyone says and does stupid things when they’re young (or not so young), and they should be able to take quick action to rectify and learn from those mistakes.

In addition to features for teens, Instagram will unveil its first features and tools for parents and guardians in March that will let them “guide and support their teens” on the app. This mainly seems to consist of reports on how much time individual teens spend on Instagram and the option to limit their time on the app, according to the blog post. Teens will also have the option to have the app notify their parents when they report someone.

Finally, Mosseri laid out what Instagram would do on its end to create a safer experience for teens on the app. He said it will prevent people from tagging or mentioning teens on the platform if the teens don’t follow them and “be stricter” about what it recommends to teens in various parts of the app, such as Explore, Hashtags, and Suggested Accounts.

Instagram is also looking into expanding its “Limit Even More” content control feature for teens, Mosseri said, which allows users to reduce the amount of sensitive content they see in the Explore part of the app. The company is considering expanding this limitation to beyond Explore. In addition, it’s building a feature that will “nudge” users to different topics if they’ve been dwelling on one for too long.

“I’m proud that our platform is a place where teens can spend time with the people they care about, explore their interests, and explore who they are,” Mosseri wrote. “I want to make sure that it stays that way, which means above all keeping them safe on Instagram.”

The Instagram head added that the company would continue doing research, consulting with experts, and testing out new concepts “to better serve teens.”

Well, to clarify, the company was basically forced into better serving teens due to public pressure. And it’s still got a long way to go. On Tuesday, new research by the Tech Transparency Project found that Instagram is encouraging teens to buy drugs and connecting them with dealers.

Mosseri is scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection on Wednesday about Instagram’s impact on teens’ mental health and wellbeing. You can watch the livestream here beginning at 2:30 ET.

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Thinking of Buying Equipment for Your Business? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Many business owners in Canada rely on professional-grade equipment to keep the operations of their business running, but there are plenty of variables to consider before making a commitment this significant.

No matter the size of your business, if you’re tasked with acquiring equipment for your operations, there are certain factors to keep in mind as you begin the process. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering purchasing equipment for your business:

Assessing Your Financing Options

Unless you’re a wildly successful, multi-million dollar corporation, there is a higher chance that you don’t have enough free-floating capital to purchase expensive equipment without any outside assistance. The upside is that there are plenty of financing options available for business owners across every major industry, from heavy equipment financing in Canada to agriculture, manufacturing, start-ups and more.

Before you commit to any major purchases, research the financing options available to your business so you can make the smartest purchases going forward without compromising your current equity and capital.

Make a List

Now that you have your financing options in order, it’s important to make a list of your needs and wants. This list will act as a way to organize your thoughts, so you’re spending your newly earned capital wisely. It may be helpful to divide your list into two categories, your needs and your wants.

Your needs will include essential pieces of inventory that contribute to the basic operations of your company. Once you’ve purchased the essentials, you can assess which items under the wants category will be best for your company, with your remaining capital.

Choosing Quality over Flash

It may be easy to become tempted over the latest, flashiest pieces of equipment on the market, but have you done the research to assess its quality? No matter what you purchase in business or in your personal life, quality will always serve you better than aesthetics.

This is especially important when it comes to purchasing expensive equipment for your company. The more you prioritize quality, the more money you’ll save in the long run since you won’t have to worry about replacements.

Maintenance Requirements

Maintaining your equipment is a crucial component of its longevity and durability. Without proper maintenance, you’ll likely end up spending significant costs to repair or replace your inventory. Once you’ve begun to shop around for professional equipment, ensure you’ve taken the time to research the type of maintenance each piece requires. This will help you decide if you have the time and resources to handle the task.

If the equipment you’ve had your eye on requires too much manpower or capital to maintain, you may need to consider a lower price point with more attainable maintenance.

Safety & Certifications

Like anything connected to your business, safety is key. When it comes to purchasing expensive and often heavy equipment, ensure each item has the safety certifications you need — otherwise, your business could become liable if the equipment malfunctions. Prioritizing safely ensures your company, employees, and customers are out of harm’s way.

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P.E.I. announces 6 new COVID-19 cases, 17 exposure sites – CBC.ca

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P.E.I. announced six new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Two of the cases are in their 40s, one is in their 30s, one is in their 20s and two are children under 12.

Three of the announced cases are related to travel outside the province, and three are contacts of previously reported cases.

The two children are students at Westwood Primary School. The school will be closed on Thursday and Friday to allow for close contacts to get tested, and so the province can determine if there’s been any transmission within the school.

Classmates and other children who travelled on the same bus with the students will be contacted by public health and advised on testing and isolation requirements.

The province said other Westwood students and staff should monitor for symptoms and get tested and isolate if any develop.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Public Schools Branch said four schools in eastern P.E.I. will remain closed for another day to allow for mass testing amid worries of community transmission in the eastern Kings region.

The situation at Westwood is not considered an outbreak at this time.

17 exposure sites announced

Seventeen new public exposure site notifications were issued, including two on the Northumberland Ferry. Most of the exposures are in Charlottetown.

The province is also advising anyone who was at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., between last Friday and Monday to get tested and isolate while they await results.

There are currently 27 active cases in P.E.I. and there have been 403 total cases.

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