PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have agreed to combine to create the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker, as the manufacturers prepare to shoulder the costly investments in new technologies transforming the industry.
In the biggest auto tie-up since Daimler’s ill-fated purchase of Chrysler in 1998, the French and Italo-American carmakers will each own half of the enlarged business.
The new company, with global sales of 8.7 million vehicles, will be run by PSA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares, with Fiat Chairman John Elkann holding the same role.
The transaction would forge a regional powerhouse to rival Germany’s Volkswagen and, with a market value of about US$47 billion, surpassing Ford. It will take as long as 15 months to complete, pending approvals by shareholders of both companies and by regulators, the carmakers estimated.
Like executives across the industry, Tavares and Elkann are responding to growing pressure to pool resources for product development, manufacturing and purchasing in the face of trade wars and an expensive shift toward electric and self-driving technology.
[Indeed, industry sources said that in the future, the new company plans to move “more than two-thirds” of production to “just two platforms, with 3 million cars per year on a compact/midsize platform and 2.6 million on a small platform,” reports Automotive News. “The smaller platform will be PSA’s CMP architecture and larger cars will be on the group’s EMP2 (while) Ram pickups and larger Jeep models will continue to use FCA underpinnings.” —Ed.]
“The challenges of our industry are really, really significant,” Tavares, 61, told reporters on a call Wednesday. “The green deal, autonomous vehicles, connectivity and all those topics need significant resources, strengths, skills and expertise.”
In an era when size is becoming ever more important, the deal will turn the two mid-sized carmakers into a global heavyweight, with a stable of popular brands and annual vehicle sales surpassing General Motors. The combination will give Peugeot-maker PSA a long-sought presence in North America and should help Fiat gain ground in developing low-emission technology, where it’s lagged rivals.
Yet the new company will still be heavily reliant on Europe’s sluggish and saturated auto market, and poorly positioned in China, the world’s largest country for car sales.
The companies are aiming to extract 3.7 billion euros in annual synergies from the deal, without closing any plants, unchanged from the target they announced when they disclosed their merger discussions.
China’s Dongfeng Motor Corp., which owns 12 per cent of PSA, will see its stake in the combined company decline to 4.5 per cent as a result of the deal and the sale of a portion of its holding to the French carmaker.
Dongfeng’s stake in PSA has attracted attention because of the possibility it could interfere with U.S. regulatory approval. U.S. economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last month the Trump administration would review the proposed merger because the deal would give the Chinese carmaker a stake in the combined company.
Sleep Country Canada buys controlling stake in Hush Blankets – CBC.ca
Sleep Country Canada Holdings Inc. has signed a deal to buy Hush Blankets, a direct-to-consumer seller of weighted blankets, pillows, sheets and bed-in-a-box mattresses.
Under the deal, Sleep Country will acquire a 52 per cent stake in Hush for $25 million.
The company has also agreed to buy the other 48 per cent in annual 16 percentage point stake increments starting March 31, 2023, at a price based on the business’s financial performance.
Hush was founded in 2017 by Lior Ohayon and Aaron Spivak and launched a weighted blanket in Canada in 2018.
Sleep Country says Hush will continue to operate as an independent business led by Ohayon and Spivak and a board including senior management from Sleep Country and Hush.
These countries are vaccinating children against COVID-19 – CTV News
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have asked U.S. regulators to authorize their COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged 5-11, with an expert panel to the Food and Drug Administration scheduled to meet later this month to review data.
But with many parts of the world still awaiting doses for more vulnerable people, the World Health Organization has urged countries and companies that control the global supply of the vaccines to prioritize supply to COVAX.
The following is a list of some countries that have approved or are considering vaccinating children:
- In June, Denmark said it would offer COVID-19 shots to children aged 12-15 to boost its overall immunity against the virus.
- France has started vaccinating those from 12 years upwards, provided they have parental consent.
- Germany in August agreed to make vaccination available to all children aged 12-17.
- Austria has started vaccinating children aged 12-15.
- Estonia could start vaccinating teenagers by the autumn, public broadcaster ERR reported, citing the head of the government’s COVID-19 council.
- Hungary started vaccinating 16 to 18-year-olds in mid-May, according to Xinhua news agency.
- Italy on May 31 approved extending the use of Pfizer’s vaccine to 12-15 year olds.
- Lithuania’s prime minister said the country could start vaccinating children from age 12 in June, news site Delfi reported.
- Spain begun vaccinating children between 12 and 17 years old around two weeks before the academic year in September, the health minister said.
- Swedish PM says children aged 12-15 will be offered COVID vaccine later this autumn.
- Greece in July said children aged 12-15 could be vaccinated against COVID-19 with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots.
- Finland’s capital Helsinki in June said it will begin giving COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 12 to 15 who are at risk of contracting a severe coronavirus infection.
- Britain’s top medical advisers in September recommended that 12 to 15-year-olds receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Switzerland approved on June 4 vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds with Pfizer’s shot, while Moderna’s shot was approved in August for the age group.
- In September, Norway started to offer one dose of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 12 to 15
- San Marino has opened vaccinations for children aged 12-15, reported San Marino RTV, citing its Institute for Social Security.
- In August, Israel on Sunday began offering a COVID-19 booster to children as young as 12.
- The United Arab Emirates said in August rolled out China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 3-17.
- Indonesia on June 28 recommended China’s Sinovac vaccine for children aged 12-17.
- An advisory committee to the Indian regulator recommended emergency use of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 shot in the 2 to 18 age-group. The regulator’s nod is awaited.
- New Zealand’s medicines regulator has provisionally approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for 12-15 year olds, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on June 21.
- Australia said on Sept. 12 it will expand its COVID-19 vaccination drive to include around one million children aged 12-15.
- China on June 5 approved emergency use of Sinovac’s vaccine for those between three and 17.
- Hong Kong said on June 3 it would open its vaccine scheme to children over the age of 12.
- Singapore opened up its vaccination program to adolescents aged 12-18 from June 1.
- Japan on May 28 approved the use of Pfizer’s vaccine for those aged 12 and above.
- The Philippines on May 26 decided to allow the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for emergency use in children aged 12-15.
- Jordan in July begun vaccinating children aged 12 years and older against COVID-19.
- The COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech will be the only one used in Mexico for at-risk children aged 12-17.
- Brazil on June 11 approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for children over 12.
- Chile has approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for 12 to 16-year-olds.
- Pfizer and BioNTech have asked U.S. regulators to authorize emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. An advisory committee to the FDA will meet later this month to review the data.
- Canada in early May approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for use in children aged 12-15. The country has fully vaccinated more that 80% of its eligible population ages 12 and over.
- Cuba’s vaccination campaign includes children as young as two.
- South Africa will start vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17 next week using the Pfizer vaccine
Canadian National Railway CEO to retire following investor pressure
Canadian National Railway (CN) said on Tuesday Chief Executive Officer Jean-Jacques Ruest will retire at the end of January, following investor demands for his exit after the railroad operator’s failed bid for Kansas City Southern.
TCI Fund Management, which owns 5% of CN, in August pitched former Union Pacific executive Jim Vena for the top job and on Tuesday urged Canada’s largest railroad operator to secure his leadership.
“Dismissing the same CEO that the Board put in place just three short years ago is a good start, but it does not address the fundamental problem of a lack of leadership,” TCI Founder Chris Hohn said. The hedge fund had earlier cited the company’s “ill-conceived” efforts to pursue the Kansas City merger for demanding Ruest’s ouster.
Last month, CN lost a bidding war to create the first direct railway linking Canada, the United States and Mexico as rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd signed a $27.2 billion deal to buy Kansas City.
CN has now set up a committee to look for a new CEO both within and outside the company.
“(The board) is not on the clock. It doesn’t mean that they will go slow,” Ruest said in an earnings call, adding that he would leave it to the board to engage with TCI.
Ruest had deferred discussions on his retirement plans in order to see the company through the merger, it said, and he could helm CN until it names a replacement.
In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, adjusted profit rose 9.5% on a surge in petroleum and chemicals shipments. But its operating ratio, a key profitability metric for investors, worsened to 62.7% from 59.9% a year earlier.
($1 = 1.2365 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram, Amruta Khandekar and Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)
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