|Bid||970.00 x 200|
|Ask||980.00 x 400|
|Day's range||962.00 - 982.00|
|52-week range||772.00 - 1,050.00|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.52|
|PE ratio (TTM)||10.97|
|Earnings date||30 Apr 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||4.80 (0.48%)|
|Ex-dividend date||15 May 2019|
|1y target est||N/A|
Volkswagen Group's Audi brand will halt output at its plant in Hungary on Monday, the factory said, after Volkswagen announced a suspension of production at plants in Italy, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. "In light of the clearly worse sales prospects and the uncertainties emerging in component supply (due to the coronavirus pandemic), Volkswagen Group is suspending production at most of its sites," Audi's Hungarian unit said on Tuesday.
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(Bloomberg) -- Lebanon will present what it considers a conclusive economic and financial plan to the International Monetary Fund as it prepares for talks with creditors after announcing it would freeze a Eurobond payment, according to Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni.If there is agreement on Lebanon’s plan “that includes no suffering or harsh measures to the Lebanese and doesn’t harm any side -- whether in a political or non-political way -- then doors will be open,” Wazni told LBCI Television.Lebanon is headed for the first default in its history as it copes with dwindling foreign-currency reserves and inflation running in double digits. Fitch Ratings downgraded the nation’s debt to C from CC, saying that failure to make payment during the seven-day grace period will put the sovereign into “restricted default” and the specific bond into default.Negotiations with creditors will give an indication in the coming days whether Lebanon is headed for an organized or messy default, according to Wazni. Hezbollah has said it doesn’t oppose external financing, he said.Lebanese banks, which hired Houlihan Lokey Inc to advise them on future debt-restructuring talks with the government, are in contact with foreign bondholders to see if they would be willing to engage in negotiations with authorities.Lebanon needs to secure a lifeline from the IMF to claw back the confidence in economic reform that creditors need when forgiving debt. Hezbollah, an Iran-backed group that has a major say in government and parliament, has previously rejected the possibility of seeking a financial aid program from the fund, fearing it could hurt the poor and be used by the U.S. as a political lever.“We think an IMF program is inevitable,” Maya Senussi and Nafez Zouk, analysts at Oxford Economics, said in a report. “Hezbollah’s resistance will evaporate once they realize the large costs required to restructure and recapitalize the banking sector and the economic pain that would be involved in meeting external financing needs without IMF loans.”Flowing OutThe finance minister said he expected inflows to decline sharply in 2020 and 2021. The government relies on funds from the millions of Lebanese living abroad to finance its budget deficit.Bank deposits shrank by $3.8 billion in January, including a drop of $1.8 billion for accounts denominated in foreign currency, according to Bank Audi’s Weekly Monitor.Deposits contracted last year by a total of $15 billion, losing the bulk of it in the final quarter when the eruption of anti-government protests accelerated the country’s worst financial meltdown in decades.The central bank’s net reserves have been negative since 1997, Wazni said. Including local lenders’ reserve requirements, its holdings currently stand at $22 billion. The government needs what’s left of the stockpile to support imports of fuel, medicine and wheat.The central bank is also supporting the imports of medical equipment as well as raw materials. Banque Du Liban, as the central bank is known, announced the creation of a Europe-based platform on Tuesday, seeking to raise $750 million to provide small and medium-sized businesses with short term facilities.“Geopolitical headwinds and domestic political deadlock have further hindered crucial deposit inflows, while the central bank’s measures to support financing of government debt and the economy could not compensate for delays in international financial support in the absence of credible fiscal reform,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a report.(Updates with deposits dropping under ‘Flowing Out’ subheadline)To contact the reporters on this story: Dana Khraiche in Beirut at email@example.com;Netty Ismail in Dubai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Nicholson at email@example.com, Paul Abelsky, Constantine CourcoulasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The showdown between the Lebanese government and local banks took a new twist when a freeze order on 20 lenders was lifted just hours after it was first imposed.On Thursday, the financial prosecutor locked down the banks’ assets as well as those of their chairmen amid an investigation into the illegal transfer of billions of dollars and the recent sale of Eurobonds to foreign funds. But by the end of the day, the state prosecutor, Ghassan Oueidat, had suspended the move, pending further investigation.The week began with financial prosecutor Ali Ibrahim questioning 14 bankers on the transfer of $2.3 billion overseas during October and November. Among the banks targeted are Lebanon’s biggest lenders, including Bank Audi, Fransabank, Blom Bank and the Lebanese unit of Societe General. The prosecutor also questioned the head of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, Salim Sfeir, who is also chairman of Bank of Beirut. The decision still required the approval of central bank Governor Riad Salameh, according to a judiciary official, who declined to be identified.Desperate for Relief, Lebanon Hatches Plan to Avoid DefaultOnce central to how the government managed public finances, Lebanon’s banks are now the focus of its ire as the clock runs down to the March 9 deadline for repaying $1.2 billion in Eurobonds.As the biggest holders of Lebanon’s sovereign debt, banks have been increasingly at odds with the government over the looming repayment. While top officials have argued that the only solution to the country’s debt burden is a restructuring, lenders have come up with alternative options since they stand to lose in the event of a default.Offloading DebtThe prosecutor questioned the bankers on the recent sale of Eurobonds to foreign funds that the judiciary says disrupted the government’s efforts to restructure its debt. The debt sales mean that foreign creditors now hold a larger proportion of the Eurobond series maturing in 2020, giving them more leverage in any restructuring discussion.Bankers contend that they sold the notes to get their hands on foreign currency amid a shortage of dollar liquidity in the country. Sfeir said in an interview that banks needed cash to pay outstanding liabilities of almost $9 billion and meet demand for fuel, wheat and medicine suppliers.Nationwide protests that began in October helped touch off Lebanon’s worst financial crisis in decades, forcing the closure of lenders for nearly two weeks. Some officials have accused bankers of transferring funds belonging to politicians and high-net-worth individuals abroad while informal capital controls were in place.Banks restricted the movement of capital since the start of anti-government demonstrations, limiting withdrawals and nearly banning transfers abroad. The central bank has also been rationing foreign currency as remittances -- once the country’s main source of financing -- have slowly dried up.The measures led to the emergence of a black market rate for the local currency much higher than the official peg.Protesters have frequently turned their anger against the banks, since many people are only able to withdraw as little as $200 a week. They have also trashed bank branches and engaged in violent altercations with employees.(Adds state prosecutor suspends freeze in first and second paragraphs)\--With assistance from Netty Ismail and Alex Nicholson.To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Khraiche in Beirut at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nayla Razzouk at email@example.com, Paul Abelsky, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- With the annual Geneva car show canceled for the first time since the World War II era, automakers are going virtual in a bid to wow the hordes who would otherwise descend on the Swiss city to get a closer look at the latest models.BMW AG will live stream the debut of its i4 battery-car concept on Tuesday, while Mercedes-Benz’s popular E-Class sedan and Audi’s A3 sportback and all-electric E-Tron S will also be touted in digital displays.Even as manufacturers have been pulling back from auto shows in recent years, the gatherings still attract media, suppliers and aficionados eager to run their hands over the latest upholstery trend or settle in behind the wheels of new vehicles.Audi parent Volkswagen AG used last year’s Frankfurt event to unveil its ID.3 electric car, and to spread the message that the world’s largest auto manufacturer was moving on after the diesel-cheating crisis and honing its image as a leader in the transition to battery powered-cars.The Geneva showcase, which was scheduled to start this week, was called off due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Europe. Carmakers were forced into contingency planning, with online events emerging as a way to salvage part of their marketing efforts. Scrapping the show will cost a few million euros, PSA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares said in an LCI television interview Sunday, adding that the company’s Citroen brand amplified its DS9 launch on social media.BMW was aiming to make a big splash for its i4, a car meant to help reassert the German company’s momentum in electric vehicles. The group is sticking to the same program on Tuesday, albeit with a “digital press conference” by Chief Executive Officer Oliver Zipse, who will speak from BMW’s Munich headquarters.Even before being canceled, the Geneva show -- a luxury-car expo that’s typically dominated by glitzy rides from the likes of Ferrari NV, Porsche and Mercedes’s AMG unit -- was in danger of being overshadowed by industry woes.The virus outbreak, which has depressed car sales in China and disrupted supplier lines, adds to the challenges. Trade wars and tariffs, and an economic slowdown sent sales into a tailspin last year in China, the world’s largest auto market and a key country for exports for the three big German manufacturers.‘High Risks’At home, European automakers are saddled with tough emissions rules that have forced them to speed up the expensive roll-out of new electric vehicles. Then there’s the lingering tension with the U.S. over trade policy that could bring additional tariffs.“The state of the global economy and the situation of the auto industry are marked by high risks,” Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, a researcher at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, said before the auto show was called off.Analysts have started to factor in the impact from the latest shock. RBC Capital Markets expects European auto production to drop as much as 4% this year, while LMC Automotive analysts have penciled in as much as a 4.4% global decline in auto sales in a worst-case scenario. The German auto industry’s demand index plunged in February, according to the Ifo institute.Read more: German Auto Industry Bracing for Slump as Demand Dips, Ifo SaysSneak PreviewThe broader uncertainties have made it even more crucial for automakers to cut through the gloom and entice potential car buyers.Polestar, the luxury electric-car venture of Volvo Cars and its Chinese owner Geely Group, last week held a live video-conference to draw attention to its Precept concept vehicle, in what was billed as a sneak preview ahead of Geneva. The move generated media attention ahead of the formal event planned for Tuesday, when Polestar would likely have been crowded out by bigger carmakers such as BMW and Daimler.BMW’s i4, targeted for release in 2021, is built on a new platform that can underpin electric cars, hybrids or combustion vehicles. The flexible architecture will be used to make a battery version of the popular X3 SUV this year, as well as the futuristic iNext. It gives BMW a weapon to fight back against Tesla Inc. after the U.S. upstart ate into its market share.Lost AllureAudi’s E-tron S similarly is aimed at scaling up the VW premium unit’s Tesla-fighting capabilities as Elon Musk prepares to open a gigafactory near Berlin. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a critical model for the carmaker in terms of global sales volumes and revenue per vehicle.Manufacturers scouring their books for ways to cut costs and better target marketing had already scaled back spending on Geneva and other industry events, which have subsequently lost some of their allure.This year at Geneva, for example, VW had done away with hosting an evening reception it traditionally used to kick off the media days preceding the opening of the trade fair to the public. This pressure is unlikely to ease anytime soon.“The current economic weakness in important markets amplifies the cost pressure and the trend toward consolidation,” said Stefan Bratzel, a researcher at the Center of Automotive Management near Cologne, Germany.(Adds comment from PSA CEO in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.org;Oliver Sachgau in Munich at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tara Patel, Andrew NoëlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Volkswagen said on Friday it had offered to buy out minority shareholders in its premium brand Audi AG , via a so-called squeeze-out offer. Volkswagen AG already holds 99.64% of the registered share capital of Audi AG. "In the context of reorganizing competencies and responsibilities, Volkswagen AG plans to carry out a squeeze-out according to German stock corporation law in order to acquire the 0.36 percent of Audi's shares," VW said.
(Bloomberg) -- Volvo Car AB is counting on tripling sales of plug-in hybrid models this year as a way to avoid paying what could amount to hundreds of millions of euros in European penalties for the sale of its more polluting yet popular combustion-engine SUVs.A fifth of all new Volvos sold in 2020 should be plug-ins or all-electric, compared with just 6.5% of the total last year, according to Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson. That would see hybrid sales rising to more than 150,000 based on the pace of growth in 2019. The company is only planning to start shipping its first fully-electric model -- the XC40 Recharge -- later this year.The stakes are high for Volvo’s electric strategy because conventional SUVs made up more than half of sales last year and are largely behind the carmaker’s success since the takeover by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. a decade ago. As Europe’s tough emissions rules kick in, the company could pay dearly. PA Consulting Group puts Volvo’s potential fines for this year at a quarter of annual operating profit.“Paying fines is something that just shouldn’t be in the equation,” Samuelsson said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. “That’s not part of our plans. We want to invest in product development, not in fines to Brussels.”The CEO pointed to Volvo’s goal for half of all cars sold in 2025 to be all-electric and the rest plug-in hybrids. It will relaunch its battery-powered range under the “Recharge” moniker, and while the volume of the electric XC40 will be modest this year, Volvo has the capacity to produce “tens of thousands” next year, he said.The question for Volvo and other conventional manufacturers selling cars in the EU is whether consumers will buy into the plans. Rival automakers including Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG’s Audi are also rolling out battery-powered models. The threat of penalities for the companies, dubbed “the 2020 CO2 cliff” by Evercore IS auto analyst Arndt Ellinghorst, comes at a tricky time, when the region’s market is expected to shrink.Read more: Trump Hits EU Carmakers With Trade Threat as Outlook SoursPA Consulting Group earlier this month warned that the EU could inflict 14.5 billion euros ($16.1 billion) in fines on the region’s 13 largest carmakers for surpassing carbon-dioxide targets. The penalties will be calculated on the basis of the average emissions of new car registrations. For Volvo, they could reach 382 million euros by 2021, based on the assumption that only 14% of its sales will be all electric or plug-in hybrids, the consultancy said.Volvo’s bet on plug-ins comes despite criticism of the technology for being a half-measure that doesn’t go far enough in reducing emissions, especially as some users run them on fossil fuels without charging the battery. European sales dropped in the first nine months of last year, but according to a report by BloombergNEF are expected to rise quickly this year due to new models on the market and the emissions crackdown.Volvo’s own studies indicate its plug-ins run on battery 40% to 50% of the time. The company plans to promote recharging by paying owners’ electricity costs.“We don’t feel that there’s any reason to feel guilty about plug-in hybrids,” Samuelsson said. “Plug-ins are necessary for the transition, but it’s also a more long-term solution for those who may not have adequate access to charging.”To contact the reporter on this story: Niclas Rolander in Stockholm at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tara Patel, Andrew NoëlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we'll...
(Bloomberg) -- For Paul Boudre, U.S. President Donald Trump’s push against Chinese telecommunications companies is less about espionage than the race for technological supremacy.Boudre, the chief executive officer of Soitec, a French maker of semiconductor materials that go into 5G equipment, automobiles, cloud computing and IT infrastructure, says Trump’s actions are aimed primarily at allowing American firms to catch up.“Trump’s kick in the pants for companies is to wake them up and to catch up,” Boudre said in an interview Tuesday in Paris. “Trump is the emissary saying that if nothing is done, we’ll be blown away. That’s why he’s been trying to put a brake on the advances that China has made.”With the “everything-connected” era well under way, the race for a technological edge is intensifying. Trump has repeated railed against China and its companies, including Huawei Technologies Co., citing industrial espionage and intellectual property theft. He has limited their access to the U.S. market and to American suppliers, while also pressing allies from Japan to The Netherlands to review policies toward the Asian giant.The executive push and the infrastructure policy are driving U.S. companies like Cisco, Qorvo Inc., Skyworks Solutions to accelerate their research, a move that could allow American players to get new 5G technologies rolling out potentially in 2021, Boudre said.“Technology has become political today,” he said.Supply ChainsThe U.S. pushed to block the sale of chip manufacturer ASML’s technology to China by sharing a classified intelligence report with the Dutch government, Reuters reported on Monday, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.Soitec, which has factories and licenses for producing the substrate for handsets and infrastructure in France, Singapore and China, can provide “China Free” material if requested, Boudre said, adding that no such demands have been made by its clients.“What’s happened with Trump is a modification of supply chains,” he said. “Huawei won’t rely exclusively anymore on Qorvo, Skyworks, Qualcomm, because there is a risk. So they’ve developed relations with Murata, STMicro and others.”Developments in the U.S. 5G market this year and next will be a test of whether Trump’s policies were fruitful, Boudre said.“Clearly, two technologies are now being implemented,” with China’s 5G building on 4G, while the U.S.’s 5G that’s more of a new development called “millimeter wave.” The U.S. technology may hit the broad market in 2021, Boudre said, with Cisco driving the innovation. Qualcomm’s modem chip using millimeter wave technology is likely to hit the market in 2020.Soitec RisingWhile Trump’s moves have roiled trade and supply chains for companies building 5G and other technologies, Soitec has been spared, the executive said.The company, whose material goes into almost every smartphone in the world, plans to double sales in the next three years, reaching $1 billion in its fiscal year 2022, and sees revenue tripling in the next five years or so.Founded in the early 1990s in the French Alps, Soitec, which now employs 1,500 people, sits at the heart of the revolution that’s made possible everything from mobile phones, personal assistants like Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa and Google’s Nest, to 5G antennas and connected devices in cars.In the automotive sector, where Europe has an edge, Soitec is working with Robert Bosch GmbH, Audi AG, STMicroelectronics NV and others to define future components, Boudre said. In artificial intelligence, he sees a shift of computing power from the cloud to devices lifting demand for Soitec’s materials, which allow chipmakers to combine computing, memory and connectivity on a single chip.The extent of all that growth will be evident when the company discusses its long-term plans in June, Boudre said.Soitec’s stock rose 85% in 2019, making it among the top 10 performers of the benchmark SBF120 index.\--With assistance from Caroline Connan and Francine Lacqua.To contact the reporters on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at email@example.com;Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Vidya RootFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- If automakers learned anything from 2019, it’s that the have and have-nots of the U.S. electric-vehicle market are Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 -- and everything else.The Model 3 sold in serious volume, with website InsideEVs.com estimating almost 160,000 sales for the year. Other automakers investing billions to roll out electric models have serious catching up to do.After the Model 3, one has to scroll far down the sales rankings to find Tesla’s Model S and X and offerings from General Motors Co. and Nissan Motor Co. And 2019 was a year to forget for the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf, with deliveries dropping 8.9% and 16%, respectively.And what of those pricey European models that are supposed to challenge Elon Musk? Porsche is just starting to sell the much-hyped Taycan and handed over the first 130 units in December. Audi sold 746 of its all-electric e-tron crossovers and tallied just 5,369 units for the year. Jaguar was even further behind, delivering 2,594 I-Pace SUVs.To give Musk a more-serious run for his money, automakers are probably going to need models with longer range before plugging in and charging. Even then, the controversial chief executive officer may still have a leg up by building an allure around the company.“Perhaps Tesla’s best asset is its brand,” Joe Spak, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a report Friday. “Many consumers are evangelical about their vehicles.”(Updates with Porsche, Audi and Jaguar EV sales in the fourth paragraph)\--With assistance from Gabrielle Coppola.To contact the reporter on this story: David Welch in Southfield at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at email@example.com, Melinda GrenierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. will start delivering China-built cars on Monday, a major milestone for Elon Musk’s company as it expands in the world’s largest electric-vehicle market.The first 15 units of Model 3 sedans assembled at Tesla’s new multi-billion-dollar Shanghai plant -- its first outside the U.S. -- will be delivered to company employees on Dec. 30, capping several months of wins for Musk. The latest came Friday, when the locally built car was included on a list of vehicles qualifying for an exemption from a 10% purchase tax in China.The shares closed little changed at $430.38 on Friday. The stock has surged since the carmaker reported a surprise profit on Oct. 23, and is now more than double its year low of $178.93 in June.Chief Executive Officer Musk is counting on the China plant to help build on recent momentum for the company in the world’s largest market both for EVs and autos in general. The Model 3 will compete with electric cars from local contenders such as NIO Inc. and Xpeng Motors, as well as global manufacturers including BMW AG and Daimler AG.The Shanghai Gigafactory broke ground at the start of this year. Originally just a muddy plot about a 90-minute drive away from Shanghai’s city center, it is now a crucial test of Musk’s bid to keep his carmaker profitable as he bets big on Chinese appetite for electric cars.With Tesla’s volatile stock price and strained finances, investors will be watching closely how the ramp-up unfolds. The multibillion-dollar investment will be a deciding factor to determine whether Tesla will be able to take on local competitors and fend off challenges by the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.Junheng Li, an analyst at JL Warren in New York, noted that the made-in-China Model 3s are not fully manufactured there yet. Tesla is importing parts and assembling them at the facility near Shanghai, with production localization expected later in 2020.“Localization of suppliers has been very slow,” said Li in an email Friday. Tesla didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry seeking comment.Although Musk has said he’s never seen a factory built so quickly, the first delivery will come only a day before the end of 2019. Back in April, the CEO predicted Tesla would make at least 1,000 cars a week in Shanghai by the end of the year — a volume the company’s original factory in California spent months trying to hit. He’s also said a weekly rate of 3,000 is a target at some point.Tesla said in October the locally built Model 3 will be priced from about $50,000. On top of the tax exemption announced Friday, the China-built model this month qualified for a government subsidy of as much as about 25,000 yuan ($3,600) per vehicle.The company may lower the price of the locally assembled sedans by 20% or more next year as it starts using more local components and reduces costs, people familiar with the matter have said.The launch will also provide clues about Tesla’s ability to truly go global. The company is planning to follow up with a production facility in Europe.\--With assistance from Dana Hull.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at email@example.com, Cécile Daurat, Chester DawsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Denmark’s Astralis is set to become the first esports team to go public in a bid to cement its status in a $1.1 billion global market that’s more than doubled since 2016.Astralis is ranked the world’s number one in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a popular first-person shooting game, and has won millions of dollars in tournament prizes. The success has earned it commercial endorsements with brands such as Audi and Logitech. Now operating as a media company, the Astralis Group has expanded with teams competing in League of Legends and EA’s FIFA.The listing is due to take place Dec. 9 on Nasdaq’s Copenhagen exchange for small companies. According to its prospectus, Astralis plans to raise 125 to 150 million kroner ($18-22 million), with shares priced at 8.95 kroner.Professional esports is by no means in its infancy -- in the 1990s, games like Counter-Strike, Quake and StarCraft were staples of a competitive gamer’s diet, and businesses sprang up to bolster the titles’ longevity and appeal. But Amazon.com Inc’s Twitch and Google’s YouTube created platforms for spectators to watching in their millions, and with that came enormous marketing and sponsorship opportunities.Surging InterestAccording to recent projections, the global esports market will generate almost $2 billion in 2022, with global esports viewership expected to reach 595 million that year.Superstars like Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf have brought winning potential into the view of broader audiences. In July, hundreds of thousands of fans went online to watch the 16-year-old win the Fortnite World Cup final in New York.“We believe that the foundation of some of the most valuable and iconic brands in 10 years’ time is being set today,” said Astralis Group Chief Executive Officer Nikolaj Nyholm.Nyholm says he’s confident that the IPO will succeed and cites pre-commitments worth around $8 million “from a range of European and Asian investors.” The subscription period ran out on Friday.A successful IPO would provide a yardstick for other esports valuations. But the CEO, who has a background as a venture capitalist, says he understands why some might be hesitant to invest in a new area with only limited historical data to draw on.“In this respect it is also our responsibility to help educate the market through a continuous high level of information,” Nyholm told Bloomberg in an emailed response to questions.Esports BuzzPer Hansen, an investment economist at Nordnet in Copenhagen, says he expects the offer to be oversubscribed, given the levels of pre-IPO subscriptions.“There’s a lot of buzz around esports and what it might turn out to become in five years’ time,” Hansen said. The timing is also good, given investors’ appetite for new equity during the current regime of ultra low interest rates.Nyholm says going public rather than raising venture capital will allow Astralis to focus on a longer time horizon and “allow us to bring new investors on board.” The money raised will help “strengthen our position in the market through investments in our brands and media platforms. We will also look to use the listing to position us well in an anticipated future market consolidation,” he said.The world’s most valuable esports company, Cloud9 is worth $400 million, according to Forbes.(Adds subscription deadline in 8th paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Rigillo in Copenhagen at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at email@example.com, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Daimler said on Friday it will cut at least 10,000 jobs worldwide over the next three years, following others in the industry as they cut costs to invest in electric vehicles while grappling with weakening sales. It marks the third announcement on cost cuts this week by a major German car company as automakers seek to fund huge investments into cleaner and self-driving technologies while demand in China, their biggest market, is falling and a trade war between Washington and Beijing is curbing economic growth. "The automotive industry is in the middle of the biggest transformation in its history," Daimler said in a statement.
In 2018, South Korea's SK Innovation beat its larger, local rival LG Chem to a multibillion dollar deal to supply German carmaker Volkswagen with electric vehicle batteries in the United States. With great fanfare, SK Innovation (SKI) broke ground in March on a $1.7 billion factory in Commerce, Georgia, about 200 km from VW's Chattanooga plant, which will be the automaker's electric vehicle hub in the United States.
Audi plans 9,500 job cuts to save £5bn for electric car investmentCarmaker says 2,000 new jobs will be created in specialist digital areasWorkers assemble Audi sedans on an assembly line at the Ingolstadt plant. Photograph: Andreas Gebert/Getty Images