SoftBank to lead nearly $1.2 billion investment in diagnostics firm Invitae [Reuters]
The investment, to be used for its growth initiatives, will be in convertible senior notes, which will bear 1.5% interest per year…. Earlier this year, SoftBank invested $900 million in gene sequencing firm Pacific Biosciences of California Inc.
GameStop stock dives after filing to sell up to 3.5 million shares [MarketWatch]
Based on Thursday’s stock closing price of $191.45, the offering could raise up to $670.1 million. The company plans to use the proceeds from the offering “to further accelerate its transformation,” as well as for general corporate purposes and to strengthen its balance sheet….
The stock tumbled 13.7% in morning trading. After rising 5.8% last week, the so-called meme stock had rocketed 1,002.2% over the past three months through Thursday, and soared 6,737.5% over the past 12 months….
Separately, GameStop provided preliminary sales results for the fiscal first quarter.
Total sales for the nine weeks through April 4 rose 11% from the same period a year ago. That included a 5.3% rise in sales in February and an 18% sales increase in March.
Rival Group Makes Fully Financed, Roughly $680 Million Bid for Tribune [WSJ]
A special committee of Tribune’s board has determined that a roughly $680 million, $18.50-a-share bid submitted late last week by Choice Hotels International Inc. Chairman Stewart Bainum and Hansjörg Wyss is reasonably likely to lead to a proposal that is superior to Alden’s $635 million deal, people familiar with the matter said. That is legal deal-speak indicating Alden may need to raise its bid or risk losing the deal…. If Alden loses the deal, it would mark a stunning, 11th-hour turnaround for the New York hedge fund, and a major victory for critics who say its model of aggressive cost-cutting has hurt the local news industry. Alden had spent nearly a year-and-a-half positioning itself to take over Tribune….
Tesla files a petition against U.S. labor board order [Reuters]
The electric-car maker filed a petition on Friday with the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals to review the NLRB’s decision and order issued on March 25…. Last month, the NRLB ordered Tesla to direct Musk to delete the tweet and to post a notice addressing the unlawful tweet at all of its facilities nationwide and include language that says “WE WILL take appropriate steps to ensure Musk complies with our directive.”
Coinbase Independent Directors Have Close Company Ties [WSJ]
Fred Ehrsam’s ties to Coinbase Global Inc. run deep: He co-founded the multibillion-dollar bitcoin exchange, was its president until 2017, owns millions of its shares and was part-owner of a company it bought last year.
Under Coinbase’s plan to tap the public markets, however, the San Francisco-based company classifies Mr. Ehrsam as an independent director, securities filings show. The same goes for Fred Wilson, another Coinbase director who owns a significant stake of the company….
[Accounting professor Terry] Neal said that, based on his research of audit committees at established public companies, it was “more than a bit unusual to see a co-founder and former president of a company serving as an independent member of its audit committee.”
How Brexit Ruined Easter for Britain’s Chocolate Makers [NYT]
“We’ve lost our entire European trade,” said Aneesh Popat, the owner of The Chocolatier, which sells dark chocolate salted caramel water ganache Easter eggs and other treats out of Bedfordshire, about 50 miles north of London. “Worse than that, we’ve lost our reputation, because when we send pallets of chocolate to, say, Germany and it disappears or we can’t track it, our customers don’t blame the courier. They blame us….”
Chocolate is the U.K.’s second-largest food and drink export, after whiskey, according to the Food and Drink Federation. Chocolate exports to all countries hit $1.1 billion last year, and Europe accounts for about 70 percent of those sales. In January, exports of British chocolate to Europe fell 68 percent compared with the same period the year before.
Forgotten Copy of Super Mario Bros. Sets Record at Auction [NYT]
An unopened copy of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. that had been bought in 1986 as a Christmas gift but sat forgotten in a desk drawer until recently was sold on Friday for $660,000, according to an auction house in Dallas.
The price was a record for a video game, the auction house, Heritage Auctions, said in a statement. That distinction was previously held by another copy of the same game, which sold for $114,000 in July.