Ex-VW CEO Winterkorn Must Face Emissions Fraud Trial, Court Says

Naspers-Backed Crypto Luno Acquired by Digital Currency Group

Naspers Ltd.-backed cryptocurrency exchange Luno has been acquired by New York-based digital asset investment firm Digital Currency Group, according to a company release seen by Bloomberg.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. DCG has backed more than 160 blockchain companies and is the parent of units including asset manager Grayscale Investments, crypto broker Genesis Global Trading and industry publication CoinDesk, the release said. DCG first invested in Luno in its seed round in 2014, the release said.

Luno, based in London with hubs in Singapore and Cape Town, has almost 400 employees and more than five million customers, according to the report. The firm is also backed by technology investor Naspers, as well as others including Balderton Capital UK LLP, Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Ltd. and Venturra Capital, according to Luno’swebsite.

Luno will continue to be led by CEO Marcus Swanepoel, the release said.

The acquisition comes amid a recent downturn in the price of Bitcoin from around the $12,000 level. The digital coin has dropped 17% from its most recent mid-August peak and was trading at $10,181 at 11:05 a.m. in London.

G-III Apparel Posts Q2 Loss; Net Sales Down 53.8% – Quick Facts

G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (GIII) reported a second quarter net loss of $0.31 per share, compared to net income of $0.23 per share, last year. The company noted that net loss for the quarter included net losses from the Wilsons Leather and G.H. Bass operations of $0.53 per share. On average, ten analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss per share of $0.77, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Second quarter net sales decreased 53.8% to $297.2 million from $643.9 million, last year. Analysts expected revenue of $327.39 million, for the quarter.

“We refinanced our balance sheet and extended the maturity of our revolving credit facility and term debt to 2025. In addition, the closure of Wilsons Leather and G.H. Bass stores, expected to be completed by the end of this fiscal year, will result in the elimination of significant operating losses,” Morris Goldfarb, CEO, said.

Navistar Posts Adj. Loss In Q3; Revenue Down 45% – Quick Facts

Navistar International Corp. (NAV) reported a third quarter loss per share of $0.37, compared to profit of $1.56 per share, prior year. Adjusted net loss was $8 million compared to profit of $147 million, a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA was $104 million compared to $266 million, previous year.

Third quarter revenues were $1.7 billion, down 45 percent from third quarter 2019, and Core charge outs were down 53 percent. The company said the decrease was primarily driven by the impact of COVID-19, as well as prior year comparable quarter results that were near the peak of the prior industry cycle.

Navistar finished the quarter with $1.65 billion in consolidated cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, including $1.6 billion in manufacturing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities.

Is Google Still the Best Search Engine? Maybe Not

Google has been considered the best search engine in America and many other parts of the world. The argument for this is that it brings back more pertinent answers to questions people “ask,” and this makes it the most useful search product available. However, new antitrust charges claim the “best” search results may be, at times, the ones that favor Google’s other products and services the most. This bias, if it exists, takes away a perceived advantage.

The charges that may be brought by the U.S. antitrust authorities, and perhaps similar authorities in other countries, are that, as CNET points out: “Google has been accused of hurting competitors by prioritizing its own products, like shopping ads or local business listings, over the listings of rivals in its search results.”

Google also sends people to Google Maps and for video to YouTube, which is also owned by parent Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL). YouTube is the second-largest source of revenue for the tech giant. Thus, Google uses search to increase its income, perhaps by as much as several hundred million dollars.

This bias, if it does exist, means that Google’s algorithms have not been designed solely to serve the people who use it as their preferred search engine. The water has been fouled. Alphabet faces more than potential antitrust charges. It also has to deal with a hit to the belief that Google is the best search service.

HD Supply Q2 Adj. EBITDA Declines; Sales Down 4.4% – Quick Facts

HD Supply Holdings, Inc. (HDS) reported second quarter adjusted net income per share of $0.83, compared to $0.79, a year ago. On average, nine analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $0.73, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 2.5 percent, to $238 million.

Second quarter net sales were $1.55 billion, a decrease of 4.4 percent from prior year. Analysts expected revenue of $1.55 billion, for the quarter.

As of August 2, 2020, the company’s combined liquidity of $995 million was comprised of $71 million in cash and cash equivalents and $924 million of additional available borrowings under HD Supply, Inc.’s senior asset-based lending facility.

Ex-VW CEO Winterkorn Must Face Emissions Fraud Trial, Court Says

FormerVolkswagen AG head Martin Winterkorn and four others must stand trial over serious fraud charges in Germany for their role in the diesel-rigging scandal that cost the carmaker more than 30 billion euros ($35 billion).

The former chief executive officer and four other managers were charged last year of equipping vehicles sold to customers with a so-called defeat device. A court in Braunschweig, Germany allowed the case to proceed Wednesday, but modified some of the charges, saying the suspects could also be tried for acting as a criminal gang.

“The fraud charges concern 9 million vehicles sold in Europe and the U.S.,” the court said in an emailed statement. “Buyers may have lost 100 million euros.”

VW and Winterkorn’s lawyer Felix Doerr didn’t immediately reply to emails seeking comment.

The court dropped breach of trust and some minor charges against Winterkorn. The judges told prosecutors that they are likely to reject their demand to have executive’s bonus seized as part of the case.