Must-Read Money Stories for Monday, Feb. 20

by February 20, 2017
Kraft Heinz Co. rescinded its $143 billion-merger proposal to London-based Unilever on Sunday, according to Reuters. (Image "Heinz" by Mike Mozart via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

Kraft Heinz Co. rescinded its $143 billion-merger proposal to London-based Unilever on Sunday, according to Reuters. (Image “Heinz” by Mike Mozart via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

Kraft calls off Unilever deal

Kraft Heinz Co. has publicly rescinded its $143-billion merger proposal to Unilever, the London-based maker of Vaseline and Lipton tea, both companies said in a joint statement Sunday. The food company’s decision to withdraw came just two days after it had announced the deal under Britain corporate disclosure rules Friday. It’s unclear why the companies ended talks in a joint public statement over the weekend, but unnamed sources told Reuters that negotiations crumbled over concerns that the deal—potentially the third-largest takeover in history—wouldn’t pass muster with UK regulators, as well as clashes between company cultures and business models.

CEO of Applebee’s and IHOP parent resigns

DineEquity Inc.—the California-based parent company of the Applebee’s and IHOP restaurant chains—saw its stock prices tumble nearly 10 percent Friday following the sudden resignation of CEO Julia Stewart, who offered no reason for her departure, according to the Los Angeles Times. Stewart’s official departure date is set for March 1, marking the end of a multi-year tenure heading IHOP and Applebees separately before handling their merger in 2007. DineEquity, which has roughly 3,700 restaurants in 18 countries under its umbrella, has seen a solid year of quarterly and overall annual declines in sales and profits at both chains.

Teens buck malls for recycled duds

Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap and other clothing retailers traditionally popular among American teenagers are being faced with a conundrum worth a whopping $18.8 billion—the drop in nationwide spending among teens last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The drop was a stark contrast to the solid spending gains that occurred in the two previous years among teenagers, who are instead opting to buy and resell recycled clothing through online marketplaces such as ThredUP, Vinted and Poshmark, where sales volumes have more than doubled since 2013.

U.K. firm with Trump ties opens D.C. office

After accepting millions of dollars from Donald Trump’s campaign last year to help in the physiological profiling and targeting of American voters, British data science firm Cambridge Analytica is now setting its sights on contracts with the U.S. government, according to the Washington Post. Unnamed sources told the Post that Cambridge, hoping to leverage its earlier ties with Trump, has opened a small office near the White House, where employees are working to pitch government officials on using its technology to help bolster military capacities, thwart terrorism and gather attitudinal information tied to immigration.

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