GE’s disposal of its biotech business
GE sold its biotech business to Danaher for $21bn in a deal that is expected to complete in the fourth quarter and is part of GE’s strategy to focus on core businesses and pay down its $100billion debt.
This move will have surprised many people given that it looked like the biotech business was going to be spun off with the rest of the healthcare business in an IPO later this year. This will mean that those plans will have to be revised, but the $21billion in cash will come in very handy in bringing them towards their previously-stated target of reducing debt by $30billion.
Naysayers will say that this surprise move implies that there may have been a certain amount of desperation, but overall I would say that this looks like a step in the right direction for this sprawling conglomerate.
It also shows how hot the biotech sector is at the moment, coming so soon after Roche’s purchase of Spark Therapeutics.
Spotify’s problems in India
The second thing I wanted to talk about was Spotify’s problems in India. The music streaming company is is due to launch in India in the next few weeks, but Warner Music Group has thrown a spanner in the works by instigating legal action in the country to prohibit it from streaming songs by popular artists including Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheerhan.
This is the culmination of many months of acrimonious wrangling between the two companies and will be frustrating for Spotify as it tries to grab a piece of the action in a rapidly growing market.
I suspect this will get sorted somehow, but it will just delay things.