6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Douglas A. McIntyre

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) may buy Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) with the help of outside financiers.  According to The Wall Street Journal:

Humana Inc is in advanced talks to join with two private-equity firms in a deal to acquire home-care provider Kindred Healthcare Inc., a move that would add to a cascade of transactions aiming to bring together insurance operations with other health-care businesses.

As part of the complex deal, Kindred, a sprawling company with $7.2 billion in revenue last year, is to be divided, according to people familiar with the matter. Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and TPG would take over Kindred’s facility-focused business, which includes long-term acute-care hospitals and rehabilitation centers, while the private-equity firms together with Humana would get its home- and hospice-care operation.

Exchange CME will launch bitcoin futures.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” exploded in theaters this weekend. According to Box Office Mojo:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi delivered on expectations, debuting with the second largest opening weekend of all-time and propelling the box office to the third largest weekend ever based on estimates. In an attempt at counter-programming, Fox’s Ferdinand got off to a bit of a slow start against the might of Star Wars as well as the continued strong performance of Pixar’s Coco as it fell below Mojo’s expectations, though the studio is optimistic when it comes to the film’s future.

With an estimated $220 million, Star Wars: The Last Jedi delivered the second largest opening weekend ever behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which debuted with $247.9 million back in 2015. Last Jedi got off to a strong start on Thursday night with the second largest preview gross ever of $45 million and became only the second film to ever gross over $100 million on opening day resulting in the second largest opening day ever, second largest single day, second largest Friday and joins Force Awakens as the fastest films to reach $100 million.

Tencent and Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) have invested in a Chinese retailer. According to CNBC:

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd said on Monday it would lead an $863 million investment in apparel platform Vipshop Holdings Ltd , upping its rivalry in retail with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Tencent will invest $604 million in exchange for a 7 percent stake in Vipshop, while e-commerce firm Inc – a long-standing ally – will invest $259 million for a 5.5 percent stake, the two firms said in a statement.

SpaceX launched a recycled rocket for the first time. According to the New York Post:

SpaceX racked up another first on Friday, launching a recycled rocket with a recycled capsule on a grocery run for NASA.

The unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off with a just-in-time-for-Christmas delivery for the International Space Station, taking flight again after a six-month turnaround. On board was a Dragon supply ship, also a second-time flier.

It was NASA’s first use of a reused Falcon rocket and only the second of a previously flown Dragon.

Magazine publisher Condé Nast may be the next large company in the industry to make big layoffs due to soft advertising. According to the New York Post:

Following what sources have called a “terrible year” in which Condé lost about $100 million, the publisher is poised to take a scalpel to its corporate side, which includes its digital business.

The company’s entertainment division, Condé Nast Entertainment, is also said to be under review. This follows a year of two steep rounds of layoffs in the ballpark of 200 jobs in total.

Insiders said slashing digital jobs in an environment where that sector is growing is indicative of broader turmoil. A rep from the company acknowledged impending job cuts, but said they were linked to the changing media landscape.