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Bidders shortlisted for Chelsea FC ownership

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The bidders vying for the ownership of Chelsea Football Club will be shortlisted within days

Global investment firm Centricus is the latest to fund another British bid to secure the popular Chelsea Football Club. A move driven by co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and CEO Garth Ritchie, who are seasoned ticket-holders.

Centricus reportedly has £29 billion in assets and says it will “maintain and support the clubs existing management.”

Chelsea was put up for sale by owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Abramovich moved swiftly to sell the club when sanctions were being placed upon Russian oligarchs.

However, the U.K. Government is now in control of who the buyer will be and where the net proceeds will go, with Abramovich having no say in the sale.

United States bank Raine Group is overseeing the sale and plans to narrow down the shortlist of bidders to three.

The competition for the Chelsea is ripe, with billionaires, moguls and investors around the world expressing their interest with notable bids.

Many bidders have been made public including Saudi Media, as well as British property developer Nick Candy. However, many other bidders remain private as this time.

There has been no word on who is leading the bid, with Candy recently upping his bid on Monday.

Final sale

From here, Raine Group will shortlist the bidders down to three. The preferred buyers will be given to the Government, who will then issue a licence for sale.

Specific evidence will also be required to prove that Former owner Abramovich is not related to, or can benefit from, the sale.

The buyer will also have to pass the Premier League’s Director’s testing, which includes suitability and legal checks.

A final sale is expected before the end of March.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

Business

Management shake up at under fire Qantas

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There’s been a management shake up at Australia’s flag carrier airline Qantas, which has come under fire for cancellations and delays

Jetstar CEO and longtime Qantas executive Gareth Evans has resigned.

He was touted as a potential replacement for controversial Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

Gareth Evans has been with Qantas for 23 years.

He has been chief of Jetstar since 2017, but has worked across the group and has now “decided this is the right moment to move on”.

This comes as the aviation grapples with the higher fuel prices and staffing issues at airports that are affecting much of the industry globally.

Strong demand

Qantas has also updated the market, saying it’s on track to record second half earnings of just over 500 million dollars.

Underlying profit is set to return in FY23, while debt levels are now well below pre-pandemic levels.

Qantas says this is due to continued strong domestic and international travel demand.

Qantas has come under fire for long delays and cancellations
Qantas has come under fire for long delays and cancellations

After peaking at more than $6.4bn at the height of the pandemic, net debt is expected to fall to around $4bn by June 30, an improvement of around $1.5bn in the past six months.

The airline has come under sustained pressure, with many passengers complaining about long queues, cancellations and delays.

Qantas is calling for patience ahead of the winter school break rush as it hires more staff to manage increased demand at airports.

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Business

Nike to fully exit Russia

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U.S. sportswear maker Nike is making a full exit from Russia, three months after suspending its operations there, the company said in an emailed statement Thursday

The sportswear giant had said back in March that it would suspend operations at all the stores it owns or operates there.

On Thursday (June 23) the firm said it would leave the country altogether.

In a statement, Nike said it would scale down over the coming months.

The move is largely symbolic for the company, which gets less than 1% of its revenue from Russia and Ukraine combined.

It says any stores that are still open there are run by independent partners.

In May, Russian media reported that Nike had not renewed agreements with Inventive Retail Group, its largest franchisee there.

Now the full exit lputs Nike in line with other major western brands such as McDonald’s and Google.

Foreign companies seeking to leave face the prospect of new laws being passed that will allow Moscow to seize assets and impose criminal penalties.

That has prompted some businesses to accelerate their departure plans.

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U.S. orders vape company Juul to cease sales

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Juul has been an industry leader in the vaping sphere since its establishment in 2015, controlling 75 per cent of America’s market by its third year of operations.

This is just the latest crackdown on the Tabacco industry by the Biden administration, all part of a sweeping effort to regulate the sector after years of delay.

The White House has also announced a rule to establish a maximum level of nicotine in tobacco products in an attempt to make them less addictive.

After a nearly two-year-long review, the FDA said Juul submitted insufficient and conflicting data to show that its e-cigarettes met public health standards.

The regulator also said the findings raised “significant questions,” including whether potentially harmful chemicals could leach out of Juul pods.

The decision potentially deals a fatal blow to the once high-flying San Francisco company.

Juul did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The FDA had to judge whether Juul’s products, which have been sold for years without being officially authorized by the agency, were effective in getting smokers to quit and, if so, whether the benefits to smokers outweighed the potential health risks to new e-cigarette users, including teenagers.

“They prey on children.”

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin hailed the decision by the FDA on Thursday, but said “they’re in for a legal battle for sure.”

Earlier this week, the Biden administration said it also plans to propose a rule establishing a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and other tobacco products to make them less addictive.

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