Tesla Seeks a Number Two Who Can Check Musk, Rest in Peace to the Queen of Soul, Walmart’s Best Sales Growth in a Decade, First-Ever Generic EpiPen and Free Med School at NYU

Good Friday Morning,

Millennial Matt Writing The Morning Report Today. Cliff Will Return Monday.

Daylight – Beyond the tweets – In a tip to the SEC, a former Tesla employee alleges Elon Musk sanctioned the spying and hacking of workers’ devices. The ex-employee, who used to work in the internal security department, also mentioned the company did not disclose to authorities the possible stealing of raw materials and drug trafficking coming out of the Gigafactory in Sparks, NV.  

By the way, another whistleblower filed a report stating Tesla embellished their production of the hyped-up Model 3 sedan by upwards of 44 percent. With all this controversy, the board is looking for a Number Two Who Can Do to work directly under Musk and be a check on his behavior.

Buzzard’s Roost – Rest in Peace Aretha Franklin. The woman is a marvel – a hustler to the core. She was a mother of two at 14 years-old and had two more kids before gaining any commercial success until she branched off from gospel music with 1967’s Respect that launched her to icon status. The Queen of Soul was 76.

Culture – She left behind a legacy as a trailblazer with 75 million records sold around the world as well as being the first-ever female inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Not to mention Rolling Stone named her the greatest singer of all time in 2010.

Google employees protest secret work on a censored search engine for the Chinese government. 1,400 employees signed a letter demanding transparency, saying censorship raises “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

Economics – Walmart had its best sales growth in 10 years, putting to rest worries Amazon’s expansion was going to hurt their numbers, particularly on digital sales which went up 40 percent.

By the way, Amazon has the theater chain Landmark Theaters in its sights. The move would help bring their blitz of streaming original shows and movies full-circle by investing in brick-and-mortar. Not only would they be making movies, they’d host them – Netflix is also in the running.

M&A – Coinbase acquired Distributed Systems, a decentralized identity startup.

JD Beauty Group agreed to acquire Ouidad, a hair curling products maker, from JH Partners.

Align General Insurance Agency merged with Catalytic Risk Managers, an insurance firm.

Medlogix acquired Integrity Medicolegal Enterprises and Michigan Evaluation Group, two medical record review firms.

Pinnacle Dermatology acquired North Oakland Dermatology.

Rising Sun Ventures acquired a majority stake in Eyenalyze, a data analytics software firm for restaurant owners and franchises.

Live Rounds – Another big FDA approval – They just OK’d the first-ever generic EpiPen, putting Teva’s shares up six percent. The approval comes right before kids go back to school when EpiPen prices tick up.  

Chipotle mystery solved once again – The reason why 647 people in Ohio got sick after eating from the embattled burrito chain was because of a bacteria triggered by storing food at an unsafe temperature.

Style – Word of the Day – rataplan [ˈrädəˌplan] noun

a drumming or beating sound.

Hot – Free medical school – at least at NYU – New York University said it will cover tuition for all its medical students. They are the first major medical school to do so in the US which acts as an incentive for prospective students to pursue their medical license post-grad without carrying six-figure debt.

NYU has already raised $450 out of the $600 million required to maintain the policy. If any other NYC schools follow suit, expect Maruchan, the microwaveable ramen noodle company, to take a hit with students now being able to afford groceries.

By the way, a tractor trailer filled with $98,000-worth of ramen noodles was stolen in Georgia.

Investment Banking – Dominus Capital invested in BluSky Restoration Contractors, a provider of restoration and roofing services.

Vista Equity Partners invested in iCIMS, a recruitment tech firm.

Hedge Funds – KCM Capital Partners recapitalized Atlantic Beverage, a food and beverage distributor in partnership with existing investors Huron Capital and Stonehenge Partners.

IPO – TKK Symphony Acquisition, a blank check company seeking a consumer-focused business, priced its $220 million IPO, planning to offer 22 million shares priced at $10 apiece.

Venture Capital – DoorDash raises $250 million less than six months after SoftBank injection.

Sila Nanotechnologies, a maker of battery materials, raised $70 million.

Common Networks, a wireless internet service provider, raised $25 million.

AxiaMed, a healthcare payments technology firm, raised $12.4 million.

Clobotics, a maker of drones and retail intelligence solutions, raised $11 million.

Lucidity, a digital advertising blockchain, raised $5 million.

Visor, a real-time data and gaming improvement developer, raised $4.7 million.

Bugworks Research, a biopharma startup targeting multi-drug resistant bacteria, secured $9 million.

Spotlight – Member Jeff Estep from Honour, a company specialized in consulting for workplace strategies, project management and portfolio optimization, contacted Cliff yesterday about Elvis’s death day.

Turns out he’s going to Nashville to see the 69’ Elvis Comeback Tour on the big screen. Looking forward to hearing his thoughts. I’ve heard it’s just like going back in time, hearing the rataplan of stomping feet from the King’s screaming fans.  

And that’s what’s ahead, Matt