Sep 21, 2017

Albertsons buys Plated, a Blue Apron rival

Albertsons, the grocery store giant owned by Cerberus Capital Management, has acquired Plated, a New York-based meal-box subscription service that had raised around $90 million in venture capital funding. No financial terms were disclosed, but The Information reports a price tag of between $175 million and $200 million, with earn-outs that could nearly double the take.

  • Why it matters: Because this could presage new takeover interest in Plated rival Blue Apron, which has stunk up the public markets like a piece of rancid steak. Albertsons getting into meal-box delivery is a much more direct threat to grocers like Kroger than is Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, given both shopper demographics and the reality that Amazon would still need to figure out sourcing and packaging. Not surprisingly, Blue Apron shares gained in aftermarket trading on the news, and are up again this morning.
  • ROI: It's not all that great for Plated's most recent investors, unless that earn-out is achieved. PitchBook reports the company's Series B round from August 2016 had a $128 million post-money valuation. The Series A post-money, however, was just $50 million.
  • Bottom line: "Albertsons, owner of the Safeway chain with roughly 2,300 stores, will market the meals to millions of store customers, while Plated also continues its online and television advertising campaigns." — WSJ

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Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

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Buttigieg campaign claims Nevada caucuses were "plagued with errors"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's campaign wrote a letter on Sunday asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns, The Nevada Independent reports.

The big picture: The campaign alleges that the process of integrating early votes on caucus day was “plagued with errors and inconsistencies,” and says it received more than 200 incident reports from precincts around the state.

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Coronavirus threat grows, threatening some drug supplies

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

As the novel coronavirus continues spreading globally and China grapples with a limited production capability, there's a growing risk to about 150 prescription drugs in the U.S., sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The coronavirus has spread to more countries, with both South Korea and Italy stepping up emergency measures amid rising case numbers on Sunday. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,467 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health