Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TKC Holdings, a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, is seeking creditor approval to spin off prisoner phone services company Inmate Calling Solutions via a management buyout.

Why it matters: When a for-profit prison services company like TKC decides a business has become too politically toxic to own, you know there's a serious problem. Particularly when it wants to divest so badly that it's willing to hurt its own credit-worthiness.

  • TKS would help finance the deal via $280 million in new debt, including a $220 million PIK note.

The bottom line: "The controversial prison phone industry has come under fire for charging inmates as high as $25 for a 15-minute call... ICS and [rival] Securus, which was once owned by HIG but is now a portfolio company of Platinum Equity, dropped plans to merge in April 2019 after the Justice Dept and FCC raised concerns that the deal could harm competition," writes Bloomberg's Davide Scigiluzzo.

Go deeper: Global merger and acquisition activity decreased in 2019

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Boeing's one-two punch

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The grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX was the worst crisis in the plane-maker’s century-long history. At least until the global pandemic hit.

Why it matters: Wall Street expects it will be cleared to fly again before year-end. Orders for what was once the company’s biggest moneymaker were expected to rebound after the ungrounding, but now the unprecedented slump in travel will dash airlines’ appetite for the MAX and any other new planes, analysts say — putting more pressure on the hard-hit company.

New downloads of TikTok, WeChat to be blocked in U.S. on Sunday

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Commerce Department issued Friday an order blocking new downloads of WeChat and TikTok in the U.S. as of Sept. 20.

The state of play: President Trump has been in a standoff with TikTok, threatening to ban the app if it's Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not relinquish control to a U.S. company. A deal is in the works with the American tech company Oracle, but would need to go through before Sunday to prevent TikTok from being ousted from app stores.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 30,211,680 — Total deaths: 946,710— Total recoveries: 20,551,632Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 6,676,410 — Total deaths: 197,655 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 91,546,598Map.
  3. Politics: Trump vs. his own administration on virus response.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.