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Liberty Global buys 5% stake in Vodafone

In today’s top stories, US telecoms group Liberty Global has bought 5% of Vodafone in the belief that its share price does not reflect its long-term value. Elsewhere, following on from a record Super Bowl, FanDuel-owner Flutter is considering a secondary US listing; NatWest has acquired fintech Cushon for £144m; and Tesla is pulling back on price cuts by raising the price of its Model Y vehicles in the US. Lastly, shares in controversial data company Palantir rose after it delivered profitability two years earlier than expected.

Liberty Global takes 5% Vodafone stake

US telecoms group Liberty Global [LBTYK], an investor in ITV [ITV.L] and Virgin Media O2, has bought 5% of Vodafone [VOD.L]. “We believe, like many others, that Vodafone’s current share price does not reflect the underlying long-term value of their operating businesses, or their announced consolidation and infrastructure opportunities”, said Liberty CEO Mike Fries in a statement. The Vodafone share price was up approximately 4% Tuesday morning.

Flutter eyes secondary US listing

Paddy Power owner Flutter [FLTR.L] is reportedly considering a secondary listing in the US. The Dublin-headquartered gambling firm said the move would “yield a number of long-term strategic and capital market benefits”, especially as FanDuel is “becoming the Group’s largest business by revenue and an ever-greater proportion of its overall value”. FanDuel was one of the main apps punters used to place bets during Super Bowl LVII.

NatWest to acquire pensions fintech

NatWest [NWG.L] has acquired workplace savings and pensions fintech Cushon for £144m in a move that it hopes will boost its “financial wellbeing” products, the bank’s Peter Flavel told City AM, describing Cushon as a “disruptive proposition”. The acquisition would be one of NatWest’s biggest since 2008. It still needs regulatory approval, but is expected to close within 2023.

Tesla changes Model Y price – again

After announcing major price cuts in January, Tesla [TSLA] is raising by $500 the price of its Model Y vehicles sold in the US. After a couple of years of rising EV prices caused in part by a battery metal supply imbalance, pressure on supply chains has started to ease. Tesla’s latest move could be a sign that it lowered its prices by too much, too soon. In SpaceX news, Elon Musk believes Ukraine’s use of its satellites may lead to WWIII.

Palantir’s first quarterly profit

Shares in controversial data company Palantir [PLTR] were up more than 17% pre-market Tuesday after it reported its first profitable quarter for the October to December period. “This is a significant moment for us and our supporters”, CEO Alex Karp said in the earnings release. RBC Capital Markets analyst Rishi Jaluria told Bloomberg that, while the company had delivered profitability two years earlier than expected, “[t]he numbers aren’t particularly strong”.


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