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  • Business Cornwall: Job: Business Specialist
    Business Specialist SSE Cornwall is seeking an experienced and knowledgeable businesses specialist who is also an excellent business connector. You will be a team player and play a key role in providing support and guidance to pre-start and start up social enterprises as part of SSE’s delivery of its new EU funded programme Engine Room.
  • Business Cornwall: Job: Learning Manager
    Learning Manager SSE Cornwall is seeking an exceptional candidate to manage our enterprising learning programmes. You will have excellent people skills and be a team player as well as being able to take the initiative. You will be well organised and have an ability to work to a high standard to pre-set deadlines.  You will
  • CNN Business: Zimbabwe is running out of cash
    Read full story for latest details.

  • CNN Business: Orvis to bring fishing groups to Cuba in 2016
    Read full story for latest details.
  • CNN Business: Could airbag scandal bankrupt Takata?
    Takata's exploding airbag scandal has hammered its reputation, soured relationships with customers and sent its stock crashing nearly 80% in a year.
  • Business Cornwall: Headland is one of best places to work
    The Headland Hotel has been named as one of the best places to work in the country within the hospitality industry.
  • CNN Business: Raging wildfires in Canada threaten oil supply
    Huge fires have forced the evacuation of the entire oil sands town of Fort McMurray, Canada. The fires threaten key production facilities in the area, some of which have already been taken offline.
  • Business Cornwall: Law firm names new partners
    A leading south west law firm has promoted four of its lawyers to partner after a successful year of financial and business growth.
  • BBC Business News: Greece hit by nationwide strike
    Public transport and shipping hit as Greeks start a three-day general strike in protest at further austerity measures.
  • BBC Business News: New boss for troubled Toshiba
    Technology giant Toshiba appoints a new chief executive in the wake of a damaging accounting scandal.
  • Business Cornwall: From Penryn to Palma
    Virtual purser company, Shore Based Pursers, has launched a new website and branding, coinciding with its recent workshop at the Palma Superyacht Show.
  • CNN Business: Stocks: 4 things to know before the U.S. open
    Here's what you need to know about the markets before you start your business day.
  • Business Matters: Bowers & Wilkins sells out to tiny Silicon Valley start-up

    Joe Atkins, chief executive officer of Bowers & Wilkins, has owned a majority stake in the half-century-old British speaker business for the last 30 years. On Tuesday, he plans to tell his 1,100 employees that he’s selling it to a tiny company that almost no one has heard of, run by a man he met just 30 days ago, reports The Independent.

    Over the weekend, Atkins reached a sale agreement with Eva Automation, a 40-person Silicon Valley startup that hasn’t yet sold a single product or service. The company was started in 2014 by Gideon Yu, a former Facebook chief financial officer, ex-venture capitalist, and current co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers. Yu has said little about his startup. According to the company’s website, it is “making products that will change how people interact and think about the home.” About a quarter of its employees have worked at Apple, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

    The companies declined to disclose financial terms of the deal. Eva is looking to raise as much as $252 million in a round that could value it at more than $600 million, according to an analysis of its public filings by VC Experts, a firm that studies private market data. Eva is backed by at least $20 million in funding, and the additional round of financing will help fund the acquisition. Yu said the Formation Group would lead the investment but declined to comment on how much money the company is raising. Both Eva and Bowers & Wilkins noted that the structure of the deal was unusual. Older, bigger companies usually acquire younger, scrappier upstarts in hopes of injecting some innovation into their ranks, not the other way around.

    Bowers & Wilkins became a household name before speaker companies had to distinguish themselves through Spotify integrations and voice recognition capability. While Bowers & Wilkins does sell speakers designed to accommodate people used to listening to music through their smartphones, Atkins acknowledges that his company lacks the expertise needed to build software that communicates with cloud services. Any company that wants to sell speakers at a significant premium would need to integrate high-end hardware with sophisticated software. Yu plans to begin selling new products that incorporate Eva’s work by early to mid-2017.

    While the details of the sale are odd, Atkins’s decision to sell isn’t a total surprise. He hinted at a potential acquisition in an interview with the Guardian last year, but that was long before talks started with Eva. Bang & Olufsen A/S, another high-end audio-equipment maker, walked away from takeover talks with a Chinese billionaire last month and replaced its CEO.

    Bowers & Wilkins’s most devoted customers will probably be skeptical about a Valley startup being the best steward for a fancy speaker brand. Audiophiles often turn their noses up at digital music companies, which have a reputation for sacrificing fidelity for convenience. “It will take some explaining,” said Atkins. “I think when the verdict comes back, it will be clear that this is exactly what Bowers & Wilkins should be doing.”

    Atkins will become CEO of the combined company, and Yu will be executive chairman. They will drop the name Eva in favor of the much more familiar Bowers & Wilkins brand. Yu and Atkins said there will be no staff cuts, and the company will continue to sell the current lineup of Bowers & Wilkins products. Atkins, who owns 60 per cent of Bowers & Wilkins, will take a significant ownership stake in the new company. Bowers & Wilkins’s outside investors, Caledonia Investments and Sofina, will cash out.

    Yu has been a Silicon Valley dealmaker for years. He was chief financial officer at YouTube when Google bought the company for $1.65 billion. At Facebook, he helped the social network raise money from Microsoft. As a partner at Khosla Ventures, he was an early investor in Square Inc. He also owns part of the 49ers and championed the football team’s new stadium in the Valley.

    Yu said his latest deal is a potential model for other well-funded startups. “I think there will be others to follow,” he said. “This is the way that Silicon Valley and other industrial companies raise the game for consumer-brand electronics.”

  • BBC Business News: Chinese shares suffer sharp losses
    The Shanghai Composite falls 2.8% as shares in Chinese coal and steel companies are hit.
  • Business Matters: Accommodation-listing service Airbnb is looking at moving into other businesses, its co-founder has said.

    Nathan Blecharczyk told the BBC the willingness of people to stay in the home of a stranger showed the demand for personal connections while travelling, reports The BBC.

    He said the company was now looking at pairing hosts and guests for tours, playing sport, and other activities.

    Airbnb operates in 34,000 cities in 191 countries and is valued at about $25bn.

    The company, which allows anyone to rent out spare space in their home to tourists, advertises its service as “experience a place like you live there”.

    “What we’ve demonstrated is there’s an immense appetite to travel more authentically and immerse yourself in culture… as opposed to having a commoditised experience,” said Mr Blecharczyk, the company’s chief technology officer.

    He said the company’s hosts, of which there are more than a million, wanted to participate more in guests’ experiences.

    “Maybe that’s someone going for a bike ride on their favourite bike route or doing a game of Frisbee, something as simple as that,” he said.

    “But connecting with real people having a good time, that’s something not currently available in the professionalised world of hospitality.

    “We’re thinking beyond accommodation.

    “What are the sort of things people are doing outside their home?

    “How can we help them to better connect with the local spots, the local people?”

    Mr Blecharczyk was speaking in Delhi, where the company is pushing to attract new business after seeing growth of 115 per cent in the past year.

    It now lists 18,000 properties across India.

    Any expansion by the company into new territory is likely to be closely observed by opponents.

    The city of Berlin began implementing restrictions on private rentals through the service at the start of May, which it called “a necessary and sensible instrument against the housing shortage”.

    It follows a similar move in the company’s home city of San Francisco late last year to limit short-term rentals.

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