According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest report, global renewable energy capacity grew at its fastest rate for two decades last year, gaining some 45%. While the IEA attributes the boom to policy decisions in the US, Vietnam and China, the latter accounted for 80% of global installations between 2019 and 2020.
By Tuesday (25 May) it was being reported that only a last-minute collapse in talks would prevent Amazon from closing its second-largest acquisition to date, a $9bn deal to buy the storied movie studio MGM, home of the James Bond franchise.
The deal would bolster Amazon’s Prime streaming offering with the hallowed Bond and Rocky franchises as well as classics such as The Silence of the Lambs. The privately-traded shares, which are mostly held by a small circle of hedge funds, are thought to have jumped around 50% this year since news of the talks first broke. At around $9bn (including debt), the takeover would be second only to Amazon’s $13.7bn purchase of the US supermarket chain Whole Foods in 2017.
This is Amazon’s most aggressive thrust into Hollywood so far. Last year alone, it paid out some $11bn for video and music streaming content while agreeing to pay another $1bn a year for NFL streaming rights. In the meantime, the release of the latest Bond movie, No Time to Die, has been delayed (again) until September 2021 in the UK and October in the US.
By Friday (21 May) shares in Ford Motor Company had capped a two-week gain of around 20% to be well over 50% up in 2021, after the company revealed plans for its forthcoming F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck and announced a joint venture with leading electric battery-maker SK Innovation.
The electric version of the company’s iconic (and best-selling) pickup is thought to offer 230 miles of range and is expected to hit showrooms in the spring of next year with a price tag of just under $40,000.
Meanwhile, Ford signed a memorandum of understanding on 20 May with SK Innovation to form a joint venture called BlueOvalSK. The pair plan to invest some $5.3bn to build a business that, by the middle of the decade, will be producing around 60GWh (gigawatt hours) each year in traction battery cells and array modules.
The next-gen batteries and arrays will power several of Ford’s future electric vehicles, with the Detroit-based car builder expecting to need at least 240GWh of battery cell capacity by 2030.
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