Breakingviews – Corona Capital: Chocolate M&A, Disney layoffs – Reuters

NEW YORK/MILAN/HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Corona Capital is a column updated throughout the day by Breakingviews columnists around the world with short, sharp pandemic-related insights.The skyline of lower Manhattan is seen before sunrise in New York City, U.S., July 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidLATEST- NYC’s new casesDON’T FORGET ABOUT IT. New York City’s positive Covid-19…

NEW YORK/MILAN/HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Corona Capital is a column updated throughout the day by Breakingviews columnists around the world with short, sharp pandemic-related insights.The skyline of lower Manhattan is seen before sunrise in New York City, U.S., July 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidLATEST- NYC’s new casesDON’T FORGET ABOUT IT. New York City’s positive Covid-19 test rate hit 3.25% on Tuesday, said Mayor Bill de Blasio, the highest since June. The Big Apple was an early hotspot, and its four largest counties have racked up over 223,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. But it had made a dramatic turnaround – with weeks of daily rates mostly between one and two percent. And limited indoor dining is just starting on Wednesday – giving the city’s economy a jolt it desperately needs.The setback doesn’t have to be catastrophic. Around a quarter of new cases in the past two weeks are confined to only nine zip codes, which contain less than 8% of the city’s population, according to the New York Times. The main culprit seems to be populations violating mask rules, not reopening measures like outdoor dining. So the mayor doesn’t need to reverse course; he just needs to make sure New Yorkers cover up. (By Anna Szymanski)BITE SIZE. The pandemic has thrown confectionary giant Ferrero a tasty treat. The maker of Nutella chocolate spread and Kinder eggs may swallow UK-based Fox’s Biscuits, says Sky News. Though the family owned Italian group won’t comment, a deal would fit its strategy of diversifying from chocolate confectionary into packaged sweets. Ferrero, which earned 11.4 billion euros in revenue last year, could easily afford the reported price tag of 250 million to 300 million pounds.For Fox’s owner, a sale may also make sense. The maker of Crunch Creams and Viennese has done well while Britons snacked at home during lockdown. But it’s a tiny bite of the poultry-to-pies 2 Sisters Food Group empire. And Covid-19 has spurred British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to crack down on junk food. Yet as Ferrero’s $2.8 billion purchase of Nestlé’s U.S. candy business in 2018 showed, the company is happy to buck the health trend. (By Lisa Jucca)THE NOT SO HAPPY PLACE. Walt Disney is laying off about 28,000 workers, mostly part-time workers and parks employees. Its Florida park, Disney World, has been open with limited capacity while Disneyland in California has been closed since March. The $227 billion company has reopened some parks abroad, but socially distanced entertainment will require fewer employees. Revenue from parks and experiences fell 85% in the
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