A news summary focused on big employers; updated 3:53 p.m.
HUMANA: Aetna’s CEO did little today to allay concerns the insurance giant might leave its historic Hartford home after its workforce doubles to 110,000 with the pending Humana merger. Mark Bertolini told the annual stockholders meeting that Aetna was required to establish a Kentucky presence when it sought to buy Humana. “Having said that,” he told shareholders, “the rest of all of our real estate is under review.” He expects the $37 billion deal to close in the second half of the year. (Hartford Courant). Humana’s stock closed at $169.60 a share, up less than 1%, but enough to make it the best-performing stock this week among Boulevard’s portfolio of big local employers.
GANNETT: Tribune Publishing is reportedly turning the tables on Gannett by planning a hostile offer to buy the owner of The Courier-Journal, USA Today and more than 100 other dailies. “I am going to bid on Gannett,” CEO Michael Ferro told five dozen Los Angeles Times staffers, according to a confidential source. “I have lawyers working on it.” That would counter Gannett’s sweetened all-cash offer this week, to $15 a share, or about $475 million, excluding $385 million of outstanding debt (Politico Media).
UPS CEO David Abney doubts package delivery by drone will be as ubiquitous as some forecast. Speaking to a Boston business conference, he said: “I don’t believe there are going to be 10,000 to 20,000 of these flying over metro Boston delivering dog food and toothbrushes. I just don’t believe the economics of those work out” (Boston Business First).
AMAZON, which is developing Prime Air to transport packages to customers within 30 minutes via drone, could learn something from DHL’s drone delivery program (Business Insider).
PAPA JOHN’S: Baseball-related pizza promotions are now so pervasive, they extend to the local level, thanks to Papa John’s status as the “official pizza” of 22 big league clubs (538).
BROWN-FORMAN is now offering pregnant employees 12 weeks’ paid leave, about twice as much as the most generous maternity leave plans of the area’s 10 biggest employers (Insider Louisville).
CHURCHILL DOWNS: Which horses stand the best chances at tomorrow’s 141st Preakness Stakes (New York Times).
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