Humana dives another 3% as investors watch DOJ fallout; and prison time for N.C. man who duped ad agencies over fake Brown-Forman contract

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 5:30 p.m.

AdWeek cover
Ad exec fraudster appears on trade weekly’s just-published cover this week.

HUMANA‘s shares fell another 2.6%, or $4.15, to close at $154, as investors watched developments at the Louisville company and proposed acquirer Aetna, after executives mounted an 11th-hour battle Friday before antitrust officials to save the companies’ $37 billion merger. Aetna’s shares closed down 0.5%, or 56 cents, to $116.44. Last week, Humana tumbled 11% and Aetna a smaller 2% after news first leaked about the Department of Justice talks on Thursday (Google Finance). The company’s charitable foundation today announced a $225,000 grant to the Louisville Urban League to launch “It Starts with Me.” The insurer’s employees will visit the California, Parkland, Russell and Shawnee neighborhoods, helping families get health insurance, connect participants with support resources and find after-school activities for children (WLKY). Based in Louisville, Humana employs 12,500 employees in the city.

BROWN-FORMAN: A former North Carolina advertising executive was sentenced to 57 to 81 months in prison for defrauding two ad agencies in a scheme where he faked a series of contracts in 2012 with Brown-Forman and Coca-Cola Co. supposedly worth $269.9 million. The man, Bill Grizack, went so far as to create email addresses with domains closely resembling addresses of actual Brown-Forman employees, and used “burner” cellphones for made-up  conversations with the whiskey giant (AdWeek).

Rick Bubenhofer
Bubenhofer

Former Brown-Forman public relations chief Rick Bubenhofer has opened a boutique public relations agency, RBPR, with offices in Louisville and New York (TR Business).

In Nashville, the distiller’s Jack Daniel’s unit later this month is opening its first branded retail store outside its corporate home in Lynchburg, Tenn. Called the Nashville General Store, the outlet will sell clothing to barware and custom-made musical instrument displays. But it won’t sell whiskey because the store would need a liquor license (Tennessean via USA Today).

The Filson Historical Society is nearing completion of a $12 million expansion and renovation project partly underwritten with nearly $600,000 in contributions from Brown-Forman’s founding Brown family. The project includes a new, 20,000-square-foot Owsley Brown II History Center honoring the late Brown-Forman CEO. Founded in 1884, Filson is devoted to Kentucky and Ohio River Valley history and culture (Courier-Journal). Here’s a drone’s eye view of the project:

AMAZON Prime members now make up more than half the online retailer’s customer base, according to a new study. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates Amazon counts 63 million Prime members among its shoppers — an increase of 19 million from last June (Fortune). Amazon stock traded at a new intraday high of $755.90 before giving back some; shares closed at $753.78, up $7.97, or 1%. Investors are anticipating tomorrow’s second annual Prime Day super sale; the stock closed at $. The retailer’s stock has soared 70% from a year ago vs. a much smaller 2.8% gain in the S&P 500 index. The company employs a total 6,000 workers at distribution centers in Jeffersonville and Shepherdsville.

TEXAS ROADHOUSE‘s stock also traded intraday at a new record 52-week high, $46.83, but closed at $46.54, up $1.12, or 2.5%.

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