business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From The Information:

"All good things come to an end - and the same is true for zombie companies, the businesses that lurch from day to day, barely alive. Blue Apron, a meal kit delivery service, is a great example. E-commerce entrepreneur Marc Lore - founder of and, who now runs food-delivery startup Wonder - is buying Blue Apron for $103 million in cash, via a tender offer for the publicly traded company’s shares. His offer is 95% lower than Blue Apron’s 2017 IPO valuation of $1.89 billion.

"Even so, at the offer price of $13 a share, it’s a big improvement on the roughly $6 a share level where Blue Apron has been trading until today."

The story points out that "after experiencing rapid growth in its early years, Blue Apron peaked at revenue of $881 million in 2017, the year it went public, and immediately began declining. Revenue has stalled at around $460 million for the past few years. Meanwhile, Blue Apron has never turned a profit. It has burned a total of $700 million in cash between 2014 and 2022. The fact that its equity has any value at all is something of a marvel."

What will be even more of a marvel is if Marc Lore actually can breathe new vigor into this "zombie brand."

•  From the Columbus Dispatch:

"WILLIAMSPORT — Fields where soybeans, corn and other crops were once grown outside of this rural community along the Ross-Pickaway county line are now covered by 775,000 solar panels, enough to power 75,000 homes.

"It's a story playing out across the state where more than 50 solar farms are either open or in some stage of development, many of them in agricultural communities like this one, and behind much of the push is a company many consumers use every day: Amazon.

"The 274-megawatt Yellowbud Solar Farm became operational this summer. The developer behind the project, National Grid Renewables, is selling the electricity to Amazon as part of the e-commerce giant's effort to rely exclusively on renewable energy by 2025.

"Amazon is buying the power from 17 solar farms in the state and one of Ohio's 11 wind farms to help run its operations, including the billions of dollars' worth of data centers it is building in central Ohio.

"Amazon says it has been the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy for each of the past three years with more than 400 projects around the world."

Does this mean that at some point, consumers will have plenty of electricity to power their kitchen appliances, but no rice to actually cook?