Investing Port RSS Feed All the latest news from Investing Port LeBron James Pizza Business NBA legend and pizza lover LeBron James took his love for pizza to the next stage by investing $1 million in Blaze Pizza in 2012. At the time of investment, Blaze Pizza was growing into a national chain and James opened two restaurants in Miami and Chicago.The NBA star’s investment put Blaze Pizza on the path to becoming one of the fastest-growing food chains in the United States. In 2017, it was reported that the pizza business had grown to $35 million. It is believed that James now owns 19 of Blaze Pizza outlets.Unlike regular pizzerias that make group pizzas and sent out in delivery or take out, Blaze pizzeria makes custom order individual pizzas for customers, in a brick oven. Customers are offered a range of toppings to select from such as sausages, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, and even corn. They can add as many toppings as they want for the right price.In addition to their pizza offerings, Blaze has offerings like fruit-flavored drinks and select-dining options customers can order in place of pizzas.Between the time of investment and 2017, James’s $1 million investment grew into $35 million. His success with Blaze is unmatched among other athletes who have investments in restaurants. He has also shown up for many Blaze yearly events, going as an undercover worker to one event.James now owns 19 Blaze Pizza franchises. Although the restaurant chain has over 200 stores across the country. According to industry tracking firm Technomic, Blaze Pizza has a goal to hit 1,000 stores by 2022 and eventually have an initial public offering.James and his business partner Maverick Carter are known for taking small businesses and making a more profitable business out of them.“LeBron and I have always been about finding companies that we truly believe in putting real money into them,” Carter said. “We’re not talking putting in $15,000 or $20,000. It’s real money plus the expertise, understanding and knowledge that we bring, as well as bringing LeBron’s name and likeness to the product.”Net worthLeBron James has a net worth of $500 million, earning $100 million per year.The NBA star earns roughly $40 million in salary from the NBA, and around $55 million from endorsements every year. Between June 2018 and June 2019 he earned about $85 million.James has had past and current endorsement deals with major companies including McDonald’s, Microsoft, Baskin Robbins, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Nike, Dunkin Donuts, and Samsung, among many others.With the money he gets from all his income sources, James together with his business partner Carter is on a steady path to making a billionaire out of James within the decade. ]]> Mon, 01 Mar 2021 11:32:38 EST Officials rule fire at Shaq’ landmark store Krispy Kreme arson Fire investigators of Shaq’s landmark store Krispy Kreme fire outbreak have concluded that the fire was intentionally set. The fire was said to have almost destroyed the historic Atlanta Doughnut shop. In the early hours of February 10, the store considered a neighborhood landmark went up in flames, according to reports from McClathy News. The Krispy Kreme property was purchased by former NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal in 2016. After the fire incident, O’Neal said the business would bounce back “stronger than ever,” with the backside of the building badly damaged. Investigators handling the case say they believe the fire was intentionally started by someone at the restaurant’s exterior. The Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department released photos of the accused arsonist captured on surveillance cameras and announced a $10,000 reward for any useful information that would lead to an arrest.“The fire that occurred at @kripsykreme Doughnuts (295 Ponce de Leon) on February 10th, 2021 has been determined to be a result of ARSON. We are seeking the public’s help in identifying & locating the suspect in these pictures. Up to $10,000 reward. 1-800-282-5804 #AFRD,” the department wrote.Krispy Kreme’s Atlanta’s store was among the first set of shops to open when founder Vernon Carver Rudolph expanded the business’s operations outside Winston-Salem, North Carolina, according to its website. Specific details of how the fire started are yet to be determined, all that is known is that the fire was intentionally started. It is also unclear when the store will reopen. At the time the fire broke out at Krispy Kreme, two employees were said to be working the drive-thru at the time. They exited the building safely after the spotted smoking wires and escaped being trapped in the fire. Although the exterior of the building was severely damaged, firefighters saved most of the building.Anyone with information that could lead to an arrest should contact the Georgia Arson Control Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.]]> Mon, 01 Mar 2021 08:45:08 EST Supreme Court Rules on Trump Tax Return The Supreme Court last Monday ruled on former US President Donald Trump’s tax return, allowing a New York prosecutor to obtain them. This was a huge blow to Trump who has fought to keep his financial papers from the reach of prosecutors.The financial documents are subject to grand jury secrecy rules that do not allow them to be released publicly. The ruling was issued without comment of noted dissent.Trump argued that the subpoena issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was issued in bad faith and overbroad. Access to Trump’s financial records means that there will no longer be any interference with the grand jury’s investigation into alleged hush-money payments. People familiar with the matter said the documents were to be submitted to the district attorney’s office in a few days.The subpoena will include documents from January 2011 to August 2019, and Trump’s tax returns from Mazars. The documents are linked to the employment of Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen and the hush money payment allegedly made to two women who claimed the former president had extramarital affairs with them.In a statement, Trump said the Vance investigation “is a continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our country.” Adding that, the “Supreme Court never should have let this ‘fishing expedition’ happen, but they did.”Mazars’s agreement to release Trump’s financial documents makes the case a lost one for Trump and his lawyers. The accounting firm said it is committed to fulfilling both its professional and legal obligations.“Due to our industry’s professional obligations Mazars cannot discuss any clients, or the nature of our services we provide for any client, in a public forum without client consent or as required by law,” the firm said.In July, the Supreme Court’s 7-2 voting rejected the former president’s broad claims of immunity on his tax returns, keeping it away from a state criminal subpoena. He said that as a president he wasn’t answerable to the same standards that applied to ordinary citizens. The case was sent back to the lower courts so that Trump could make more specific objections regarding the subpoena. The SCOTUS ruling against Trump said he can fight the subpoena in other ways but not using the presidential immunity as an argument.“No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.The federal appeals court said in October that there was “nothing that suggests that these are anything but run-of-the-mill documents typically relevant to a grand jury investigation into possible financial or corporate misconduct.”However, Trump's lawyers took the case back to the Supreme Court, requesting the justices to put on hold the lower court ruling while they consider taking up the appeal.“The subpoena is geographically sprawling, temporally expansive, and topically unlimited – all attributed that raise suspicions of an unlawful fishing expedition,” William Consovoy wrote. “Even if disclosure is confined to the grand jury and prosecutors … once the documents are surrendered … will be lost for all time.”]]> Mon, 01 Mar 2021 08:42:11 EST Chauncey Billups’s Wendy’s Franchise Former NBA star and now coach, Chauncey Billups is also benefitting from the culinary business world. After 17 seasons at the NBA, Billups decided it was time to move on to his next line of interest off the court. The retired NBA player is putting his entrepreneurial skills to work by building his post-basketball portfolio in business.In 2013, Billups teamed up with former NBA player Junior Bridgeman to buy 30 Wendy’s locations. He has successfully built a diversified entrepreneurial portfolio that includes his restaurant businesses and independent stylist and cosmetologists franchise Salon Plaza. He opened the first location of Salon Plaza in Southfield, Michigan in August, 2020, and says there would be more to come.To become eligible for a Wendy’s franchise, applicants must have a minimum net worth of $5 million and liquid assets of at least $2 million. Other costs required include $5,000 application fee and $50,000 technical assistant fee, per restaurant over a 20-year firm.Other Business InterestsBillups is considering expanding his Salon Plaza business to other locations in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Atlanta. He considers the salon business as a fast-growing sector and is determined to make a difference in the community with personal and professional values.“I remember my aunties, cousins, and others close to me who had their own businesses, but were doing it out of their basements,” Billups said. “Now, we’re making it possible for people to get into a business of their own in a one-of-a-kind environment with fantastic amenities and top-notch design.”The former NBA player is also running a market test with fitness club Rise Nation, which offers cardio climbing equipment and workouts that he uses himself. “Our Rise Nation locations are in Denver. It’s an active community and our business is doing well there.”Billups is a multi-brand franchisee, who owns a total of more than 40 units including Wendy’s, Salon Plaza, and Rise Nation. He has spent 7 years in franchising and his current position.Speaking of his decision to leave basketball for business, Billups said there were many investment and business opportunities that jumped at him while he was at the NBA – opportunities that seemed too juicy. He got to regret some of them, nevertheless, kept pushing. The former NBA star admitted that “running a business is far more challenging than basketball,” but says he sees similarities in value in both. “Given my competitive spirit and the edge I like to have in everything I do, I want to have my whole self involved. However, I balance a lot and I am able to do it well thanks to the team I work with,” Billups said. “With all of that said, no matter what you get into, it’s always a risk, and at the end of the day, for me, you have to be willing to lose. But now I have a team, processes, and systems that mitigate threats to our businesses and we’re in a position to win with all of our business endeavors.”Personal DetailsChauncey Billups is a former NBA player. He is married to Piper Billups and they have three daughters together: Cydney, Ciara, and Cenaiya.Billups was nicknamed “Mr. Big Shot” in the 2004 NBA Championship with the Detroit Pistons where his team defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, and he was named Finals MVP.Net WorthAs of 2020, Chancy Billups is worth $45 million.]]> Mon, 01 Mar 2021 08:40:14 EST AT&T plans to spinoff DirecTV, AT&T TV Now and U-Verse AT&T has reportedly signed a deal with private equity firm TPG to spin off its DirectTV, AT&T TV, and U-Verse units, according to a Securities and Exchange filing on Thursday.According to the deal, both companies will form a new company called DirecTV that will own and operate the spun-off video services. Bill Morrow, the chief executive officer of AT&T’s U.S. video units was named the CEO of the new company.The new company is valued at $16.25 billion, according to AT&T. In 2015, AT&T acquired DirecTV for $48.5 billion, with debt, and hoped to improve the company’s profitability by 2015 by pairing it with AT&T’s wireless service.“With our acquisition of DirecTV, we invested approximately $60 billion in the US video business,” AT&T said in a material distributed across news outlets. “It’s fair to say that some aspects of the transaction have not played out as we had planned, such as pay-TV households in the US declining at a faster pace across the industry than anticipated when we announced the deal back in 2014. In fact, we took a $15.5 billion impairment on the business in 4Q20.”In recent years, the demand for digital distribution of video has increased, affecting the demand for cable TV. Television companies are starting to embrace more of this development and are now offering digital TV services to consumers.If the AT&T and TPG transaction is successful, AT&T will own 70% of the common equity and TPG will own 30%. The new company’s board will be chaired by two representatives from both companies, and also Morrow. Once all has been done, AT&T will remove the video business from its balance sheet.Spinning off DirecTV into a standalone video company will help AT&T give more attention to its “strategic” areas of 5G network service, fiber internet, and HBO Max.“As the pay-TV industry continues to evolve, forming a new entity with TPG to operate the US video business separately provides the flexibility and dedicated management focus needed to continue meeting the needs of a high-quality customer base and managing the business for profitability,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey. “TPG is the right partner for this transaction and creating a new entity is the right way to structure and manage the video business for optimum value creation.”Both companies have said that they hope to close the transaction by the second half of 2021 as it is “subject to customary closing conditions and to regulatory reviews.” AT&T will receive $7.6 billion in cash from an initial sale to reduce outstanding debts.]]> Sat, 27 Feb 2021 01:53:42 EST Rapper Rick Ross runs multiple Wingstop franchises Rapper and businessman Rick Ross is one of the many celebrities who own restaurant chains as part of their diversified income sources. He is the owner of several Wingstop locations, franchised mostly in the South. He is also the CEO of Maybach Music. Ross’s decision to become a Wingstop franchisee is due to his interest in business, and his love for Wingstop’s lemon pepper wings. He was first reported to own nine Wingstop locations by Forbes in 2014, and by 2015, Tech Insider reported that the number had grown to 25.“I just wanted it to be something,” Ross told Forbes. “The business just grew. The community really came out, supported it, and showed us a lot of love. As you can see the energy in here is always fun. It’s always youthful. Not only that, you know they got my favorite lemon pepper wings in the world, so it’s just a natural attraction.”The rapper businessman opened his first Wingstop near Memphis, Tennessee. Each Wingstop franchise generates about $200,000 in annual profit. In the first year of business, Ross’s Wingstop franchises raked in nearly $7 million which earned him a spot on the Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings list for the sixth time in a row.Wingstop is a fast-food chain that is located across the entire United States. To become a Wingstop franchisee, at least $600,000 in liquid assets is required. The company would also need to run a financial background check on the applicant before proceeding any further.Biography/Early YearsRick Ross (born as William Leonard Roberts II) is an American songwriter, rapper record executive, and businessman. He was born on January 28, 1976, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and raised in Carol City, Florida.After Ross graduated from historically black college Albany State University, he worked as a correctional officer for 18 months and resigned in June 1997.In the early 2000s, Ross kicked off his music career at the Suave House Records, where he released his first debut single, “Hustlin’” in 2006. In no time, he became sort after in a bidding war between Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment and Irv Gotti’s Murder Inc. He eventually opted for a multimillion-dollar deal with Jay-Z’s Def Jam Recordings. Later that year, Ross released his debut album “Port of Miami”, topping the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart. The album made sales of 187,000 units in the first week which launched Ross further into the industry.The rapper released his second studio album “Trilla” in 2008, and by 2009 he founded the record label Maybach Music Group. The record label produced his next set of studio albums. Deeper Than Rap (2009), Teflon Don (2010), God Forgives, I don’t (2012), Mastermind (2015), Rather You Than Me (2017), and Port of Miami 2 (2019).Business VenturesIn 2009, Ross founded the Maybach Group music label, which has grown from a moderate music studio to an empire. He also owns multiple Wingstop franchises, alongside endorsement deals from major brands.Personal LifeRick Ross has four children: Toie Roberts, Williams Roberts III, Berkeley Hermes Roberts, and Billion Leonard Roberts.]]> Sat, 27 Feb 2021 01:51:17 EST The DG of WTO Ngozi Okonjo Iweala spoke about mass kidnapping of 317 Nigerian school girls The director general of the WTO is Nigerian, her name is Ngozi, Okonjo Iweala, and she condemned the kidnapping of 317 Nigerian school girls. This kidnapping marks the second mass Kidnapping of schoolchildren in Nigeria. Earlier today, the Nigerian Police in Zamfara confirmed that about three-hundred and seventeen (317) students were abducted from the Government Girls Science Secondary School Jangebe in Jangebe, Zamfara State.Here is what she said. Very sad to learn about the abduction of the Zamfara girls following on the heels of the Kagara boys. Praying for their safe recovery and stronger protection. Hoping for a more secure environment for our children to learn. #SafeSchoolsInitiative— Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (@NOIweala) February 26, 2021 View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nigeriatunes (@nigeriatuneshd) ]]> Fri, 26 Feb 2021 15:43:58 EST What you need to know about Airbnb's business operation during the Coronavirus Pandemic Airbnb (ABNB) is a housing and hospitality company. The company provides house sharing for travelers who do not want to use hotels. This process also allows real estate owners to make extra income by leasing extra rooms or the whole apartment to strangers. In return, money exchange hands from the traveler to the property owner, the deal is done on Airbnb website, Airbnb collects the money and they later pay the host after taken their percentage. Airbnb recently went public and the stock price has since doubled. In an effort to better understand how Airbnb conducts its businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic. We did some research and we found this video. The video above explains Airbnb's business practice before pandemic, during the pandemic and what to expect if we are able to move pass the coronavirus pandemic that is affecting many businesses worldwide. Airbnb earnings report snapshot Here is a snapshot of our Q4 and full year 2020 results, and our 2021 plan:Q4 2020 revenue was down only 22% year-over-year, demonstrating Airbnb’s resilience. At the depth of the pandemic, we forecasted our 2020 revenue could be less than half of what it was in 2019. Yet in the end, total revenue of $3.4 billion for 2020 decreased only30% compared with $4.8 billion in 2019. In Q4 2020, revenue of $859 million declined only 22% compared with $1.1 billion in Q4 2019, despite the second wave of COVID-19 cases and lockdowns the world experienced in Q4.Q4 2020 net income was impacted by charges related to our IPO. Charges associated with our IPO and our subsequent stock price increase contributed to our net loss in Q4 2020 and fiscal year 2020. Upon our IPO in December 2020, we recognized a non-cash stock-based compensation expense of $2.8 billion. This is much larger than a typical quarter because atthe completion of the IPO (similar to many other companies) we were required to recognize a significant portion of all stock-based compensation provided to Airbnb employees over the last several years. The increase in our stock price also increased the value of warrants issuedin connection with a term loan agreement entered into in April 2020. We recorded a non-cash mark-to-market adjustment of $827 million related to the warrants in Q4 2020. As a result, GAAP net loss was $3.9 billion in Q4 2020 and $4.6 billion in 2020, compared with GAAP net loss of $352 million in Q4 2019 and $674 million in 2019. GAAP net loss in the second half of 2020 was $3.7 billion, compared with $85 million in the second half of 2019.Q4 2020 Adjusted EBITDA was materially improved from a year ago, despite the impact of COVID-19 on our revenue. In Q4 2020, our Adjusted EBITDA was $(21) million, compared with $(276) million in Q4 2019, despite revenue being $248 million lower. In 2020, our Adjusted EBITDA was $(251) million, compared with $(253) million in 2019, despite revenue being $1.4 billion lower. For the second half of 2020, following our work to refocus the company and reduce costs, our Adjusted EBITDA was $481 million. In the second half of 2019, our Adjusted EBITDA was $37 million.1 source:]]> Fri, 26 Feb 2021 13:41:25 EST Meet Canada’s first black woman pediatric surgeon Dr. Oluwatomilayo “Tito” Daodu is set to become the first black woman pediatric surgeon in Canada, according to a report from Face2Face Africa.The Nigerian-born doctor is on a mission to make surgical care accessible to everybody. Dr. Daodu is an award-winning researcher and volunteer – who despite having a rough childhood – wants to smash “barriers to patients in need of surgical care.”“One of the things that excite me about the future is that I have a story that not many people have,” said Daodu. “I am probably uniquely situated from what I’ve gone through in life to be able to speak not just from an academic point of view, but from real life.”Dr. Daodu spent her early childhood years in Nigeria, and relocated permanently to Canada at the age of eight, after being deported at first, according to Avenue Calgary. She grew up in a rough neighborhood in Winnipeg but was salvaged from living a rough life by mentors from the West Broadway Youth Outreach, a local drop-in center for children.The award-winning doctor’s life changed so much at the center that it inspired her to mentor kids that would also pass through the center.“Kids need to believe that it doesn’t matter where they come from or what they look like,” Daodu said, adding that the world would be a better place if pediatric surgeons are available to people everywhere. “When we help the worst off or those with the least access, we do a service to the entire system.”During her time in Tanzania as a medical student, Dr. Daodu developed a project that focused on adolescent gender and reproductive health. She spent her summers in her native country, Nigeria researching early childhood pneumonia and later launched a campaign to address surgical needs in Nigeria as well. Dr. Daodu is currently completing her master's of public health at Harvard University, where she is part of a team that revises surgery checklists for high-income countries. The University of Manitoba was where Daodu received her medical training and moved on to do her residency and fellowship at the University of Calgary. Her research was based on the impact of socioeconomic status on surgical outcome and access to care.As soon as Dr. Daodu completes her training, she will become Canada’s first black woman practicing pediatric surgeon at the Alberta’s Children Hospital Foundation.In recognition of Black History Month, Daodu was recognized by the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) for the remarkable work she has been doing in her field. She was also nominated at Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 achievers in 2019. The awards are given to outstanding Calgarians who contribute their quota to affecting society and creating a secured path for the future of others.]]> Fri, 26 Feb 2021 09:36:24 EST Did you know that Chris Brown owns multiple Burger King Franchises? You may know Chris Brown as a controversial superstar, but did you know he owns 14 Burger King franchises?In 2015, Brown revealed a part of him that not many people were aware of. In an interview with US Weekly entitled 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me, the music star revealed that he owns 14 Burger King restaurants. He also revealed that he didn’t eat pork or beef, so he was sure of not eating into his profits.According to the franchise requirements on the Burger King website, eligibility is based on a minimum net worth of $1.5 million and at least $500,000 in liquid assets. The cost of opening a Burger King restaurant ranges from $1.2 million to $2.2 million. Owning 14 Burger King locations gives an idea of Brown’s finances.The restaurant business may not be as glamorous as high-end fashion or technology-related businesses but is profitable enough to build Brown’s income.Other big-name stars like Rick Ross, Kanye West, Jimmy Buffet, among others also own several restaurant chains. According to trade site Franchise Herald, franchising is a convenient way for celebrities to diversify their investments and income, with a recognized brand and working business model.Biography/Early YearsChris Brown (born as Christopher Maurice Brown) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. He started his musical journey at an early age, signing in his church choir at Tappahannock, Virginia, and sand in talent shows.Brown was discovered by local production team Hitmission Records in 2002, at age 13. Two years later Jive Records signed Brown at the young age of 15. By 2005, Brown released his first self-titled debut album which became a certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His first single “Run It!” topped the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first male artist since 1997 to have his debut single peak the chart.The 31-year-old has built his music career over the last two decades, with 9 studio albums, some of which have gone multi-platinum. In January 2007 Brown took up his first acting role in “Stomp the Yard.” He has also co-starred in films like Takers, Think Like a Man, and Battle of the Year. And television series like Black-ish and The O.C.Other BusinessesBrown founded the record label CBE (Chris Brown Entertainment or Culture Beyond Your Evolution) in 2007 under Interscope Records. The label has so far signed Kevin McCall, Sevyn Streeter, Sabrina Antoinette, Joelle James, and rock group U.G.L.Y In 2012, the music star launched the Black Pyramid clothing line, in partnership with the founders of the Pink + Dolphin clothing line.Net WorthAs of 2020, Chris Brown has a net worth of $50 million.]]> Fri, 26 Feb 2021 09:33:33 EST