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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, August 18, 2019 1:00 am

Briefs

Diversity of boards goal of initiative

News services

The Midwest Investor Diversity Initiative, a group of 11 pension and union funds with $750 billion in assets, is calling on small and mid-size companies in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin to add women and people of color to their boards.

The group, which includes the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, the Illinois State Treasurer's Office and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, has persuaded two dozen companies to adopt a version of the NFL's Rooney Rule to ensure women and people of color are considered for open directorships.

Ten boards have added new members as part of the process, according to data released Tuesday.

Inventec production pulling out of China

HP Inc. laptop maker Inventec Corp. said it will to shift production of notebooks for the U.S. market out of China within months, adding to the tech industry's exodus as the world's two largest economies escalate their trade war.

Inventec will move its entire American-bound laptop operation to its home base of Taiwan, President Maurice Wu said, the biggest migration since Donald Trump declared tariffs on $300 billion of imports will kick in next month. Wu's company assembles Apple's AirPods and produces notebook computers for HP, which accounts for an estimated third of its revenue.

Japanese tech giant targeting Brazil

SoftBank Group's Latin America foray, a multibillion-dollar deal spree that minted a wave of “unicorns” and upended the region's startup landscape, is just getting started.

The Japanese technology giant still has about $4 billion left in the $5 billion fund it launched in March for new technology companies in the region, and has its sights on roughly 300 targets, according to Andre Maciel, a managing partner at SoftBank Group International.

About 200 of those are in Brazil, he said. 

For the next round, Maciel said he's looking at companies in the health care and real estate industries, as well as boosting bets in financial and mobility firms.

Canned Dasani set to be launched in US

Coca-Cola is putting its Dasani water brand into aluminum cans as the beverage industry faces pressure to reduce its use of plastic.

Coke will start selling canned Dasani in the U.S. Northeast next month, with plans to expand the product to other parts of the country in 2020. The announcement comes after PepsiCo Inc. said recently it would experiment with selling Aquafina, its mainstream water brand, in cans at restaurants and stadiums.

Dasani and Aquafina are the top two bottled brands in the U.S., with combined sales north of $2 billion.