Google Offers and Banana Republic are officially the first businesses to join Starbucks in raising money for the fund. Google's (GOOG) Google Offers will raise up to $3 million by selling $10 Starbucks vouchers for $5 apiece and donating $3 from each sale to the fund. Gap's (GPS) Banana Republic plans to donate up to $1 million from purchases made during two, four-day sales events later this year. On April 19, the first sale to benefit the fund will begin.
Starbucks introduced the "Create Jobs for USA" fund in October along with the Opportunity Finance Network. At the time, CEO Howard Schultz attributed the move to a lack of political leadership amid a poor jobs environment.
The fund has already raised more than $7.5 million, with another $4 million potentially coming in from the new partnerships. According to Starbucks, that amount would support about $80 million in lending or enough to create or sustain more than 3,800 jobs.
Molson Coors (TAP) is trending as the company plans to buy StarBev and its nine European breweries for $3.54 billion. Molson, which is attempting to expand its operations, is betting Europe will be a vibrant area once the economic crisis there subsides. The deal would help Molson's brands reach drinkers in central and Eastern Europe. StarBev is headquartered in the Czech Republic and has 4,100 workers. It distributes brands including Stella Artois, Beck's, Hoegaarden, Lowenbrau and Leffe. Molson expects that financing for the deal will include $3 billion in cash and debt and $667 million in convertible debt issued to the seller. The transaction should add to Molson's earnings in the first full year of operations. The deal, pending approval from European regulators, is expected to close in the second quarter.
Illumina (ILMN) is another popular topic after the U.S. gene sequencing firm rejected Roche's improved bid for the company.
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