Company news in brief

15 October 2019 | Sakenuus
J&J ebola vaccine introduced in DRC

Health authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo will introduce a Johnson & Johnson ebola vaccine in November in the country's eastern provinces, to counter the current outbreak, they said.

The J&J vaccine will complement another vaccine manufactured by Merck, which has been administered to more than 225 000 people. It requires two injections eight weeks apart, unlike the Merck vaccine, which requires a single shot.

A first batch of 500 000 doses of the J&J vaccine should arrive in Congo next week, the authorities said in a statement. The inoculation process will start in Goma in early November and then be extended to other provinces.

Congolese health authorities had announced the deployment of the vaccine last month, but had not specified when the campaign will take place.

Since it first started in August 2018, the ebola outbreak has killed more than 2 100 people, second only to the 2013-16 outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11 300. – Nampa/Reuters

Volkswagen not shedding Lamborghini

Volkswagen on Sunday said that it has no plans for a sale or an initial public offering of luxury brand Lamborghini, after Bloomberg reported that it was considering shedding the unit.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Volkswagen was readying to fold Lamborghini into a separate legal entity, in a process that may wind up toward the end of next year, and to focus VW's future expansion on the group’s main global brands Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi.

Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess in March said the company was reviewing its portfolio of brands, which also include Ducati and Bentley, and whether to divest some non-core businesses.

Last month, Diess said the company was working to free up resources for the development and mass production of electric cars.

Volkswagen had aggressively expanded under the leadership of Ferdinand Piech, who was chief executive and chairman between 1993 and 2015, acquiring Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini in a single year. – Nampa/Reuters

Boeing splits CEO, chairman role

Boeing unveiled a shift to its leadership structure on Friday as it manages the 737 MAX crisis, announcing that Dennis Muilenburg will remain chief executive but step down as chairman.

The company said splitting the roles would allow Muilenburg to focus full time on running the company "as it works to return the 737 MAX safely to service" while ensuring full support to customers sharpening Boeing's focus on safety.

The company named David Calhoun, currently lead independent director, to serve as non-executive chairman. Calhoun said the "board has full confidence in Dennis as CEO and believes this division of labour will enable maximum focus on running the business with the board playing an active oversight role."

Boeing's top-selling 737 MAX plane has been grounded since mid-March following two deadly crashes that killed 346 people.

Boeing is targeting regulatory approval for the plane's return to service this year following upgrades, but the aerospace giant has noted government authorities will have the final say. – Nampa/AFP

Total to buy stake in Adani Gas

Total has agreed to buy a 37.4% stake in India's Adani Gas, the two firms said yesterday, with the French giant spending US$600 million to expand its access to the energy-hungry country.

The Indian firm, part of the Adani Group conglomerate, is one of the four main distributors of city gas in the country, and plans to increase its coverage to six million homes and 1 500 outlets to supply vehicles over the next decade.

Under the terms of the deal, Total will make an open offer to Adani Gas shareholders to purchase up to 25.2% before buying the remaining equity from the company, leaving the French and Indian firms with an equal share.

Natural gas currently represents a fraction of India's energy consumption - around 7% - while a June report by the Centre for Science and Environment think-tank found that the country's gas-based power plants were running at 24% of their capacity.

New Delhi has set a target to increase natural gas consumption to 15% by 2030. – Nampa/AFP

Lukoil reaches ‘dirty’ oil agreement

Russian oil producer Lukoil has reached an agreement with its customers about compensation for a major contamination of Russian oil in the Druzhba pipeline earlier this year, CEO Vagit Alekperov said yesterday.

There will be a three-way agreement with Hungarian energy firm Mol and Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft, Alekperov told reporters during a trip to Saudi Arabia. He said Lukoil plans to stabilise its oil supplies to Mol at between 300 000-500 000 tonnes a month. – Nampa/Reuters

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