Weekly Reads - August 22, 2022
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Amazon continues to be an active M&A participant in 2022 with their bid for Signify Health after recent acquisitions of MGM, One Medical, and iRobot. Signify Health is a healthcare platform that aims to help health plans, government programs, and employers develop value-based payment plans through the use of its software and analytics. Amazon faces tough competition for Signify with healthcare heavyweights UnitedHealth Group and CVS rivaling Amazon for the company. So far UnitedHealth has submitted the highest bid at above $30 with Amazon trailing behind according to reports. This acquisition would continue Amazon's hard push into health care after their recent acquisition of One Medical this year and previous acquisitions such as PillPack. If Amazon were to win the auction for Signify it is likely regulators will take a hard look at the potential competitive ramifications of this deal. 2022 is shaping up to a banner year for Amazon in terms of M&A with critical acquisitions that could shape the long-term future of the company outside of its core e-commerce business.
The expansion of clean energy loans through the recently signed Climate Bill might be the tailwind needed to further the creation and commercialization of new technology in the clean energy industry. This expansion authorizes as much as $350 billion in additional federal loans and loan guarantees for energy and automotive projects and businesses. These funds should help the development of young, high impact, risky technologies that would struggle to find funding outside the Energy Department’s loan program due to lenders not wanting to lend money to these risky projects. This windfall of additional funds could unearth the next revolutionary energy company that could help the nation meet its climate goals over the next few decades. This loan expansion is not without its risks with critics pointing to the Energy Department’s shaky track record in previous years such as funding failed solar company Solyndra and the department only recouping 40% of the $31 billion in funds the department lent out as of fiscal year 2021. Despite the shaky track record the Energy Department is pressing forward in reviewing loan applications and determining the best areas to invest these new funds.
The construction industry is in the midst of a worker crisis as the industry prepares for the impact of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The IIJA is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, yet the industry is struggling to find enough capable workers to take advantage of this massive tailwind. The construction industry is in peril with over 40% of the current U.S construction workforce expected to retire over the next decade in addition to the current shortage of 430,000 construction industry workers. To solve this problem the industry is accelerating its adoption of technology to drive efficiencies, tackle labor retention, and educate its workforce. Construction companies are slowly adopting new technologies such as AI, augmented reality, and cloud-based collaboration tools as a way to modernize themselves in order to become more efficient and become attractive employment options for the next generation of workers. With every subsequent generation becoming more tech-savvy it’s critical that these companies start modernizing their systems so they can attract the necessary labor force to meet current and future demand.