Food City offering free N95 masks and more business news

Food City offers free N95 masks

Food City is offering free N95 face masks to customers and employees through a partnership with Topco Associates LLC cooperative and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Food City said in an announcement Monday it will be receiving several shipments of the high-quality face coverings which will be available at the front of the store while supplies last.

“The health and safety of our customers and associates is our top priority … as we continue to navigate through one of the worst spikes we’ve encountered during the pandemic,” Food City CEO Steve Smith said in a statement Monday.

In mid-January, the federal government announced plans to distribute 400 million N95 face coverings through retailers around the nation. The initiative is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Food City operates more than two dozen stores in the Chattanooga region among 138 retail outlets the grocery chain has in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Virginia.


Peloton shares jump on takeover reports

Shares of the exercise bike maker Peloton Interactive Inc. jumped nearly 21% Monday, rising $5.15 per share to $29.75 a share, on reports that Amazon, Nike or even Apple might be interested in buying Peloton.

Peloton shares closed Friday at $24.60, giving the company a market value of just over $8 billion — far below the roughly $50 billion market value it fetched a year earlier.

Multiple news outlets reported over the weekend that Amazon is interested in Peloton as the online retailer starts to ramp up its health and wellness offerings. Amazon declined to confirm or deny whether it was considering making an offer for the U.S. exercise equipment maker.

The Financial Times said Nike also was interested in Peloton.

Peloton CEO John Foley along with other Peloton insiders have a combined voting control of roughly 80% of Peloton shares and Baird analyst Jonathan Komp said in a research note on Monday that Foley likely won’t be willing to sell, unless there is enough internal pressure stemming from Peloton’s recent stock sell-off. Foley’s management team has had “unwavering confidence” in its ability to achieve its longer-term goals as a stand-alone business, Foney said.


Allegiant Airlines CEO to step down June 1

Maurice Gallagher, the longtime CEO of budget airline Allegiant, will step down as CEO of the airline’s parent company and be replaced by company President John Redmond on June 1.

Allegiant Travel Co. announced the change in CEOs on Monday. Gallagher will remain chairman.

Gallagher said the change in CEOs formalizes “changes that have been working in practice for the last several years.”

Redmond, who spent many years in the hotel and resort business, has served on Allegiant’s board since 2007 except for a one-year break. He has been president for five years and oversees day-to-day operations of the company.

Gallagher was among the investors who started ValuJet Airlines, a discount airline that suffered a 1996 Florida crash that was blamed on improperly stored hazardous materials in the cargo hold. The airline bought AirTran and took the smaller rival’s name.

Gallagher took over Allegiant in 2001 after the company went through a bankruptcy reorganization.

Allegiant reported a profit of $152 million on $497 million in revenue last year. Revenue exceeded 2019 levels, a rarity in the airline business, which is still trying to recover from the onset of the pandemic.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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