Mario Batali sells stake in his restaurant group

New York (CNN Business)Embattled celebrity chef Mario Batali has sold his stake in the chain of restaurants that helped to make him famous, more than a year after he was accused of sexual misconduct. In a statement to CNN Business, Batali said he has reached an agreement with Joe Bastianich and no longer has any stake in the restaurants. “I wish him the best of luck in the future,” Batali said. Batali stepped away from the restaurant business in December 2017, when the restaurant news website Eater published an investigation that included allegations of misconduct. Eater’s report included accounts of four women who claimed that Batali “touched them inappropriately in a pattern of behavior that appears to span at least …

Starbucks’ newest drink is made with egg-white powder

New York (CNN Business)Starbucks just unveiled its latest coffee drink: The cloud macchiato, made with egg-white powder. The cloud macchiato comes in caramel and cinnamon flavors. The coffee company first teased the cloud macchiato during its investor day in December as an example of how the company is innovating its iced beverages. Cold drinks “have contributed to more than 80% of our beverage growth over the last two years,” Starbucks Chief Operations Officer Rosalind Brewer said at the event. Starbucks’ new cloud macchiato also may have a celebrity tie-in. Rumors swirled that pop singer Ariana Grande may be involved in the product launch after Grande and Starbucks posted matching tweets. “We’ve long been fans of Ariana Grande’s and were excited …

Banking leak exposes Russian network with link to Prince Charles

Exclusive: investigation reveals how Troika Dialog channelled $4.6bn to Europe and US A charity run by Prince Charles received donations from an offshore company that was used to funnel vast amounts of cash from Russia in a scheme that is under investigation by prosecutors, the Guardian can reveal. Money flowing through the network included cash that can be linked to some of the most notorious frauds committed during Vladimir Putins presidency. In all, it is estimated that $4.6bn (3.5bn) was sent to Europe and the US from a Russian-operated network of 70 offshore companies with accounts in Lithuania. The details have emerged from 1.3m banking transactions obtained by the ed Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Lithuanian website Bill …

Gap and Old Navy are splitting up

New York (CNN Business)Gap and Old Navy have been trending in opposite directions for years. So they’re finally splitting up. Wall Street cheered the decision:Gap (GPS) stock was up 25% in after-hours trading. The separation is a tale of two vastly different businesses: Old Navy has thrived in recent years, and sales at stores open at least a year grew 3% in 2018. Meanwhile, the Gap has struggled — its sales fell 5% last year. Banana Republic has been closing stores, which has helped the company improve sales. “Old Navy continues to outpace Gap brand and Banana Republic, and is one the fastest-growing major apparel brands,” said Christina Boni, analyst at Moody’s. The Gap, which was founded in 1969, used …

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How Target is trying to woo mom and dads

New York (CNN Business)Moms and dads are some of the best shoppers for retailers. Target has a plan to win them over: Focus on the kids. A combination of factors has buoyed growth. Many parents today are having children later in life and are further along in their careers. That means they have more disposable income to spend and room to trade up for flashy clothes for their little ones, according to Ayako Homma, an analyst who covers the children’s clothing market at Euromonitor International. Target has taken aggressive steps to woo parents and capitalize on an opening in the market. Former heavyweights Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us are gone, Gymboree has filed for bankruptcy a second time …