Arkansas Business

Walmart is paying $16 billion for a controlling stake in India's giant online retailer Flipkart, breaking into a fast-growing economy where it has struggled to establish a foothold. Online sales have exploded in India.

Walmart and Amazon have been fighting hard to catch up to Flipkart. Its delivery drivers, with their motorcycles and oversized backpacks, have become ubiquitous across the nation of 1.3 billion people. 

Walmart said Wednesday that it will own approximately 77 percent of Flipkart.

Fortune.com

Following Tuesday's resignation of casino mogul Steve Wynn amid accusations of sexual misconduct, a native Arkansan is now chief executive of Wynn’s $17 billion global enterprise.

Mena native Matthew Maddox has worked for Wynn Resorts Ltd. since 2002, eventually serving as chief financial officer and president. The company’s board of directors named the 42-year-old Maddox CEO late Tuesday following Wynn’s resignation.

Sun Paper
Governor's Office

Sun Paper plans to boost its investment in a proposed Arkansas mill from around $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion. The new plans announced Tuesday also include projected employment rising from 250 to 350 new jobs.

Tyson
Tyson Foods

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc. has invested in a food-tech startup that's developing methods to produce meat directly from animal cells.

Springdale-based Tyson announced Monday that its venture capital arm, Tyson Ventures, now has a minority stake in Memphis Meats. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Memphis Meats says it expects to use the funds to accelerate product development.

Tyson says the investment reflects the company's commitment to find new, innovative ways of meeting a growing global demand for protein.

As the Salvation Army holds its largest fundraiser of the year, known as the Red Kettle Campaign, a spokeswoman for the Salvation Army of Central Arkansas says the holiday bell-ringing tradition remains effective, despite many consumers carrying less cash.

Michelle Scroggins, director of community relations, says they haven't been seeing a negative impact on donations locally. In other parts of the country, donations to red kettle campaigns have declined.

Nearly two years after singing the praises of new downtown offices in Little Rock’s River Market District, First Orion announced Monday that it is moving its global headquarters across the river to North Little Rock’s Argenta District due to growing space needs.

In a ceremony with North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith and First Orion CEO Charles Morgan, the growing Central Arkansas tech firm said it has selected a building site at the 500 block of Main Street in North Little Rock to house its future workforce of more than 200 people.

A robot scanning a Walmart store shelf.
Walmart

Select Arkansas Walmart stores in Sherwood, Searcy, and Pine Bluff are expected to receive robots Tuesday to aid associates in their work. It’s part of an expanded test that started in Pennsylvania, with the retail giant implementing robots in 50 of its locations. The robots will use automation to scan store shelves, help keep track of inventory levels, check prices that could be wrong, or where labels are missing.

USDA - McKeand

A timber company with deep Arkansas ties and a headquarters in El Dorado is being acquired in a $1.18 billion deal by Potlatch Corporation. The Spokane, Washington-based operation, now to be known as PotlatchDeltic Corporation, will have 1,500 employees combined, 2-million acres of timberland, and is estimated to be worth $4 billion. Deltic’s contribution is 530,000 acres in Arkansas and Louisiana.

Potlatch CEO Mike Covey will stay at the helm of the combined company. He told investors on Monday that he expects more activity out of south Arkansas forests and mills.

Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative in Clinton consider so-called locavores and farm-to-table chefs who want assurance their meat is raised organically their target demographic, and they're turning to the emerging information system blockchain technology for its ease and thoroughness of reporting.

Blockchain works by providing a shared digital ledger of trusted information that cannot be edited and is not controlled by any one person.  It promises to provide at the speed of a webpage load a full history of a product, service or idea. 

This same technology is also being tried by the world's largest food retailers like Walmart who are perhaps more concerned with quickly tracking the source of food contamination in the event of an outbreak or health scare.

Delta Regional Authority
dra.gov

The White House has nominated a member of U.S. Sen. John Boozman's staff to serve as co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.

Officials announced the nomination Wednesday of Chris Caldwell, who now serves as director of special projects for Boozman. The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that works to improve regional economic opportunity in the Mississippi River Delta region.

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