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Business Digest: Austin tech firm agrees to merger


TECHNOLOGY

Austin tech firm agrees to merger

JanCom Technologies, an Austin-based technology consulting firm, has merged with IMEG Corp., the companies said Monday.

Founded in 1997, JanCom works primarily as a consultant to the architectural community, providing design services for the construction of technology systems.

IMEG is a national design consulting firm specializing in building systems, infrastructure, program management and construction-related services. It has more than 30 U.S. offices and 1,000 workers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IMEG was formed in 2015 through a merger of KJWW Corp. and TTG Corp.

E-COMMERCE

Wall Street clearing house to adopt Bitcoin tech

After months of talk and hype, the world’s biggest banks have taken the first steps toward moving a significant piece of financial infrastructure onto a blockchain — the technology introduced to the world by the virtual currency Bitcoin.

The company that serves as the back end for much Wall Street trading — the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., or DTCC — said Monday that it would replace one of its central databases, used by the largest banks in the world, with new software inspired by Bitcoin. The organization plays a role in recording and reporting nearly every stock and bond trade in the United States, as well as most valuable derivatives trades.

IBM, which has been making a big push into blockchain technology, will lead the project for the DTCC and aims to have it fully functioning by early 2018.

“This is a real tangible step into what could be a very different future for Wall Street,” said Michael Bodson, chief executive of the DTCC.

ECONOMY

Credit card spending jumped in November

WASHINGTON — Consumers increased their borrowing in November at the fastest pace in three months.

Total borrowing in November climbed $24.5 billion, compared to a smaller $16.2 billion in October, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. The increase pushed total debt to a fresh record of $3.75 trillion.

The acceleration reflected a big jump in the category that covers credit card debt, which rose $11 billion, compared to a much smaller $2.4 billion increase in October. It was the largest monthly advance since March and was a good sign at the start of the holiday shopping season.

Growth in the category that covers auto loans and student loans slowed a bit in November, showing a rise of $13.5 billion after a $13.8 billion increase in October.

Patterns in consumer credit are closely watched by economists for clues they can provide about consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

FAST FOOD

McDonald’s sells China business in $2.1B deal

HONG KONG — Fast-food giant McDonald’s is selling a controlling stake in its China business to a group of investors led by state-owned Chinese conglomerate Citic in a deal worth up to $2.1 billion, the companies said Monday.

The transaction is part of a global business overhaul being carried out by the American company to keep up with changing tastes that have resulted in declining sales.

Under the terms of the deal, Citic Ltd. and its investment management unit Citic Capital will acquire 52 percent of the business while another partner, Washington-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group, will own 28 percent. McDonald’s will retain a 20 percent stake.

About two-thirds of the China operation’s 2,640 outlets, including 240 in Hong Kong, that are now owned by McDonald’s will be refranchised. The China business, which employs more than 120,000 people, is valued at up to $2.1 billion, according to the agreement. McDonald’s is China’s second-biggest fast-food company after Yum Brands’ KFC, which has more than 5,000 locations.

The deal, which still needs approval from regulators, is expected to be completed by mid-2017.



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