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CHASING AMAZON

Austin says it will make a bid for “Amazon HQ2”: Internet giant Amazon.com is in the market for a location for a second headquarters that it plans to build away from its Seattle hometown, and Austin economic development leaders say they want to lure it to Central Texas.

Mike Rollins, president and CEO of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, told the American-Statesman that city officials would make a bid to win what’s expected to be a huge Amazon complex.

Amazon announced its plans this past Thursday and asked interested cities and regions to prepare and submit proposals. The proposals are due by Oct. 19, and the winning location will be announced next year, the company said.

“Definitely we want to compete, and compete hard and would like to win,” Rollins said. “We feel like we have a great case to make, if we’re fortunate enough to be selected to make our case.”

He said Austin has the right attributes, from a talented workforce to plenty of land to one of the nation’s fastest-growing airports, among other pluses. And he said there would be synergy here, with Amazon having recently purchased Austin-based Whole Foods Market.

As for the prospects of landing the second headquarters, he said: “I would say excellent, but I’m an optimistic person.”

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office also said that state officials will work to try and bring the Amazon facility to Texas.

“We will continue to aggressively court Amazon in the hopes that it expands its footprint in Texas and establishes its new headquarters here,” Abbott spokesman John Wittman.

Wittman didn’t comment on any specific potential locations within Texas.

Amazon said it will spend more than $5 billion to build the facility — which it has dubbed “Amazon HQ2” — and will employ up to 50,000 people at it in “high-paying jobs” averaging more than $100,000 each in total compensation once finished.

“I can’t think of a better place for (Amazon) than in Austin, in particularly, in District 2 with our proximity to the airport, to major thoroughfares, and to many of our working families,” said City Council member Delia Garza, who represents District 2. “As we talk about more equity and opportunity for all, I have no doubt that Amazon could launch so many of our hardworking families into opportunities for upward mobility.”

Garza said in a prepared statement that she will be “aggressively pursuing this relationship because we know without a doubt that there is no better match than Austin.”

Meanwhile, some Amazon observers already are putting Austin on shortlists of locations that the company likely would find appealing, with Austin garnering the first mention in a Seattle Times story Thursday headlined: “Cities that could be a good fit for Amazon’s second HQ.”

Representatives of other Texas cities said they will also try to lure Amazon. The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation released a statement saying it is “engaged and ready to pursue the opportunity,” while the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce said it has “communicated to Amazon our intent” to pursue the facility.

Amazon representatives said in a statement that the planned new facility “will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle.”

It will “create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community,” in addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment in the facility, they said.

Amazon’s Seattle headquarters encompasses 8.1 million square feet in 33 buildings. The company also said 53,000 additional jobs have been created in Seattle as a result of Amazon’s presence.

DELL FINANCES

Dell reports sales of $19.3 billion in company’s 2nd quarter: On the anniversary of its purchase of data storage giant EMC Corp., Dell Technologies this past week reported sales of $19.3 billion for its fiscal second quarter. The company’s revenue grew 8 percent from the previous quarter.

The sales growth was largely due to purchases of computers, servers and networking equipment. The company also paid down $1 billion in debt and narrowed its operating loss from the previous quarter.

“In the second quarter, we generated strong cash flow and made progress on our de-levering goal,” said Dell Technologies chief financial officer Tom Sweet.

Round Rock-based Dell Technologies is now a tech conglomerate that sells a lot more than computers.Since acquiring EMC, Dell is now a company of 140,000 people.

The company took on a lot of debt to pay for the EMC purchase. Dell Technologies’ total debt load is $57.3 billion, a slight decrease from the quarter before.

The PC side of the business now only makes up about half of the company’s overall revenue. Dell also sells servers, storage and networking equipment.

During Dell’s fiscal second quarter, which ended on Aug. 4, it reported a loss of nearly $1 billion. When adjusted for one-time costs and gains the company reported profit of $873 million.

Dell’s operating loss was $979 million, which is about $500 million less than the quarter before.

It’s difficult to make year-over-year comparisons because Dell Technologies’ results from the second quarter of last year did not include revenue and expenses from the EMC side of the business.

Only its PC division is easily compared to the year before. Dell reported sales of $9.9 billion in its PC group, an increase of 7 percent from a year ago. It’s also the highest sales quarter for that group in three years.

Dell also reported sales growth from its server and networking products from the previous quarter, but storage sales were flat.

Dell purchased EMC in order to build one powerhouse company that could provide IT infrastructure to businesses. The company’s strategy is markedly different from rival Hewlett Packard, which split into two companies, one called HP focused on selling PCs and the other, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, focused on the heavy-duty IT equipment, such as servers.



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