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UFC owner Endeavor surges 12 percent in stock market debut

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UFC owner Endeavor surges 12 percent in stock market debut

Media giant Endeavor — home of mixed martial arts juggernaut Ultimate Fighting Championship, Hollywood talent agency WME and sports and fashion firm IMG — surged as much as 12 percent in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The Ari Emanuel-led firm opened trading under the ticker symbol EDR at $24 a share, and saw its stock initially jump as high as $26.96 a share before giving up its gains in midday trading. The stock recently changed hands on Thursday at $23.80.

Hours earlier, Emanuel, who is the inspiration for the Ari Gold agent character in HBO’s “Entourage,” high-fived fellow Endeavor execs as he rang the ceremonial bell to kick off the trading day. As reported by The Post, Endeavor priced its IPO at $24 for a $10.6 billion valuation the night before with the goal of raising $511 million to more than $550 million.

The public listing marks the end of a long road for Endeavor, which tried and failed to go public in 2019.

At the time, the fiery Emanuel yanked the IPO when orders came in as low as $20 a share. The company, which had priced its stock to sell at $30 to $32 a share, had already lowered its price range to $26 to $27 a share in advance of the IPO.

Sources told The Post at the time that Endeavor’s hodge-podge of assets and hefty $4.6 billion debt load were to blame for the sinking demand.

This time around, Endeavor decided to sweeten the pot and buyout the remaining 49.9 percent stake it doesn’t own in the lucrative UFC, as exclusively reported by The Post in March. The company is in the process of raising about $1.7 billion for the purchase, and is banking on a spending bonanza on sports and live events as the pandemic fades.

But the company is still licking its wounds from the economic fallout of the virus crisis. Endeavor notched a net loss of $625 million in 2020 while its debt load of around $5.9 billion,  according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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New York restaurants are about to get a COVID surcharge

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New York restaurants are about to get a COVID surcharge

New Yorkers love eating out, but they’re starting to gripe about a coronavirus surcharge that can add up to 10 percent to the final bill. 

The surcharge — OK’d by Mayor Bill de Blasio last October — was introduced to help Big Apple restaurants survive the pandemic. But many New Yorkers say they’re only just starting to notice it tacked onto their bills as restaurants with expanded outdoor seating capacity start filling up like it was 2019. 

“My colleagues and I were just talking about COVID charges. It’s a hot topic,” said Yovanka Bylander, who works at an investment advisory firm. “I noticed it when I was out recently, and a colleague said he noticed it at his birthday dinner at Don Angie” in the West Village. 

“That was just a 4 percent COVID surcharge and he was OK with that. But sometimes you get a 10 percent surprise at the end. I mean, come on. We all want to help, but restaurants have to be transparent about it,” she said. 

A Don Angie source said the surcharge helps offset extra COVID costs, and that the eatery charged 4 percent instead of 10 percent because they didn’t want to gouge their customers. “So far,” the source said, “our customers have been very positive and supportive.” 

Restaurants that add the surcharge are required to warn the customer ahead of time. Many of them do this with a notice attached to the menu, but diners say it often goes unnoticed until the bill arrives. 

“It’s annoying, and the bigger the surcharge, the more annoying it gets,” said a diner who asked not to be named. “I’d rather they tell you up front, because even if it is written on the menu, you can miss it.” 

A Tribeca resident and tech firm COO said he was surprised when he was recently slapped with a 5 percent surcharge at Serafina. 

“It was very clear on the bill, but there was no message about it beforehand,” he said. “We always tip 25 percent after tax, so that COVID line item surcharge was significant.” 

A Serafina source said the restaurant tells customers about the surcharge verbally when they order. 

The local law is designed to expire 90 days after New York’s state of emergency is lifted. It’s unclear when that will happen even as dining capacity is set to return to 100 percent on May 19. 

City officials say there are currently no plans to take the pesky surcharge off the table. 

Aristotle “Telly” Hatzigeorgiou of Clinton Hall said the city’s resurgence has convinced him to do away with the 10 percent surcharge starting Friday. 

“Our hope is that this relaxation of the stringent rules will bring out diners,” he said. “And we want to reward those diners by eliminating the 10 percent charge that helped us get through the additional expenses to keep our staff and customers safe.” 

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Pentagon could sack JEDI cloud project amid Amazon court battle

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Pentagon could sack JEDI cloud project amid Amazon court battle

Pentagon officials are mulling ending its JEDI cloud-computing project, caught up in litigation from Amazon, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Amazon, which was seen as a front-runner to win the $10 billion JEDI project that went to Microsoft in 2019, has argued the contract process reflected undue influence from former President Trump.

A US Court of Federal Claims judge last month refused to dismiss Amazon’s claims alleging the Trump administration interfered in the Pentagon’s award.

Last year, the US Defense Department completed a comprehensive re-evaluation of its contract proposals and determined that Microsoft’s submission still represented the best value for the government.

Microsoft said in an emailed statement on Monday it was ready to deliver on JEDI, but that the litigation battle was harmful.

“We agree with the US Departments of Defense and Justice that prolonged litigation is harmful and has delayed getting this technology to our military service members who need it,” Microsoft said.

Amazon’s cloud unit reiterated its previous stance, claiming the JEDI re-evaluation of its contract proposals was affected by “improper influence” from former President Trump.

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FireEye shares jump after Colonial Pipeline cyberattack

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FireEye shares jump after Colonial Pipeline cyberattack

Shares in cybersecurity technology provider FireEye were up 4.9 percent on Monday after top US fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline had to shut its entire network due to a cyberattack on Friday that involved ransomware.

Cybersecurity industry sources told Reuters that FireEye was brought in to respond to the attack, which was one of the most disruptive digital ransom operations ever reported. FireEye declined to comment.

FireEye stock last traded at $20.21 after rising as high as $20.49. The stock was on track for its biggest one-day percentage gain since March 9.

“Their stock usually goes up with these kind of attacks. They’re the go-to guys,” said Catharine Trebnick, analyst at Colliers Securities, adding that “they usually have follow-on sales from these types of breaches.”

The attack on Colonial Pipeline is one of the most disruptive digital ransom schemes reported and the resulting shutdown has disrupted fuel supply across the eastern US.

Rival cybersecurity companies were underperforming with CrowdStrike Holdings shares down 0.9 percent while Palo Alto Networks shares were up 0.3 percent and Microsoft shares falling 0.7%.

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