Afternoon Coffee: Greensill files for insolvency protection; This vaccine syringe maker produces 5,900 per minute; Toyota production not affected by semiconductor shortage

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Greensill Capital filed for insolvency protection yesterday, just days after regulators took over its banking and Credit Suisse Group AG froze investment funds that the start-up used for operations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Greensill considered itself a technology start-up that competed with traditional banks to offer supply chain finance for companies that fell below the radar of larger, traditional banks. At one point, it was worth $4 billion, largely led by investments from SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund.

Greensill’s operations seized last week after Credit Suisse stopped investors from moving money in or out of $10 billion in supply chain investment funds. The move came after Greensill lost coverage from a set of credit insurers that provided protection in case its clients defaulted, the article said. As part of the insolvency declaration, Greensill is discussing the sale of its core operations to Apollo Global Management and insurance affiliate Athene Holding Ltd. for about $100 million.

Last week, Spend Matters explored supply chain finance and its P2P implications while later delving more specifically into how Greensill’s troubles will affect the industry going forward.

This syringe maker produces 5,900 per minute to help COVID-19 vaccine effort

Countries are scrambling to secure enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to put an end to the outbreak, but a second scramble has unfolded to secure syringes, according to the New York Times.

These vaccines need specific syringes that can extract extra doses from the vials. The article said the world will need between 8 and 10 billion syringes for Covid vaccinations. Rajiv Nath, the managing director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices, saw an opportunity.

Each of his syringes sells for about three cents, but he invested nearly $15 million to mass-produce the specialty syringes. Nath added 500 workers to production lines, which has helped the company produce more than 5,900 syringes per minute at factories, the article said. The company said it plans to scale up to producing 3 billion syringes a year by July.

Toyota is one of the only automakers not affected by semiconductor chip shortage

As the automotive industry struggles amid a semiconductor chip shortage, Toyota has been largely unscathed because of its business continuity plan, according to Reuters.

A catastrophe severed Toyota’s supply chains in March 2011, and the world’s largest automaker realized the lead-time for semiconductors was way too long to cope with devastating shocks like natural disasters. The company reworked its plan so that now suppliers stockpile two to six months’ worth of chips for Toyota.

The company said last month that its output would not significantly be disrupted by chip shortages as other large automakers like Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Honda and Stellantis have slowed or suspended production.

“Toyota was, as far as we can tell, the only automaker properly equipped to deal with chip shortages,” a person familiar with Harman International, which specializes in car audio systems, displays and driver assistance technology, told Reuters.

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