THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE FOR INVESTMENT PROMOTION EXECUTIVES
27 Nov- 02 December 2017
it & BPM i FOOD I HEALTHCARE i TEXTILES i INFRASTRUCTURE i ENGINEERING i tourism
Carlson Rezidor - 12 new hotel signings in India in 2017
ADB approves US$ 500 mn to improve rural roads in 5 Indian States
Time Inc. to be acquired by Meredith Corporation for US$ 2.8 billion
Unilever to acquire Sundial Brands
Whirlpool completes expansion of La Tablada Facility, Argentina
Siemens to expand Genelba gas-fired power station, Argentina
Time Inc., announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Meredith Corporation.
Under the terms of the agreement, Meredith will make an $18.50 per share cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding Time Inc. shares for a total transaction value of approximately $2.8 billion, including the assumption of debt and net of cash acquired. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of Meredith and Time Inc., and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018. The $18.50 per share price represents a 46% premium over the closing price on November 15, 2017, the day prior to media reports about the transaction, and a 66% premium over the 10-day volume weighted average trading price ending on that day.
John Fahey, Chairman of the Board, said, "Time Inc.'s Board of Directors has unanimously determined that this all-cash transaction, and the immediate, certain value it provides, is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders. On behalf of the entire Board, I thank Rich Battista for his strong and exemplary leadership. We also thank the management team and all Time Inc. employees, who together have made significant progress transforming one of the world's most iconic and historically significant publishing companies into a leading multiplatform media enterprise."
Rich Battista, President and CEO of Time Inc., stated, “I am proud of our accomplishments and thank the talented teams across the Company for their extraordinary work, relentless commitment, and passion. Together, we moved quickly and successfully to launch, grow, and advance our multi-platform offerings during unprecedented times in the media sector. Time Inc. now engages over 230 million consumers across digital and print every month through a portfolio of premium, iconic brands that are well positioned to continue to be powerful voices in media for many years to come."
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
Rich Battista will work closely with the Meredith management team to ensure a smooth transition through the closing date. Upon the closing, it is expected that Battista will leave the Company.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and BofA Merrill Lynch served as financial advisors to Time Inc. and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as legal advisor.
Time Inc. to be acquired by Meredith Corporation
for $2.8 billion
Read article on globalfdi.net
Total has agreed to sell all of its interests in the Martin Linge field (51%) and Garantiana discovery (40%) on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to Statoil. The consideration for the transaction is $1.45 billion with an effective date of January 1st, 2017. The transaction remains subject to final due diligence and approval from the relevant authorities.
“The forthcoming acquisition of the Maersk Oil portfolio, which will make Total the second largest operator in the North Sea, leads us to review our portfolio in this area so as to focus on the assets in which Total will be able to generate synergies and reduce their breakeven points. In this context, given that Martin Linge is Total's only operated asset in Norway, there is limited scope to optimize operations, whereas with Statoil’s leading operating position on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, Statoil is in a better position to optimize this asset for the benefit of all stakeholders. We are therefore satisfied with the agreement with Statoil, a long time trusted partner, which in addition, offers us a satisfactory value for this asset", commented Arnaud Breuillac, President, Exploration & Production at Total. "Norway remains a strategic country for Total as one of the largest contributors to the Group's production and we of course intend to continue bringing our expertise to Norway by focusing in particular on major non-operated assets such as Ekofisk, Snohvit and Johan Sverdrup."
The transaction involves the transfer of relevant employees from Total to Statoil in compliance with the applicable legislation.
Total sells its interest in Martin Linge field to Statoil for US$ 1.4 billion
The government of Romania signed an agreement to purchase Raytheon's, combat proven Patriot from the U.S. Army. The agreement, formally referred to as a Letter of Offer and Acceptance, paves the way for Romania's Patriot force to rapidly reach Initial Operational Capability, and sets the stage for the U.S. government to begin contract negotiations with Raytheon.
Patriot is a purely defensive system that is the backbone of NATO's defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced aircraft and drones. Romania's procurement of the system will help the country meet its NATO commitment to spend at least 2% of its Gross Domestic Product on defense.
"With its newly built Patriot capability, Romania's military will have the ability to defend Romania and its NATO allies," said Tom Laliberty, Raytheon vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense. "Patriot will also enable Romanian air defenders to train, exercise and interoperate with their U.S. and European counterparts."
Thirteen other nations depend on Patriot to protect their citizens and armed forces, including the U.S. and four other European nations: Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Spain.
"This procurement will create jobs in both the U.S. and Romania," Laliberty added. "Raytheon is developing long-term relationships with Romanian companies to help us build and sustain Romania's Patriot fleet."
Romania signs agreement with U.S. for Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense system
Siemens has received a contract to expand the Genelba gas-fired power station in Argentina. Working with its Argentine partner Techint, it will expand the power station for the end customer, Pampa Energía S.A. The project, known as Genelba Plus, involves converting the existing power station in Marcos Paz, Buenos Aires Province, into a combined cycle power plant. The expansion will increase the plant's electrical capacity from 168 to around 364 megawatts. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2019.
Genelba Plus is designed as a multi-shaft combined cycle power plant, in which two gas turbines and one steam turbine will each drive their own generator. The scope of the project for Siemens consists of one SGT5-2000E gas turbine, one SST-5-5000 steam turbine, and two SGen-100A generators, in addition to two NEM heat recovery steam generators, the SPPA-T3000 distributed control system, and medium and high-voltage components. Siemens will also be in charge of the engineering and provide assistance with assembly and commissioning. A letter of intent for servicing the plant has been signed. Siemens' partner Techint will be responsible for setting up the overall plant.
In the past two years, Siemens has obtained contracts from Argentina for two F-class, one E-class, eight SGT-A65, and 13 SGT-800 gas turbines. Six of the SGT-A65 and six of the SGT-800 gas turbines, including long-term service contracts, account for four power station projects by themselves. These contracts, valued at around $570 million, were received by Siemens in March 2017. In May this year, Siemens also won a contract for servicing, maintenance and a capacity upgrade for the existing Genelba plant.
Siemens expands gas-fired power station in Argentina
Altran Group acquires Aricent for $2 billion
Altran,a global leader in Engineering and R&D services (ER&D), has entered, through its subsidiary Altran US, into a definitive agreement to acquire Aricent, a global digital leader in design and engineering services, from a group of investors led by KKR, for a total enterprise value of €1.73 billion or $2.0 billion in an all-cash transaction. Based on LTM June 2017 data, this corresponds to 10.6x EBITDA4 pre-synergies, and 8.0x4 post run-rate-synergies (14.4x EBIT4 pre-synergies and 9.9x EBIT4 post-synergies). The transaction has been unanimously approved by Altran’s Board of Directors and is expected to close in Q1 2018, subject to receipt of antitrust approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Following the transaction, the combined entity will become the undisputed global leader in ER&D services, a market expected to be worth €220 billion by 20201 .
Aricent is a global digital leader in integrated design and engineering services, primarily serving clients of the Communications and Technology, Semiconductor and Software industries. Headquartered in Santa Clara (California), Aricent brings design and engineering capabilities to help its clients get to market faster, transform legacy products to digital, and create new revenue opportunities. Among the company’s assets is the iconic brand frog, which has with world-class design and client experience capabilities, outstanding knowledge and intellectual property for the Telecom, Software and Semiconductors industries. Aricent also has solid experience in shaping large engineering outsourcing deals and key capabilities in key emerging technologies including Artifical Intelligence, Cognitive Systems, Internet of Things and software frameworks. Over the LTM June 2017, Aricent generated revenues of $687m with ca.10,500 employees and operated through 24 engineering centers and design studios, serving ca.360 clients globally.
Commenting on the acquisition, Dominique Cerutti, Chairman & CEO of the Altran Group, said: “Through this acquisition, Altran will be uniquely positioned to offer an unmatched value proposition to its clients and outpace competition. Altran will now have superior scale and scope, and now masters all four critical criteria necessary to lead the industry: a global presence and reach, leadership across most industries, strong expertise in key technology domains and a superior global delivery supply chain. This transaction acts as a catalyst allowing us to achieve Altran 2020. Ignition strategic goals as early as 2018. Current and future shareholders will benefit from this value-enhancing acquisition, delivering EPS accretion immediately while preserving our robust financial profile.”
Rolls-Royce Power Systems and China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), the world’s largest rolling stock manufacturer, have decided to grow and deepen their successful partnership. A corresponding agreement has now been signed in Friedrichshafen by senior representatives of both companies. Among the matters of agreement is a commitment by CRRC to continue to consider MTU engines from Rolls-Royce as drive solutions in its locomotives and diesel railcars. The two companies also agreed to collaborate on future power delivery solutions, including hybrid drives and gas engines.
Dayong Chen, General Manager for International Business at CRRC, said: “This strategic partnership agreement is a major step forward in strengthening our successful collaboration with Rolls-Royce Power Systems and MTU.”
Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, said: “We are proud that we are consistently convincing CRRC, one of the major players in the global rail market, of the quality of our drive solutions. Our close working relationship has been established firmly in recent years, and this agreement puts it on a new footing – something which is going to benefit both partners, and our customers as well.”
The agreement references, in particular, the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (also colloquially known as the ‘New Silk Road’), the infrastructure plan of the People’s Republic of China to expand and enhance its connections with Asia, Europe and Africa with the aim of stimulating and improving the movement of goods. To achieve this, China is looking to invest the equivalent of hundreds of billions of euros in the infrastructure of many countries in these regions, and CRRC is playing a key role in this.
Rolls-Royce and China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation Agree Strategic Partnership
Whirlpool Corporation Completes Expansion of Manufacturing Facility in Argentina
Whirlpool Corporation announced the completion of its manufacturing facility expansion in La Tablada city, located in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. The development is part of a more than $20 million dollar investment plan, which began last year when the facility started manufacturing ranges. The facility will now also manufacture front load washing machines with Sense Inverter technology.
This investment will result in the addition of approximately one hundred new and three hundred indirect jobs.
"We're thrilled this significant facility expansion will help us bring the latest innovations to the Argentine market faster, and allow us to hire top talent," said Armando Valle Jr., Vice President of Whirlpool Latin America. "We're also proud to be part of a milestone in Whirlpool Corporation history, adding Argentina to the company's roster of facilities that already includes 70 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world."
This facility represents the completion of a two-year project to allow the company to bring its global platform and new innovation to this important market, and to customize those innovations to meet the needs of consumers in this region.
Penske Media Corporation, and its subsidiary Fairchild Media announced the acquisition of FashInvest, the innovator in connecting the fashion-tech, fashion, retail, and branded consumer goods sectors with the finance and investment sectors. This acquisition comes on the heels of Penske Media and its subsidiary Fairchild Media's acquisition last month of Sourcing Journal, the premiere media brand for global executives focused on the sourcing and manufacturing industries. Both purchases significantly advance Fairchild's and WWD's position in today's fashion, beauty, and retail business coverage.
"FashInvest has tapped into the vital intersection of finance and fashion—a business that has been built over the last decade on discovering and developing emerging fashion and retail brands and their access to capital markets. Fairchild Media has consistently been the leader in coverage of well-established global fashion brands, and with the acquisition of FashInvest the opportunity to deepen our coverage of emerging companies, start-ups, and the financial institutions (VC's, Private Equity, etc.) that are shaping the future fashion industry is dramatically enhanced," said PMC Chairman and CEO Jay Penske. "We are honoured to be the steward of this innovative company and continuing our investments in the Fairchild Media business."
FashInvest, known for being "where fashion meets finance," began as a series of educational industry events in 2009 and has rapidly evolved to now be a leading global media resource. FashInvest's thousands of daily online news posts, reports, and exclusive interviews on the emerging fashion tech and fashion arenas have established it as today's news authority for a growing number of fashion-tech and fashion entrepreneurs seeking the latest news on who has received funding, who is providing the funding, and what strategies are attracting financing.
"The injection of Penske Media resources into FashInvest will propel the brand and enable FashInvest to extend our reach into markets and geographic regions we have always looked to enter. We have seen an insatiable appetite for fashion brands, fashion tech companies, retailers and investors of all stages to stay current with the investment news, innovations and resources driving the industry. With this acquisition FashInvest is now the undisputed digital content and event production leader of this ever-growing space," said FashInvest COO Erik Seel.
Penske Media Acquires FashInvest
IFC announced that it recently committed an equity investment of USD 8.5 million in Santa Clara Africa Limited, to support the development of a 150-bed hospital and two 10-bed clinics in Lagos, Nigeria. The project is promoted by AXA Mansard Plc, the Nigerian subsidiary of AXA Group, who provided equity to the project alongside IFC, the CAPE IV Fund, managed by African Capital Alliance and the hospital operator, Healthshare Ltd, through its parent company EOH Holding Ltd.
The two clinics will create a strong referral system of patients to the hospital. These three facilities together will provide the necessary economies of scale to deliver better value for money in healthcare services. The project is expected to provide healthcare at a price point that is below that of comparable hospitals and clinics in the market.
Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, IFC, Nigeria, said “with this investment, IFC wants to contribute to increase the capacity of Nigeria’s healthcare system to offer quality and affordable services.” She added “We will look to scale up this efficient and integrated model nationwide”.
IFC Invests to Support Better Access to Quality and Affordable Healthcare in Nigeria
Aurora Cannabis Inc., announced that the Company has entered into a binding share purchase agreement to acquire H2 Biopharma Inc. ("H2"). H2 is a late stage ACMPR applicant based in Lachute, Quebec.
H2 is currently completing a state-of-the-art, purpose-built 48,000 square foot cannabis production facility, less than an hour from Montreal (the "Lachute Facility"), and near the Pierre-Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Upon completion, which is anticipated before the end of 2017, the Lachute Facility is projected to produce approximately 4,500 kilograms of high-quality cannabis per annum. The facility is located on 46 acres (19 hectares) of land (the "Property"), which H2 has the right to acquire for $136,000. The Property has access to ample low-cost power, water and infrastructure to support a very significant capacity expansion – up to or beyond the scale of the Company's 800,000 square foot Aurora Sky facility, currently under construction at Edmonton International Airport.
The latest Aurora acquisition will be the Company's fourth production facility in Canada - and second site in Quebec, in addition to its 40,000 square foot production "Aurora Vie" facility in Pointe-Claire, on the island of Montreal.
"This is another outstanding transaction that further extends Aurora's lead in establishing advanced-technology, ultra-efficient, low-cost production via purpose-built facilities," said Terry Booth, CEO. "The Lachute Facility, which is 80% complete and has the land and utilities required for significant additional expansion, is fully consistent with the Aurora Standard, and will be instrumental in delivering high quality products for the Quebec, Canadian and overseas markets. Our participation in the final design and construction of H2's purpose built facility will allow us to leverage our experience, technology, and systems to improve performance and yields beyond the original design.
Aurora Cannabis to Acquire H2 Biopharma
China-backed $225 million baby formula plant in Kingston
Ontario is supporting a subsidiary of Feihe International to establish Kingston's first baby formula production facility, which will create up to 277 new jobs in the community.
Premier Kathleen Wynne met with Feihe International on November 25, 2017 in Beijing to discuss the company's plans to build its first baby formula production facility outside of China. Feihe International produces, packages and distributes milk powder and related products in China.
With support from Ontario's Jobs and Prosperity Fund, the company will be able to purchase and install innovative, intelligent processing and packaging equipment for the new facility, which will help boost productivity and local production. Once operational in 2020, the plant will require significant volumes of milk, which will support the growth of Ontario's dairy cow and goat sectors.
Supporting a strong and innovative food processing sector is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
Sundial Brands is the latest addition to Unilever’s portfolio of fast-growing, purpose-led companies as part of broader Company transformation.
Agreement accelerates Unilever’s Personal Care category growth by addressing under-served needs of multicultural and millennial consumers.
Purpose-driven partnership seeks to create groundbreaking US$100M New Voices Fund to invest in and empower women of colour entrepreneurs.
Unilever announced an agreement to acquire Sundial Brands, a New York-based personal care products company.
Sundial Brands is a leading haircare and skincare company recognized for its innovative use of high-quality and culturally authentic ingredients.
Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J.
Walker and nyakio™. Since its founding in 1991, Sundial has championed inclusive beauty and has served the unmet needs of consumers of color through its robust innovation pipeline, product offerings and purpose-driven business model. Through its Community Commerce business model, B Corp and Fair for Life certifications, Sundial’s approach complements the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) to accelerate growth while increasing positive social impact.
Sundial Brands will operate as a standalone unit within Unilever. Sundial’s founder, Richelieu Dennis, will continue to lead the business as CEO and Executive Chairman.
As part of the agreement, Unilever and Sundial are creating the New Voices Fund with an unprecedented initial investment of US$50 million to empower women of color entrepreneurs. The intention is to scale the Fund to US$100 million by attracting investments from other interested parties.
With $300 billion at stake, industrial executives need to mobilize today to win in the Internet of Things
A new Bain & Company report finds platforms, partnerships will play essential roles in the industrial and enterprise IoT
Step aside consumer devices and wearables. The enterprise and industrial segments are poised to become the biggest Internet of Things (IoT) battlegrounds, with $300 billion in anticipated revenues – twice that of the consumer segment – by 2020. Industrial executives who want a piece of the lucrative IoT pie must mobilize today to focus their organization’s resources on identifying the right IoT platform, based on their starting point, ambition and capabilities.
A new report from Bain & Company, Choosing the Right Platform for the Industrial IoT, reveals that industrial company executives often struggle to determine where and how to invest in IoT – decisions that are complicated by fragmentation in industry sub-sectors and the mission-critical requirements of the technology. In its global survey of more than 500 industrial customers and 150 IoT vendors, Bain found that among companies considering adopting IoT solutions, about 60 percent are still at the planning/discussion stage.
“Industrial uses promise to be among the largest markets for IoT devices and services in the coming years,” said Michael Schallehn, a partner in Bain’s Technology Practice and an IoT expert. “That translates to a lot of opportunity and requires thoughtful allocation of resources to ensure the right solutions are in place. Now is the time for industrial companies to make investment decisions and choose the right partners as they define their IoT ambitions and transition from proof-of-concept to scaling their IoT solution.”
According to the research, platforms will play an essential role in the development of the industrial and enterprise IoT as they provide an integrated suite of services for participants, including:
Connecting and authenticating devices and sensors
Aggregating data and running analytics
Providing access to internal and external developers
However, organizing a company’s resources around an IoT platform poses several challenges. Industrial companies are still hindered by concerns about how technology will integrate with their existing environment, how they will manage security, and whether or how their investments in IoT will drive tangible, bottom line results.
As a result, delivering an IoT solution can be quite difficult, even for some of the larger industrial firms that have already invested billions in developing their IoT platforms.
According to Bain, partnerships with software-capable companies are essential to delivering an end-to-end solution. This often includes start-ups that may be below the radar for typical enterprise relationships.
Accenture, has made a minority investment in 1QBit, a leading quantum computing firm based in Vancouver, British Columbia, through Accenture Ventures. The move will help Accenture expand its capabilities in quantum computing analytics, heralding a new era of intelligence for businesses and organizations. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In addition, the two companies have formed a strategic alliance under which Accenture will be 1QBit’s preferred systems integrator. Accenture has also been granted a license to use the 1QBit platform for demonstration, training, and the development and testing of Accenture tools and assets. Accenture will leverage its alliance with 1QBit to develop a quantum-inspired analytics capability through Accenture Analytics and scale pilot opportunities identified through the Accenture Labs.
1QBit builds quantum and quantum-inspired software to help organizations solve their most demanding computational challenges. Its interdisciplinary team comprises mathematicians, physicists, chemists, software developers and quantum computing experts who develop novel solutions to problems, from research through to commercial application development.
Andrew Fursman, 1QBit’s CEO and co-founder, said, “Establishing a strategic relationship with Accenture enables us to tap their vast capabilities, and bring 1QBit’s expertise in quantum computing to a much broader base of clients. We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that our new relationship provides to help organizations take advantage of the benefits created by quantum-inspired analytics.”
“Quantum computing is a turbocharger for analytics and the creation of new intelligence,” said Narendra Mulani, chief analytics officer, Accenture Analytics. “We see massive potential for using the 1QBit platform on behalf of our clients to pursue quantum-inspired analytics, which will help us unlock even more value trapped in their data and find new opportunities to transform their businesses.”
Accenture Invests in and forms Strategic Alliance with 1QBit
AGC Holdings Limited, Mauritius, a wholly owned portfolio company of Essar Global Fund Limited (Essar Global), has concluded the sale of 100% of its stake in ESM Holdings Limited, Mauritius, which is the holding company of Aegis, a major global outsourcing company, to Capital Square Partners (CSP) for US $ 300 Million (Approximately Rs.2,000 crore). Net proceeds from this sale, which was announced on 3 April 2017, will be used to retire Essar’s debt.
The closure of this transaction is in line with Essar’s intent to reduce leverage that is complemented by an asset monetisation programme. The proceeds from the sale of Aegis and Essar Oil have enabled Essar to retire almost Rs 75,000 crore of debt.
The transaction also marks Essar Global’s complete exit from the BPO business after creating significant value through organic growth and strategic acquisitions that helped diversify customer offerings.
Since the acquisition of Aegis Communication by Essar Group in 2003, Aegis has grown over tenfold to become a significant player in the outsourcing industry.
Through a judicious mix of organic growth and strategic acquisitions, the company has expanded its global footprint across 9 countries, namely India, South Africa, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UK, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Peru and Malaysia. Aegis has concluded over 19 acquisitions with a 100% success ratio, in contrast with the 30% success rate of M&As prevalent in the BPO industry. In 2014, AGC had successfully sold its stake in Aegis USA Inc (comprising Aegis’ operations in the USA, the Philippines and Costa Rica) to Teleperformance.
Essar’s advisors in the transaction include Axis Capital as financial advisor, and Platinum Partners and Sidley Austin as legal advisors. Shearman & Sterling and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas acted as legal advisors to CSP.
LeaseWeb, announces the expansion of its cloud services offering to the United Kingdom and Australia through the opening of new data center facilities in London and Sydney. With this expansion, LeaseWeb now offers customers cloud services on four continents in locations across Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. The opening of the new data centers is in accordance with LeaseWeb’s global expansion plans.
Businesses increasingly require a hybrid cloud service partner to host all their data across the globe. As a global partner, LeaseWeb serves as a single point of contact, offers compliance with local requirements, and can ‘speak the local language’. LeaseWeb’s expansion to the United Kingdom and Australia was driven by three factors, ongoing growth, change in international markets, and the belief that expansion should be driven by customer requirements.
Both the UK and Australia are large markets for cloud services that are predicted to have significant growth over the coming years. Beyond this, LeaseWeb sees a trend where UK based companies are looking to partner with a global cloud provider capable of serving their customers both in and outside the United Kingdom, particularly as the political landscape continues to unfold around issues related to Brexit. Similarly, many EU based customers are looking to have a footprint in the UK to better reach local customers.
Two customers who LeaseWeb has worked closely with in developing its expansion plans are TOPdesk and Acronis. TOPdesk, a Netherlands based international software and consulting company, wanted to expand its business in the United Kingdom and turned to LeaseWeb, their hosting provider since 2001 to help them make it possible.
Jeroen Boks, CIO at TOPdesk, says: “Pushed by the uncertainty created by an upcoming British exit from the EU, TOPdesk noticed an increased demand for a UK based hosting facility. By closely working together with LeaseWeb, we were able to act on this in a timely fashion, without compromising in the reliability that we aim for.”
The opening of the Sydney data center is the result of LeaseWeb’s partnership with Acronis. By expanding the partnership customers in Australia can now benefit from the full cloud service offerings of Acronis. Through its Sydney based data center, LeaseWeb is able to service both native and international customers, connecting Australia with rest of the world through its global network infrastructure.
LeaseWeb Opens New Data Centers in the United Kingdom and Australia
A new study from Juniper Research ranks GoCardless as the current clear leader in the fintech market. GoCardless enables simple payment processing and integration with many popular services, and Juniper believes that its potential for efficient, borderless commerce is disruptive and far-reaching.
Juniper’s Fintech Leaderboard Ranking
The research, Fintech Futures: Market Disruption, Leading Innovators & Emerging Opportunities 2017-2022, ranked these vendors as ‘leaders’ in the emerging fintech sector, a sector which Juniper values at $223 billion by revenue in 2018. The research firm forecasts $411 billion by 2022, growing at an average annual rate of 16.5%.
Read more in Juniper’s complimentary whitepaper, The Future of Fintech – Disrupt, Collaborate or Die.
Increasing Collaboration Between Fintech & Financial Services
Additionally, Juniper found that fintech is transitioning from a B2C (Business to Consumer) focus to a B2B (Business to Business) one. As fintech matures as a market, traditional FIs (Financial Institutions) are realising the opportunity it represents. Banks, in particular, are using new support services to simplify their regulatory burdens, driving Regtech to represent nearly 19% of total fintech revenues in 2022, up from 5% in 2017.
Juniper predicted that incumbent investment in fintech will dramatically rise, as they seek to transform their existing models. Research author Nick Maynard added: “FIs are no longer afraid of fintech, rather they see the benefit of harnessing it. Traditional FIs can utilise fintech platforms to increase the appeal of their solutions and widen them out to the largest possible market."
Advanced Technology No Substitute for Solving the Problem
While technologies such as AI and blockchain have a bright future in financial services, the new study found the most promising disruptive approaches utilise mobile-first strategies. In the banking sector, smartphone app-based challenger banks like Atom and Monzo are leading the way in providing compelling customer experiences.
Gocardless Tops Juniper Leaderboard for Fintech: A sector worth more than US$ 220 billion in 2018
Barracuda Networks, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-enabled security and data protection solutions, announced that it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by leading private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, LLC. in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.6 billion.
Barracuda shareholders of record will receive $27.55 in cash for each share of Barracuda common stock they hold. This price exceeds Barracuda's 52-week high and represents a premium of 22.5 percent to the Company's 10-day average stock price prior to Nov. 27, 2017, of $22.49. Barracuda's Board of Directors unanimously approved the agreement, and believes the transaction maximizes shareholder value. Upon the close of the transaction, Barracuda will operate as a privately-held company with a continued focus on email security and management, network and application security, and data protection solutions that can be deployed in cloud and hybrid environments.
"Barracuda is a proven industry leader, consistently bringing powerful, comprehensive solutions to customers in an increasingly prevalent, hostile, and complex threat environment," said Seth Boro, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo. "We believe that Barracuda is at the forefront of innovation in several highly strategic areas of the cybersecurity market and are excited to be the company's partner in the next phase of its growth."
The proposed transaction is expected to close before Barracuda's fiscal year end of Feb. 28, 2018, and is subject to approval by Barracuda's shareholders and regulatory authorities, and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
Barracuda to be acquired by Thoma Bravo
for $1.6 Billion
Ziebart Opens In Poznan, Poland
Automotive franchisor, Ziebart International Corporation, is excited to announce the grand opening of its new European headquarters in Poznan, Poland. This corporate location offers appearance protection, detailing, and films services.
"We are very excited for the opening of this location, as we move forward with our plans for further expansion into the European market," Thomas E. Wolfe, President/CEO of Ziebart International Corporation said.
The Poznan location has already sparked franchise interest in Europe with one contract now signed for a location in Warsaw, as well as Ziebart franchises planning to open in other countries soon. The new Warsaw franchisee is set to open its doors in March of 2018.
Ziebart International Corporation is headquartered in Troy, MI, representing a global franchise network of vehicle protection and appearance services for nearly 60 years. The company was founded on rust protection in 1959 and operates approximately 400 licensed locations with 950 service centers in 33 countries. Ziebart is the world's leading name in automotive services that renew, protect, preserve, and enhance the appearance of cars and trucks.
Embassy Suites by Hilton,a global brand of upscale, all-suite hotels from Hilton, announced the opening of the newly built Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder. Embassy Suites by Hilton prides itself on providing guests an approachable and stress-free experience at each of its spacious, all-suites hotel properties.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder invites travelers to take the scenic route in a city that welcomes the bold and adventurous. Located in the heart of Boulder adjacent to the University of Colorado campus, the area is known for its natural beauty and entrepreneurial spirit. Nearby attractions include Chautauqua Park, Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder Canyon, the Pearl Street Mall and Twenty Ninth Street Mall.
Owned by Orchim, LLC and managed by Sage Hospitality, the property welcomes guests to enjoy its contemporary two-room suites where travelers can spread out, enjoy a free, cooked-to-order breakfast each morning, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary drinks and snacks each night. With 204 contemporary, spacious suites, more than 7,595 square feet of meeting and banquet space, and the city's largest hotel ballroom with space for up to 650 guests, Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder provides customer service that always anticipates the needs of both business and leisure travelers and delivers what matters most.
"Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder is a great addition to our portfolio, bringing adventurers the amenities and space they need," said Alan Roberts, global head, Embassy Suites by Hilton. "After exploring the natural beauty of the area, this urban retreat offers the perfect place to relax and enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks at the evening reception."
Embassy Suites by Hilton Debuts in Boulder, CO
Carlson Rezidor accelerates growth momentum In India with 12 new hotel signings In 2017
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group,one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups, accelerated its expansion plans in India by signing 12 new hotels in 2017. The signings add to Carlson Rezidor’s robust pipeline in India where it currently holds a portfolio of 140 hotels in operation and under development across 60 Indian cities, including 16 state capitals. The hotel group is actively pursuing opportunities through management and selective franchising contracts in emerging cities of India.
“The signing momentum is indicative of the strength of our brands and the value we bring to our owner relationships. We are a dominant international brand in India and our robust pipeline is targeted at state capitals and regional markets with efficient connectivity. We have 85 hotels in operation in the country where we continue to sign a new hotel every four weeks and open a hotel every six weeks”, said Raj Rana, chief executive officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
Radisson Blu Dehradun –Located in the state capital of Uttarakhand, Radisson Blu Dehradun provides easy access to the commercial and residential areas of the city and is a gateway to Mussoorie – one of the most popular hill stations of India. The hotel is a greenfield project expected to be operational by 2021.
Radisson Jodhpur is located in proximity to the airport and city center and provides easy access to various tourist attractions like Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Balsamand Lakes and Gardens, Mandore, Mahamandir Temple and Kayalana Lake etc. The hotel will have modern, contemporary rooms with Rajasthani architecture. In addition to an all-day dining restaurant, lounge and bar, the hotel will feature pre-function and meeting space of approximately 9500 square feet. Radisson Jodhpur will start operations in December.
IHG to expand Holiday Inn Express presence in Seoul
InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has announced it will open a new 300-room Holiday Inn Express hotel in Seoul, South Korea in 2018.
The new-build Holiday Inn Express Seoul Hongdae, in partnership with the hotel’s major investor JEJUair, will be part of Hongdae’s largest mixed-use development, featuring a retail mall, extensive dining options and an office tower. Situated at the main junction of Hongdae just a short drive or subway ride from the Yeouido Business District and Gangnam Business District, the hotel will sit atop both the Hongdae subway station and the Airport Express rail that leads to both Gimpo and Incheon airports.
Hongdae, which is short for ‘Hong-Ik University’, is one of Korea’s largest arts, culture and architecture universities and the vibrant campus town is home to bustling walking streets, restaurants, bars, boutiques, night clubs and unique cafes.
Over the last decade, South Korea has enjoyed a steady growth in international arrival numbers – thanks in part to the rising popularity of Korean culture, music and dramas worldwide. As a key destination for business and leisure travellers alike, Seoul received almost 80 per cent of the country’s 17.2 million visitors last year.
“The lively ‘university town’ subculture at Hongdae, coupled with easy access to the business districts, makes the area an attractive choice for business and leisure guests alike. We look forward to working with our partner, JEJUair, meeting the needs of smart travellers offering exactly what they need and more where it matters” he added.
The hotel’s major investor is JEJUair, is South Korea’s largest low-cost carrier and is a member of the well-established conglomerate, Aekyung Group (AK Group). The group is seeking out synergies between JEJUair and their hotel and retail businesses, and has plans to expand its hotel portfolio further.
Continuing the Australian momentum for the world’s largest brand family, Holiday Inn®, IHG, announces the signing of Holiday Inn Melbourne Werribee, in partnership with partner Pelligra Group and Citinova.
Opening in 2020, the 150-room property will be the newest hotel in Western Melbourne, a rapidly growing region of Victoria, and will be part of a mixed-use development project which will include offices and retail space.
The hotel itself will feature an all-day dining restaurant and bar, gym, parking and a 300m2 of meeting facilities including a function room for up to 400 people.
Boasting a prime location on Synott Street in the heart of Werribee’s CBD, guests will have easy access to all the tourist attractions on offer, including Werribee Park, the Victoria State Rose Garden, the Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre, the Werribee Open Range Zoo and Pacific Werribee Shopping Centre. It will also be just a short drive from both Melbourne and Geelong CBDs, as well as the two major airports, Avalon International Airport and Melbourne International Airport.
The news follows the announcement on 20 November that IHG will also open Holiday Inn and Suites Geelong in 2020, marking its second Holiday Inn signing in Victoria in November.
Karin Sheppard, IHG’s Chief Operating Officer for Australasia & Japan, said: “Holiday Inn is one of the world’s most recognised and fastest growing hotel brand families, and we’re excited to be continuing that momentum here in Australasia. The signing of Holiday Inn Melbourne Werribee and Holiday Inn & Suites Geelong adds an important Western Melbourne presence to the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express portfolio, which today includes 20 open and additional 9 in the pipeline.”
IHG expands in Melbourne’s west with signing of Holiday Inn Melbourne Werribee
Maple Leaf Foods, announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Field Roast Grain Meat Co. (“Field Roast”) for USD$120 million, plus related costs. The Company expects to finance the transaction through a combination of cash-on-hand and drawings under the existing credit facility. Field Roast is a leading brand of premium grain-based ‘meat’ and vegan cheese products, with sales of approximately USD$38 million. Subject to customary regulatory review and transaction conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2017 and be accretive to earnings.
“The acquisition of Field Roast complements and expands our portfolio in the fast-growing North American market for alternative proteins,” said Michael McCain, President and CEO. “It also aligns with our vision to be a leader in sustainable protein and create shared value through making a positive social impact. Field Roast has built brand leadership through focusing on quality, craftsmanship and taste, and its acquisition will allow Maple Leaf to fuel growth in the category through investment, brand building and innovation.”
Maple Leaf Foods agreement to acquire Field Roast Grain Meat Co.
Nestlé invests in Cuba to benefit the local food industry
Nestlé and Cuban food enterprise Corporación Alimentaria, S.A. have started the construction of a food production plant in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM). Nestlé will invest CHF 54 million in the factory, which will employ 260 people by 2020.
The plant will produce the world’s leading coffee brand Nescafé, the local Cuban roast & ground coffee Serrano, Nestlé Fitness cereal based snacks, the Nesquik powdered beverage, as well as Maggi cooking aids.
Yearly production capacity is expected to be over 18,500 tons in total, for local consumption and export. The factory will be located in a 602,779 sq ft area, where manufacturing structures will occupy 139,930 sq ft distributed in two floors. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, and operations will start in the first trimester of 2020.
Laurent Freixe, CEO for the Americas at Nestlé, made a three-day visit to Cuba to mark the start of construction. He said: “This new factory will help meet growing consumer demand and further strengthen our presence in Cuba. Local production capacity combined with Nestlé’s know-how will benefit the local food industry and create new chances for growth.”
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Cuban authorities including Mrs. María Carmen de la Concepción González, Minister of Food Industry; Mrs. Ana Teresa Igarza Martínez, General Director of ZEDM and Mr. Nelson Arias Moreno, President of Coralsa; among others. The ZEDM is an important center for economic development and a major platform for foreign investment in Cuba.
Harold Hoffmann, Country Manager for Cuba, said: “This production plant represents a great opportunity to develop new categories with high demand in Cuban market. We seek to offer products with nutritional value, in coherence with our Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy, while expanding the business in the region”.
While in Cuba, the Nestlé delegation also visited the Los Portales plant, at Pinar del Rio, where carbonated soft drinks and bottled water are produced. They also visited the Palacio de los Pioneros Ernesto Guevara in La Havana, where Nestlé will sponsor a permanent Education pavilion on Healthy Food Habits, targeted at school-age children.
L Catterton Asia announces launch of Joint Venture between GXG and 2XU
L Catterton Asia, the Asian unit of the largest and most global consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, is pleased to announce the launch of a joint venture between two of its portfolio companies – GXG, the leading Chinese menswear fashion group, and 2XU, the market leader in premium compression activewear from Australia. Through this strategic partnership, both companies will be well positioned to capitalize on the rapidly-growing fitness and sportswear market in China.
Established in 2007, GXG is a leading menswear fashion group in China with a powerful online presence, extensive POS coverage and a highly recognized brand name. GXG has a portfolio of four uniquely positioned brands, including GXG, gxg.jeans, gxg.kids and Yatlas. With innovative designs and strong brand awareness, GXG is available in more than 2,100 stores across China, as well as online through leading third party platforms such as Tmall and VIPshop. The company is a leader in the online space with e-commerce GMV estimated to surpass RMB 2.5 billion in 2017, an increase of more than 50% versus last year. The company also achieved record sales of RMB 485 million in this year's Tmall Double 11 shopping festival.
2XU, founded in 2005, is a premium sports apparel brand endorsed by elite athletes around the world and driven to advance human performance through the development of world-leading compression garments. Considered one of Australia's most innovative companies, 2XU is at the forefront of the rapidly growing global sportswear market and is well positioned to continue capitalizing on the increasing demand for technical athletic wear around the world.
Since acquiring a controlling stake in GXG in 2016, L Catterton Asia has been working closely with the Company's management team not only to support organic growth in existing segments, but also expand into new categories. In addition to facilitating the partnership with 2XU, L Catterton Asia has supported GXG by sourcing additional collaboration opportunities and assisting with global expansion.
ADB approves US$ 500 million facility to improve rural roads in 5 Indian States
The Asian Development Bank’s, (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a multitranche financing facility (MFF) for the Second Rural Connectivity Investment Program totaling $500 million to improve rural roads in five Indian states.
“All-weather roads are crucial for economic growth, especially in India’s rural areas,” said Andri Heriawan, an ADB Transport Specialist. “Building on the success of our previous assistance in the rural roads sector, ADB will work closely with the Government of India to provide the connectivity to improve rural communities’ access to markets, health centers, education facilities, and other opportunities.”
Rural roads are vital components of India’s overall road network, comprising 80% of all paved roads in the country and connecting rural areas with major district roads, state roads, and national highways. Recognizing this, the investment program will construct and upgrade over 12,000 kilometers (km) of rural roads in the states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal. It will also support the state governments to improve rural road maintenance and safety.
The program builds on the first Rural Connectivity Investment Program in 2012, financed by ADB through an $800 million MFF, which added about 9,000 km of all-weather rural roads in the same states.
The investment program’s first tranche, amounting to $250 million, expected in December 2017, will construct an initial 6,254 km of all-weather rural roads. It will also pave the way for the training of about 2,000 project engineers on road safety and road maintenance. The program’s second tranche, for the same amount, is expected to come in the third quarter of 2019.
The investment plan supports the government’s drive for innovative approaches to reduce costs, conserve non-renewable natural resources, and promote the use of waste materials in rural road construction. Given that the project states are expected to see increased rainfall and storm surges, the road designs will take into account these climate risks with measures such as greater elevation of road embankments, slope protection, and better drainage in flood-prone areas.
In 2010, buildings accounted for 36 percent of the Philippines’ total annual power consumption, and emitted 33.28 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Seven years down the line, rapid urban migration is further estimated to increase the number of new buildings by 20 percent a year. Given the scenario, the future is in green buildings, which incorporate sustainable measures in design and construction of buildings, promoting efficient use of energy, water, and other resources with low carbon footprint.
IFC Encourages More Investments in Green Buildings and Marks Progress of Green Building Sector
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, called on the building and property sector to unlock more investments for green buildings to mitigate climate impact in the Philippines. While IFC sees a $3.4 trillion green buildings investment opportunity in key emerging markets by 2025, in the Philippines, investment opportunities for low-carbon buildings are likely to be around $2 billion by 2020.
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