Marriott International set to debut nearly 40 Luxury Hotels Across Eight Distinct Luxury Brands in 2018
it & BPM i FOOD I HEALTHCARE i TEXTILES i INFRASTRUCTURE i ENGINEERING i tourism
THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE FOR INVESTMENT PROMOTION EXECUTIVES
EWE and Deutsche Telekom to invest US$ 2.3 bn on fiber optic expansion in Germany's northwest
Walt Disney Company to acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., for US$ 52.4 Billion
11 - 16 December 2017
Gilead Sciences to acquire Cell Design Labs
Atos proposes to acquire Gemalto for US$ 5 billion
Azeus Convene expands its presence to over 40 Countries
Walt Disney Company to acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., for US$ 52.4 Billion
The Walt Disney Company, and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Disney to acquire 21st Century Fox, including the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses, for approximately $52.4 billion in stock (subject to adjustment).
Building on Disney’s commitment to deliver the highest quality branded entertainment, the acquisition of these complementary assets would allow Disney to create more appealing content, build more direct relationships with consumers around the world and deliver a more compelling entertainment experience to consumers wherever and however they choose. Immediately prior to the acquisition, 21st Century Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that will be spun off to its shareholders.
Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of 21st Century Fox will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century Fox share they hold (subject to adjustment for certain tax liabilities as described below). The exchange ratio was set based on a 30-day volume weighted average price of Disney stock. Disney will also assume approximately $13.7 billion of net debt of 21st Century Fox. The acquisition price implies a total equity value of approximately $52.4 billion and a total transaction value of approximately $66.1 billion (in each case based on the stated exchange ratio assuming no adjustment) for the business to be acquired by Disney, which includes consolidated assets along with a number of equity investments.
Popular Entertainment Properties to Join Disney Family
Combining with Disney are 21st Century Fox’s critically acclaimed film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, which together offer diverse and compelling storytelling businesses and are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, as well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water and The Martian—and its storied television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, which have brought The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons and so many more hit TV series to viewers across the globe. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We’re honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings. The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world.”
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Joint venture to invest up to two billion euros / Over a million private households to be directly connected to the fiber-optic network / Customers will have a free choice of providers
A major step toward the gigabit society is being taken in Germany's northwest: Deutsche Telekom and EWE are planning to expand the region's fiber-optic network and to directly connect over a million private households to it. The two companies plan to launch the effort by establishing their first joint venture, and they signed a declaration of intent to that end.
Deutsche Telekom and EWE plan to work together in the German states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bremen, with each of the two partners receiving a 50 percent stake in the planned joint venture. The ten-year time frame for the network expansion calls for the joint venture to invest up to two billion euros, with a priority on rural areas, and with opera-tions scheduled to begin in mid-2018. The joint venture still has to be ap-proved by the German Federal Cartel Office, however.
"By working with a strong partner, we will be able to bring state-of-the-art fast Internet access to even more people in our region," explained Michael Heidkamp, EWE Director of Sales and Marketing. "This joint venture will enable us to make faster progress toward a complete-coverage fiber-optic network, and thereby to set new standards in state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure."
"The cooperation will make the fiber-optic expansion considerably more cost-effective, and it will help us make an important contribution to the re-gion's infrastructure competition," noted Tim Höttges, Deutsche Telekom CEO. The joint venture plans to make the resulting accesses available to third parties, for use at commercial terms. "The key is that FTTB and FTTH accesses will no longer be regulated. That is a central prerequisite for the joint project, and we are having talks with the Federal Network Agency," Höttges added.
EWE and Deutsche Telekom to invest US$ 2.3 bn on fiber-optic expansion in Germany's northwest
Ford Motor Company and Alibaba Group agreed to explore a Strategic Collaboration
Ford Motor Company and Alibaba Group agreed to explore a strategic collaboration to jointly identify new opportunities to redefine consumer retail experiences and explore solutions for sustainable mobility.
Jim Hackett, Ford Motor Company President & CEO, and Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group CEO, met at Alibaba’s headquarter in Hangzhou and witnessed the signing of the ‘Letter of Intent’ between the two companies. Jason Luo, Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Co., China, and Simon Hu, SVP of Alibaba, President of Alibaba Cloud and President of AliOS signed the strategic cooperation agreement on behalf of both organisations.
Under the three-year agreement, both companies will jointly explore areas of cooperation that are re-shaping the automotive industry in China and around the world. Ford will cooperate with Alibaba’s four business units in operation system, cloud computing, digital marketing and online retail respectively - namely AliOS, Alibaba Cloud, Alimama and Tmall - and jointly explore a variety of areas of cooperation including mobility services, connectivity, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and digital marketing.
“China is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic digital markets, thriving on innovation with customers’ online and offline experiences converging rapidly. Collaborating with leading technology players builds on our vision for smart vehicles in a smart world to reimagine and revolutionize consumers’ mobility experiences,’’ said Jim Hackett, Ford’s President and CEO.
In the initial phase, Ford and Alibaba will explore a pilot study on digital solutions for new retail opportunities at various stages of the automotive ownership cycle, from pre-sales and test drives to leasing options.
By leveraging both parties’ areas of expertise, both companies are investigating ways that mobility technology could redefine online retail marketing, distribution strategies, cloud connectivity and infotainment services.
Kordsa, a Sabancı Holding subsidiary, announced that in furtherance of its efforts to strengthen its strong global leadership in reinforcement technologies, with it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire two advanced composite technology companies in the United States. Following its Composite Technologies Center of Excellence investment, Turkey's first industry-university collaboration investment, Kordsa plans to acquire Fabric Development Inc. (FDI) and Textile Products Inc. (TPI), which provide advanced composite materials to the commercial aviation industry, with an investment of approximately USD 100 million. With the acquisition, Kordsa will strengthen its position in the United States, as well as become a strong player in the commercial aviation industry supply chain, which is expected to grow by at least 10% annually over the next 5 years. The consummation of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including certain U.S. government approvals. Kordsa expects to complete the acquisition in the first quarter of 2018.
Sabancı Holding CEO Mehmet Göçmen made a statement regarding the acquisition: "In line with our “Sabancı of New Generation” approach, this acquisition will enable Kordsa to take an important step forward in the area of advanced composite technologies, which is in our scope of future targeted industries. Kordsa will be among the major suppliers of commercial aviation industry with this acquisition. This new step will ensure that Kordsa is a strategic supplier of key players in aerospace and civil aviation, particularly Boeing and Toray Composites Materials America Inc. This investment will contribute greatly to our innovation-oriented growth strategy at Sabancı Group while enabling our industrial companies to export technology as a part of our open innovation mindset. We will continue to work in an effort to strengthen the position of both our Group and our country in global competition with our commitment to be "Sabancı of Turkey", as much in the future as we are today."
Sabancı Holding Industry Group President Cenk Alper said in relation to the acquisition: "In an era of transformation in mobility services, the position and technology acquired through this purchasing decision will make an important contribution to the differentiation of our Group companies. Following the announcement of our market entry strategy for composite technologies in 2013, we took the first step with the Composite Technologies Center of Excellence investment in 2016. In the wake of approximately USD 100 Million investment we undertake, we will have an important presence in the commercial aviation value chain and strengthen our position in the US. We plan to pursue additional acquisition opportunities while developing new technologies in Turkey and exporting to the world, with the aim of being a global player in composite technologies."
Kordsa to aquire two major U.S. acquisitions
Corning Incorporated, that it has entered into agreements with 3M to purchase substantially all of 3M’s Communication Markets Division in a cash transaction valued at approximately $900 million. The acquisition is expected to close during 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
Corning’s Optical Communications segment will acquire approximately $400 million in annual sales of high bandwidth and optical fiber products.
“Corning leads in optical passive components and solutions. This transaction expands both our global market reach and our high-bandwidth portfolio. It also provides new co-innovation opportunities and enhances our ability to serve customers globally,” said Clark S. Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning Optical Communications. “As the industry’s only true end-to-end manufacturer and supplier of optical solutions, we look forward to bringing these two strong organizations together and welcoming a group of outstanding employees.”
The pending acquisition is part of Corning’s multi-year Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework, which is designed to create significant value for shareholders by focusing the company’s portfolio and utilizing its financial strength. A key component of the Framework is the company’s plan to invest approximately $1 billion to $3 billion in acquisitions. When complete, this acquisition will augment Corning’s Optical Communications global market access and expand its broad portfolio of high-bandwidth optical connectors, assemblies, hardware, and accessories for Carrier Networks, Enterprise LAN, and Data Center solutions.
Corning to Acquire all of 3M’s Communication Markets Division for $900 million
Dow Industrial Solutions, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, announced plans to expand its propionic acid facility in Texas City, Texas to meet rising global demand. The propionic acid market continues to grow as a result of megatrends for longer lasting foods and animal feed and grain alternatives. Dow’s plant expansion supports this growth and follows debottlenecking projects completed at the Texas City facility in 2015 and 2017.“Increased propionic acid capacity is a strategic investment in Dow’s long-term growth,” said Donna Babcock, business director for Dow Performance Intermediates, a business segment of Dow Industrial Solutions. “Our newly announced plant expansion, extensive capabilities in chemical processing and deep market knowledge will ensure we continue to be a leading supplier into food and feed applications.”
Propionic acid primarily serves as an anti-mold and anti-bacterial agent for animal feeds and grains. By reducing the likelihood of mold and bacteria formation, less product is wasted. This provides producers with economic and environmental benefits and supports sustainability trends around the globe.
Propionic acid additionally acts as a preservative for foods, such as baked goods and cheese, as well as an anti-mold agent for various bread products. As rising incomes shift consumers toward higher quality products and increasingly on-the-go lifestyles, enabling longer shelf-life of packaged food is key.
Dow to Expand Propionic Acid Facility in Texas
DENSO acquires InfiniteKey
DENSO, one of the world’s largest automotive technology, systems and components suppliers, has acquired Holland, Mich.-based InfiniteKey, Inc., along with several key patents and R&D resources. The acquisition provides foundational pieces to developing phone-as-a-key technology and increases DENSO’s lead in developing and deploying smartphone-based automotive access, a critical component of the company’s strategy to create a future with frictionless mobility. This type of technology will become increasingly important for automakers, as ridesharing and driverless services progress beyond the need for keys.
“When we consider the future of mobility, the customer experience is always at the forefront of our design. Eliminating the need for physical keys will create a headache-free experience for car owners, and ridesharing and driverless services users,” said Bill Foy, senior vice president of Engineering, DENSO International America. “This acquisition brings us one step closer to making this experience a reality and advancing vehicle access technologies.”
InfiniteKey has developed advanced techniques for microlocating smartphones relative to vehicles using standard Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This technology allows automakers to rely on phones as passive keys, in the same way they rely upon dedicated passive key fobs today. Unlike key fobs, however, phones as passive key systems enable a broad range of mobility services, such as ridesharing and driverless services.
“This acquisition demonstrates DENSO’s aggressive approach to supporting startups and technologies we view as significantly valuable for the future of the transportation industry,” said Tony Cannestra, director of Corporate Ventures, DENSO International America. “Whether it’s through direct investment or acquisition, DENSO will find a way to support and partner with companies to help transform mobility.”
Kevin Virta, CEO of InfiniteKey, expressed his team’s enthusiasm for joining forces with DENSO. “Becoming part of DENSO, with its global reach and world-class engineering, means our phone-as-a-key technology can reach the broadest possible penetration in the automotive market,” said Virta. “We are looking forward to making significant contributions to DENSO’s efforts to lead the way in automotive technologies of the future.”
Haartz Minth (Ningbo) Automotive Ltd., announced the grand opening of its new facility in Chunxiao, part of the Beilun district of Ningbo in China. As the initial investment of a strategic partnership announced in April 2016, the facility is intended to serve the growing Chinese automotive market.
"With China now the number one market in the world for automobile production, it is critical for us to have a strong, local presence – from production to sales to technical support at the customer level," said John Fox, president of the Haartz Corporation. "The partnership focuses primarily on our traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 customers. We expect to also pursue Chinese manufacturers in the very near future."
As a leading supplier of soft-trim materials for the automotive interiors market, implementation of Haartz technology and know-how will drive production at the facility. Manufacturing is moving quickly through startup procedures, with plans for rapid scale up through the end of 2017 and into the first quarter of 2018. It will initially focus on thermoplastic olefin (TPO) foils for soft trim applications such as interior door panels, instrument panels and center consoles. The use of soft trim for these applications is growing at a rate faster than the overall growth in vehicle production, as many OEMs are moving to a more luxurious interior. The new joint venture facility is ideally suited to serve the highly technical, fast-growing automotive market of today, and will be compatible with China's drive for advanced manufacturing.
Haartz Minth Automotive Ltd. Begins Production in China
Agrium to Acquire Louis Dreyfus Company's Fertilizer Business in Australia
Agrium Inc., announced a binding purchase agreement between its Australian ag-retail business, Landmark Operations, Ltd. ("Landmark"), and Louis Dreyfus Company ("LDC") for the acquisition of Macrofertil, a fertilizer distribution business in Australia with approximately $120-million in annual sales. The business includes six fertilizer storage and distribution assets with coating and blending capabilities, and its annual sales exceed 300,000 tonnes.
"This network of high quality assets will complement our existing Retail footprint in Australia, and allow us to enhance our product and service offering for new and existing Landmark customers," commented Agrium's President and CEO, Chuck Magro.
Landmark is a leading agribusiness company in Australia, offering crop inputs, agricultural merchandise as well as agronomic advice and services for wool and livestock sales, finance, insurance and real estate. With approximately 400 locations, Landmark serves over 100,000 clients.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
Madagascar signs a US$ 53 million financing agreement with IFAD to boost food and nutritional security
A new financial agreement, signed today betweenthe International Fund for Agricultural Development(IFAD) and Madagascar, will sustainably improve incomes and food and nutrition security for 320,000 Malagasy rural households in eight regions located in the southern part of the country.
The agreement for the Inclusive Agricultural Value Chains Development Programme (DEFIS) was signed in Rome by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Harison Edmond Randriarimanana, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock of Madagascar.
The total cost of the programme is US$250 million, including a $26.5 million loan and $26.5 million grant from IFAD. The programme will be cofinanced by the Government of Madagascar ($33.7 million), the African Development Bank ($50 million), the OPEC Fund for International Development ($20 million), the Green Climate Fund ($15 million) and by the beneficiaries themselves ($14.3 million). A financing gap of $64 million could be covered by subsequent IFAD resource allocation processes or by other financial partners to be determined during the implementation of DEFIS. The programme will be implemented over a period of 10 years in order to provide stable and predictable financing to producers.
In Madagascar, despite rich biodiversity and diverse agricultural products, 76 per cent of the population fall below the minimum dietary energy requirements of 2,133 kcals per day. The prevalence of chronic malnutrition among children under five years of age is among the highest in the world while the prevalence of poverty in rural areas is above 80 per cent. Limited investment in agriculture and in rural areas are among the chief causes of poverty and food and nutrition insecurity in Madagascar.
Cargill invests US$ 15 million in new piglet feed production line in Tianjin, China
Cargill is bolstering its young animal nutrition capability by investing more than $15 million USD investment to add a piglet feed production line at its existing premix and nutrition facility in Tianjin, China. The nearly 7,000-square-meter young animal nutrition facility features cutting-edge technology and systems of operational excellence to produce Neopigg™, a sustainable world-class piglet feed.
“Early life nutrition impacts an animal’s livability, health and lifetime growth efficiency,” said John Fering, managing director for Cargill Premix and Nutrition business in China. “This investment equips our customers with the right nutrition for this critical time in their young animals’ development.”
The new production line uses an advanced, traceable barcode management system during production, which ensures the sustainability and quality of the products delivered to customers, from raw material to finished product.
“We are committed to providing best-in-class products with consistent quality,” Fering added. “This new facility allows us to deliver on that promise by producing Neopigg™ at a facility that follows HACCP and FSSC22000.”
The piglet feed production line is expected to create 20 new jobs at the Tianjin facility.
Archer Daniels Midland Company, announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its oilseeds operations in Bolivia to Inversiones Piuranas S.A. The sale encompasses ADM’s processing facility in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, as well as nine grain silos and ADM’s Bolivian distribution business.
“We regularly review our portfolio, and the sale of our Bolivian Oilseeds operations is part of our long-term growth and transformation strategy,” said Greg Morris, president of ADM’s Oilseeds Processing business unit.
ADM’s oilseeds operations in Bolivia process soybeans and sunflower into oils and protein meal. ADM has approximately 400 employees in Bolivia.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first half of 2018; until then, ADM will continue to operate its oilseeds business in Bolivia.
ADM reaches agreement to sell Bolivian oilseeds operations
Cell Design Labs, Inc., a privately- held biotechnology company developing disruptive CAR-T and T cell receptor (TCR) therapies, announced that Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) has agreed to acquire Cell Design Labs in a structured buy out valued for up to $567 million, including the shares of Cell Design Labs held by Kite.
According to Brian Atwood, President and CEO of Cell Design Labs, Inc., “Bringing our robust technology platforms under the Gilead umbrella, with its outstanding research and development capabilities and commitment to innovation, provides an exciting path forward for the development of the next generation of living therapies for patients with cancer.”
“We have been working with Cell Design Labs for almost 18 months, and truly appreciate the groundbreaking nature of their technology platforms,” commented David D. Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Worldwide Head of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer at Kite. “We’ve already integrated THROTTLE™ Switch into our CAR-T pipeline and look forward to exploring the full depth and breadth of the technologies of Gilead, Kite and Cell Design Labs to expand the cell therapy toolbox.”
“As early investors in Cell Design Labs, we recognized the incredible power and promise of the technology platforms,” commented Beth Seidenberg, M.D., General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and Director of Cell Design Labs. “We believe that bringing Cell Design Labs together with Gilead provides the potential for a disruptive new wave of cell therapies for cancer.”
Peter Emtage, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer said, “We are on the cusp of a new era in medicine where we are able to precisely instruct and guide immune cells to recognize and eliminate disease. We are pioneering two very powerful and promising technologies that we believe have the ability to change the therapeutic landscape significantly.”
Since its founding in 2016, Cell Design Labs has raised $34.4 million. Cell Design Labs’ investors, led by Kleiner Perkins, also included Kite, Osage University Partners, Mission Bay Ventures, Brian Atwood, President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Cell Design Labs, Kite founder and member of the Cell Design Labs Board of Directors, Arie Belldegrun, M.D., as well as other investors with significant experience in biopharmaceutical innovation.
A technology provider's for life sciences , awarded prizes , acquires a brilliant start-up semantic data management
SciBite , a technology- driven company that is revolutionizing the R & D of pharmaceutical companies around the world, has acquired the Cambridge-based start-up FactBio , a leading developer of semantic software for data management and preservation for the sciences. of life. FactBio will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of SciBite and all of its operations will move to SciBite's offices located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Cambridge, UK. The terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The era of data-driven R & D is driving investment in technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, data integration and natural language processing to better understand new business strategies. drug development. While the secret to such successful efforts is accurate, high-quality data, it is certain that the data cleansing and annotation work required to achieve this can be costly, to avoid to say often prohibitive. Thanks to Kusp, its knowledge management platform, FactBio provides tools to simplify this process and generate the high-quality data needed for consistent analysis.
"FactBio's platforms are at a critical stage in accessing data analysis, which is an increasingly serious problem for our customers. The technology shares SciBite's principles of using a strong semantic representation of data through high quality ontologies, and together we bring a holistic solution to the challenges Big Data poses today, " Rob said. Greenwood , CEO of SciBite.
SciBite acquires Cambridge-based start-up FactBio
Hitachi to install new Proton Beam Therapy System in Spain
Hitachi, Ltd., announced that it has entered into an agreement to provide Clínica Universidad de Navarra (CUN) with its proton beam therapy (PBT) system. The agreement includes PBT system maintenance following completion of the systems' installation.
The PBT System will be installed at CUN's facility in Madrid, Spain and is equipped with state of the art technology including spot scanning capability* for treating certain forms of cancer. The System includes a compact synchrotron accelerator, full rotating gantry with cone beam CT and the option to add an additional gantry treatment room in the future. PBT patient treatment using the new system is expected to start at the hospital in the spring of 2020.
PBT is an advanced type of cancer radiotherapy. Protons, the atomic nucleus of hydrogen, are accelerated at high speed and its energy is concentrated on the tumours. PBT improves the quality of life for cancer patients since patients experience no pain during treatment and the procedure has fewer impacts on bodily functions. In most cases, patients can continue with their normal daily activities while undergoing treatment.
Fullerton Healthcare Corporation Limited, announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire a 60% stake in the Intellicare Group, one of the leading managed care providers in the Philippines. The Philippines is an important market in Asia Pacific for Fullerton Health, underpinned by attractive underlying growth drivers. Completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions and is expected to complete in early 2018.
The Intellicare Group was founded in 1995 and is strategically aligned with Fullerton Health's vision of being Asia Pacific's pre-eminent total healthcare solution provider. The Intellicare Group comprises three companies: Asalus, a health maintenance organisation ("HMO") engaged in the delivery of managed healthcare services via comprehensive, systematic and prevention-oriented health maintenance programmes; Avega, a provider of third party administration services to corporates as well as small and medium enterprises; and Aventus, a chain of nine outpatient multi-speciality clinics.
Dr Michael Tan, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Fullerton Health, commented:"This is an important milestone for Fullerton Health and takes us into our eighth country in Asia Pacific. With a population of over 100 million people, the Philippines offers great growth potential for the company, and the potential synergies between our two businesses, together with our operational and technological capabilities, will allow us to deliver increased benefits and services to even more corporates and patients across the country. This acquisition reinforces our strategy of developing a strong presence in markets across the region, and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Intellicare Group to the Fullerton Health family."
Fullerton Health announces Philippines market entry through the acquisition of Intellicare Group
Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, announces that it has made a formal proposal to acquire Gemalto [Euronext Amsterdam: GTO] by way of a public offer for all of Gemalto issued and outstanding shares. Atos invited Gemalto’s Board of Directors to engage discussions and review collaboratively this potential transaction. On November 28, 2017, Atos has delivered an offer to the Board of Directors of Gemalto which is friendly, compelling, and which addresses the interests of all stakeholders. Since then, Atos has reiterated its friendly intentions. Considering increased risk that could impact Gemalto’s shares, and for the purposes of market information, the Atos’ Board of Directors has decided to make its proposal public while affirming its willingness to engage into discussions with the objective to come to a transaction recommended by the Gemalto’s Board of Directors.
Key terms of the Atos proposal:
Intended all-cash offer of €46.0 per Gemalto share (cum dividend), representing a total consideration of approximately €4.3bn.
A premium of c. 42% to Gemalto’s last unaffected closing price as of December 8, 2017, and c. 42% and c. 34% premium to Gemalto’s 1-month and 3-month volume weighted average trading prices, respectively.
The proposed transaction will strengthen Gemalto’s businesses and will create a leading Group in cybersecurity technologies and digital services to the benefit of all stakeholders going forward.
The acquisition of Gemalto shares will be entirely financed with Atos’ existing cash resources and fully committed external debt.
Thierry Breton, Chairman and CEO of Atos said: “Atos has been following closely, and with a lot of interest, the evolution of Gemalto as a leading player in digital cyber security, IoT and payment and has long admired its global presence and strong customer and technology portfolios. We believe that a combination of Atos and Gemalto would result in enhanced global leadership in cybersecurity, digital technologies and services and in the strengthening of our positioning as a leading European payment services provider. Atos has carefully considered the interest of the stakeholders of the two groups, shareholders, employees, and customers which will all benefit from the proposed friendly transaction. In addition, Atos comes forward with a long track-record of successfully integrating management teams, employees and businesses”
With the recent acquisition of clients in previously untapped countries, Azeus Convene has succeeded in expanding its footprint to more than 40 countries worldwide as of November, 2017. From building a strong foundation in the United Kingdom, Azeus Convene has branched out to African and Asian countries like Uganda, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, to name a few.
Jerry Chua, Marketing Head for Convene, owes this latest achievement to the company's consistent hard work and dedication further stating that "our sales and marketing teams have enabled our substantial growth." He added that "credit also goes to the development team for delivering an innovative product that clients love to use."
As a leading board and enterprise meeting solution, Azeus Convene allows organizations to have productive and efficient meetings whether it's across the room or across the world.
Convene is easy to use while offering powerful features that facilitate collaboration and organize the meeting process from start to finish.
Accessible on all platforms and devices (iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac), all meeting documents and confidential files are kept safe and secure with its enterprise-grade security.
With its key features and customer-centric approach, it has received awards and recognition from internationally acclaimed organizations such as Best in Biz International and IT Europa. This year, Convene was dubbed as the Most Innovative Product/Service awardee by the Golden Peacock Awards – edging out 400 entries from other public, private, and government enterprises.
Moving forward, Chua stated that Azeus Convene's vision is still yet to be fully realized. "Our goal is to be the number one choice for board and enterprise communications in five years or less," he shared. As its list of clients in both the private and public sector grows globally, so does Azeus Convene. Capitalizing on the increasing need for board portalsamong small and large organizations alike, Chua adds that "being a top-tier board portal provider is now within sight."
Iron Mountain to acquire IO Data Centers U.S. Operations for $1.3 Billion
Iron Mountain Incorporated, the global leader in storage and information management services, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the U.S. operations of IO Data Centers LLC, a leading colocation data center services provider based in Phoenix, Arizona, for $1.315 billion plus up to $60 million based on future performance and subject to customary adjustments. With the transaction, Iron Mountain will acquire the land and buildings associated with four state-of-the-art data centers in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Edison, New Jersey; and Columbus, Ohio.
The existing data center space in the four owned facilities totals 728,000 square feet, providing 62 megawatts (MW) of capacity with expansion potential of an additional 77 MW in Arizona and New Jersey.
This agreement follows the acquisition of FORTRUST data center on September 1, 2017 and the announcement of Iron Mountain’s international data center expansion through the planned acquisition of two Credit Suisse data centers in the London and Singapore markets. Upon closing of the Credit Suisse and IO transactions in early 2018, Iron Mountain’s data center portfolio will total more than 90 MW of existing capacity, with an additional 26 MW of capacity currently under construction and planned and future expansion potential of another 135 MW.
“This transformative transaction is closely aligned with our strategy and we expect it to accelerate our growth profile by bringing our data center business to approximately 7% of total revenue and approximately 10% of Adjusted EBITDA by 2020 – significantly exceeding our initial goal – while enhancing business diversity and the margin profile of the company,” Meaney added. “We believe we can add significant value to IO’s U.S. operations by leveraging our strong brand that is synonymous with security and trust, and our relationships with more than 30,000 North American data management customers.
“The addition of IO’s data centers enhances our geographic diversification and provides market-leading exposure to Phoenix, the fourth fastest market for absorption in the U.S. in 2017, and the 12th largest data center market globally. Colocation and cloud providers have made significant investments in Phoenix in the past few years, as it boasts diverse energy sources and relatively inexpensive green power, as well as an attractive business environment,” said Mark Kidd, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Iron Mountain Data Centers. “Importantly, this transaction also enhances our ability to support the needs of the largest cloud providers through new development with expansion capacity in Phoenix as well as New Jersey, another attractive market due to its proximity to the New York metro area.”
“Additionally, IO brings a diversified roster of more than 550 customers that includes blue chip financial services, aerospace, federal government and technology companies among its Top 10, with no single customer representing more than 10% of total revenue. Its strong enterprise and cloud customer base is complementary to that of our existing data center business, and more than 40% of IO’s customers are also customers in our core records and data management businesses,” Kidd said.
Vedicsoft Solutions, LLC acquires Savantis Group, Inc
Vedicsoft Solutions, LLC, a New Jersey based IT solutions company, announced that it has acquired Savantis Group, Vedicsoft’s acquisition of Savantis Group will expand the product offering of the company bringing together the extensive technical resources of Vedicsoft with the SAP expertise of Savantis Group in a way that will offer significant benefits for current and future customers.
Vedicsoft has global reach and resources, and a deep bench of technical experts. It also has a portfolio of innovative new products for onsite customer engagement in the hospitality and entertainment industries including highly practical CRM optimization tools, and smart analytics products.
Savantis has a proven expertise in creating, delivering and supporting solutions centered on SAP, the world’s leading business software. Specifically, Savantis Group has developed a leading expertise in the new S/4 product and associated technologies.
The new company will be rebranded Savantis (“Savantis”) and will have extensive partnerships with SAP, Amazon, Qlik, Extreme Networks and more that will further increase its capability to deliver complete business solutions.
CEO Nick Sharma, who has a track record of successfully growing companies, said: “Customers will benefit from an expanded portfolio of complementary offerings and our increased ability to deliver innovative solutions cost effectively.”
Allan Vanderheyden, the former CEO and owner of Savantis Group, will lead the new Solutions Division and added: “We are excited about our new capabilities to serve our customers better and continue to expand our innovative products that solve real problems.”
AirTies, the most widely deployed provider of managed Wi-Fi Mesh solutions to global service providers, announced that it has opened a new R&D center in Austin, Texas, including a new test home that replicates real-world usage of in-home Wi-Fi to support customers in North America.
Unlike traditional Wi-Fi, which relies on a single Wi-Fi Access Point (AP) on a home gateway/router, AirTies' Managed Mesh Solution uses multiple Mesh Extenders to create an intelligent Mesh Wi-Fi network throughout consumers' homes to deliver fast and consistent, whole-home Internet coverage. With operations around the globe, AirTies provides premium in-home Wi-Fi solutions to leading international service providers, such as Atlantic Broadband, Frontier, Midco, Orange, Singtel, Sky (SKY Q in the UK; Germany; Italy; and New Zealand), Swisscom, Vodafone, and many others.
AirTies noted that it has signed undisclosed contracts with additional service providers in North America, prompting this additional investment in the R&D facility. In addition, long-time AirTies executive, Mujdat Pakkan, EVP of Customer Programs, has relocated to oversee the new Austin facility.
"We're very excited to open our first R&D center outside of Europe in order to support the growing market opportunity in North America," said Philippe Alcaras, CEO of AirTies. "Austin's central location and pool of incredible, high-tech talent made it a very appealing choice for us. Looking ahead, we expect North American Internet and TV service providers to drive significant business for us, and this facility is built with them in mind."
In addition to an R&D office, AirTies test home in Austin will support automated in-home Wi-Fi testing using the company's AirBot system. AirBots are robots that can be controlled remotely to travel on tracks throughout a home carrying various Wi-Fi devices to conduct various real-world use tests in a multi-floor dwelling.
AirTies expands its North American presence with a new R&D Center in Austin
MRI Software acquires MDA Property Systems
MRI Software, a global leader in real estate software solutions, announced the acquisition of MDA Property Systems, a property management and accounting software company based in Cape Town, South Africa. Founded in 1990, MDA Property Systems dominates the South African real estate market, with approximately 5,000 users and 70 percent of South Africa’s listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) using the company’s software. With commercial and residential clients throughout Africa and the Middle East, MDA further expands MRI’s fast-growing presence in the EMEA region.
“Africa and the Middle East represent important growth markets for global investors and, therefore, are key to MRI Software’s rapid worldwide expansion,” said Patrick Ghilani, Chief Executive Officer of MRI Software. “MDA Property Systems has a stellar reputation in these markets, and they’ve built an extremely loyal following for their innovative and intuitive solutions. MRI also has a rich legacy in the region, having served the African market for more than two decades. Uniting the strengths of both companies, we are well positioned to bring a comprehensive set of real estate software solutions to the region.”
MDA clients will benefit from increased investment and innovation into the company’s core solutions. Additionally, MRI Software’s broad solution set – including the company’s Investment Suite, Fixed Asset Accounting and Facilities Management solutions – provides key capabilities for MDA clients managing both domestic and global portfolios. MRI’s multinational clients can leverage MDA’s capabilities to work more effectively in the Southern African market.
“Combining with MRI Software gives us a global channel for our solutions and a wealth of resources to continue developing our property management software, to both add new capabilities and build integrations with complementary MRI offerings,” said Mark Fairweather, managing director of MDA Property Systems. “We are exceptionally excited to join the MRI family and provide international backing to the continued development of our product set for the benefit of our loyal client base. I look forward to joining the MRI team and continuing to lead MDA into the future.”
Cheetah Mobile Inc., a leading mobile internet company with strong global vision, and Microsoft Corp. announced a collaboration to incorporate Microsoft's AI-based technologies and services into Cheetah Mobile's product matrix. As the first phase of the collaboration, Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant will be integrated into Cheetah Mobile's leading mobile launcher app, CM Launcher, making it the first mobile launcher app to incorporate Cortana. Going forward, Microsoft and Cheetah Mobile plan to cooperate on additional Cheetah Mobile products, such as Cheetah Keyboard.
Through the collaboration, CM Launcher users gain access to Cortana's wide range of voice-controlled features, while Microsoft is able to advance its core strategy of bringing Cortana to more users and devices. The collaboration also matches Microsoft's resource and platform advantages with Cheetah Mobile's strengths in the mobile market.
The Cortana version of CM Launcher is now available as an open beta in the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia. The official version will be released in the above countries in January 2018.
"Partnering with Microsoft fits perfectly with Cheetah's mission to make the world smarter and power our mobile apps with AI technologies," said Fu Sheng, CEO of Cheetah Mobile. "CM Launcher is already the market leader in terms of personalization options, but now, with Cortana, we can bring more smart services to our users."
The integration of Cortana brings several new features to CM Launcher, including the ability to make hands-free calls, create events, read news headlines, translate and search the web. In addition to voice-controlled features, CM Launcher uses Cortana to provide event reminders, nearby restaurant recommendations and news headlines within CM Launcher's user interface. Cortana also offers cross-device compatibility, allowing users to log into CM Launcher with their Microsoft accounts to receive notifications such as missed calls and incoming messages on other devices.
Cheetah Mobile collaborates with Microsoft on AI Services
World Bank Helps Bangladesh Improve Trade and Transport Connectivity
Bangladesh, signed a $150 million financing agreement with the World Bank to modernize trade related infrastructure, systems, and procedures. These improvements will help Bangladesh increase regional connectivity and trade with India, Bhutan, and Nepal.
The Bangladesh Regional Connectivity Project 1 will develop and improve four land ports - Bhomra, Sheola, Ramgarh, and Benapole. These land ports are key to facilitating regional and transit trade, especially with India. These improvements will help Bangladesh increase trade and freight volumes and reduce truck clearance time at border posts. For example, truck clearance time at Bhomra land port will be reduced by 83% — from 72 hours to 12 hours.
“Bangladesh has enormous potential to increase trade with its neighbors, particularly India. Currently, its trade with India is only less than half of its current potential,” said Qimiao Fan, Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. “By addressing the key barriers to trade, especially transport and clearance delays, Bangladesh can become more competitive regionally and globally, and reach more emerging and dynamic markets with diversified product mix, including higher-value garments.”
The project will develop a National Single Window, which will allow traders to submit all import, export and transit information required by Customs and other key regulatory agencies via a single electronic gateway. This will facilitate faster and more transparent international trade procedures and reduce transaction time and cost for the private sector.
“Bangladesh has doubled its world market share in exports between 1995 and 2012, and more than
Marriott International, Inc., announced the company is set to open nearly 40 luxury hotels in 2018 as the company continues to cater to a new affluent traveler, offering an unmatched variety of transformative travel experiences. Providing globetrotters with a truly global perspective and an unparalleled portfolio of eight distinct luxury brands, Marriott International Luxury Brands include world-renowned hospitality hallmarks The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION and JW Marriott. With an unrivaled network of landmark hotels and resorts in 60 countries today, Marriott International is set to expand its luxury footprint yet further with 200 hotels in the development pipeline, representing 25 new countries, from Iceland and Nepal to Cuba and the Philippines.
“From former palaces in Venice and Vienna, to skyscrapers in Hong Kong and Dubai, to intimate, remote escapes in the Maldives and Mexico, the breadth of our portfolio is incomparable and allows us to surpass the expectations of our guests around the globe,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer, Marriott International. “We see luxury as a launch pad for self-actualization, with bucket lists evolving from where you want to go to who you can be. With data showing a global shift in perception around luxury, we are uniquely positioned to provide personalized and truly differentiated experiences that resonate with this next-generation jetsetter.”
Personalized Fulfillment is the Future of Luxury
A global luxury study conducted in partnership with Skift, the largest travel industry intelligence platform, revealed that the number one priority for luxury travelers is centered around transformative travel and authentic experiences that provide a new perspective on the world. Edmundson continued: “Today’s global luxurian defies traditional stereotypes, moving far beyond the antiquated notion of ‘time’ being the ultimate luxury. Our guests are on a journey towards personal fulfillment, seeking meaningful and purposeful travel experiences that speak to their inner, idealized selves. Whether that be creating a signature dish at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s Culinary Studio, prioritizing wellness by tapping into on-demand fitness with JW Marriott’s Behind the Barre program, recharging in an over-water villa at The St. Regis Maldives or exploring one of the world’s most energetic cities through a W Insider.” With a new lens on luxury and focus on the fast-evolving expectations and aspirations of the global traveler, Marriott International elevates travel with highly contextualized, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury. “Access is the new authentic, and our brands are portals to diverse cultures and one-off travel moments,” said Edmundson.
Marriott International Set to Debut Nearly 40 Luxury Hotels Across Eight Distinct Luxury Brands in 2018
Luxury lifestyle hotel brand, ME byMeliá,has announced its debut property in the Middle East with the launch of ME Dubai at the end of 2018. Designed by late architect, Zaha Hadid, ME Dubai is set to become a legacy hotel. It is the only hotel project where she personally designed all of the interiors and exteriors, showcasing her vision of ‘interconnectedness’.
ME Dubai will take residence in the breath-taking, 95 metre-high, Opus building, which is the newest architectural icon in the Dubai skyline. Situated in the heart of the upcoming Burj Khalifa district in Downtown Dubai, The Opus building is managed by leading Middle East real estate developer, Omniyat.
ME Dubai will consist of 93 rooms and suites, across 19 floors, the ultra-luxurious ‘Suite ME’, as well as 98 serviced apartments. The property will feature dramatic, signature furniture in the lobby, vertical café, lounges and reception area, which were either designed or personally selected by Zaha Hadid.
The lifestyle hotel will offer 15 restaurants, including ROKA, the contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant. Founded in London in 2004, ROKA was created by Rainer Becker following the huge success of Zuma London. Hamish Brown, Group Executive Chef for ROKA Restaurants internationally, since March 2013, has successfully spearheaded the team who have created some of ROKA London’s most iconic dishes, including the yellowtail sashimi with yuzu-truffle dressing and lamb cutlets with Korean spices. To complement the food from the robata, a selection of expertly prepared sushi and sashimi will be available, alongside dishes from the main kitchen.
The interior of ROKA Dubai showcases the collaboration between Rainer Becker and esteemed designer, Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Tokyo’s Studio Glitt. Located in the centre of the restaurant amongst diners, the robata grill is the focal feature of the ROKA experience and also brings with it the energy that ROKA is famous for.
With awe-inspiring originality, Hadid’s design reinvents the balance between solid and void, opaque and transparent, interior and exterior. The Opus spans 250,000 sq ft, comprising of two separate towers that connect in the form of a cube but with a ‘carved’ central void where the centre of the building provides unexpected and dramatic views of the exterior.
Gabriel Escarrer, Vice Chairman and CEO, at Meliá Hotels International, said:“We are incredibly excited to open ME Dubai, our first ME property in the Middle East. Dubai is a fascinating, exciting city, known for its progressive feats of design; all of which are characteristics that resonate with ME by Meliá hotels and the high standards we offer our guests. We’re confident that our unwavering commitment to exemplary service, coupled with Zada Hadid’s remarkable design and ROKA’s sumptuous cuisine will make for an unparalleled experience for our guests in Dubai.”
Me Dubai Is Set To Become The Newest Addition To The Dubai Skyline
InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has signed a management agreement with Origin Property Public Company Limited to bring Staybridge Suites to Asia Pacific. The all-suite extended stay brand will launch in Thailand – Staybridge Suites Bangkok Thonglor in 2019, in association with Nomura Real Estate Development Company Limited and Staybridge Suites Chonburi Siracha in 2020.
Joining Staybridge Suites’ 250 worldwide properties, both new hotels will offer the brand’s hallmark warm and residential environment for extended stay guests. Travellers can look forward to homely and comfortable suites featuring fully-equipped kitchens, separate working areas, entertainment, and free Wi-Fi – ideal for business travellers or those seeking a home away from home during their holiday.
Commenting on the milestone, Rajit Sukumaran, Chief Development Officer, Asia Middle East Africa, IHG, said: “We are delighted to work again with our partner Origin Property Public Company Limited to expand our portfolio of differentiated hotels brands regionally. With the rising demand for long-stay accommodation in Bangkok and Siracha, this represents an excellent opportunity for us to introduce Staybridge Suites. Longer term, we are excited about the potential to expand the brand further across Asia Pacific.”
A convenient stay in the heart of Bangkok’s vibrant Thonglor neighbourhood
The 303-room Staybridge Suites Bangkok Thonglor will be situated along the Thai capital’s main Sukhumvit Soi 55 road, a 10-minute walk from the Thonglor BTS station. Thonglor is a popular area amongst locals, expatriates and tourists alike with its wide selection of trendy dining options and close proximity to high-end retail malls including EmQuartier and Emporium.
Unparalleled access to Siracha’s key business and lifestyle offerings
Situated in Siracha, home to numerous leading industrial estates and two of the busiest container ports in South East Asia, the 400-room Staybridge Suites Chonburi Siracha will be an ideal option for long-stay business guests. Located along the main Sukhumvit Road directly opposite Tukcom Siracha IT Mall, the hotel will also offer convenient access to other retail outlets nearby, including Robinson Department Store and Aeon Siracha Shopping Centre.
Both hotels will provide complimentary hot breakfast daily and all-day facilities such as a business centre, fitness room, and pantry. Guests can also look forward to opportunities to socialise with colleagues or other guests, at The Evening Social – an evening reception held weekly in every Staybridge Suites hotel, which serves complimentary refreshments for guests to relax and socialise as a community at shared spaces within the hotel.
IHG debuts Staybridge Suites in Asia Pacific
IHG expands presence in Muscat with second Crowne Plaza opening
InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the world’s leading hotel companies and Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN) proudly announces the opening of Crowne Plaza Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat. The newly opened hotel will be the second Crowne Plaza in the capital and the fifth in Oman, demonstrating the increasing popularity of the brand in the Sultanate.
The 296-room hotel is conveniently located 10 minutes from the New Muscat International Airport and is a part of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) project, situated in phase one of Madinat Al Irfan, a world-class, urban mixed-use development by OMRAN designed to meet global standards. OCEC is Muscat’s state-of-the-art commercial hub for business and international events. This precinct is one of many innovative communities currently being developed that are designed to world-class standards in support of the Sultanate’s growing tourism sector. While guests will benefit from the centre’s 22,000m² of exhibition space, they will also enjoy overlooking a natural waterway and the surrounding parklands, a wadi, and a nature reserve. With elements that allow for both productivity and recreation, Crowne Plaza Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre is ideal for both business and leisure travelers.
The hotel also offers great facilities for a broad range of visitors including two pools, a children’s playground, a large fitness zone, three large meeting rooms and an independent function centre, which includes a glamourous ballroom with a terrace, ideal for weddings and other social functions.
Crowne Plaza Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre also boasts a selection of five dining options including Mosaic, that offers an all-day menu and Charm Thai that offers an authentic taste of Thailand in an ambient environment. Additionally, guests can enjoy the best of Belgian food and beverage in a traditional Belgian setting at Le Petit Belge or savour delicious cocktails by the poolside. Visitors can also indulge in an extensive collection of drinks which can be enjoyed in the lobby of the hotel.
InterContinental Hotels Group launched its fourth Holiday Inn Express hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, with the opening of Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Soi Soonvijai. Guests at the 206-room hotel can enjoy a great night’s sleep, surrounded by the capital’s best medical, business and lifestyle offerings from today.
Ensuring unparalleled convenience for medical tourists, Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Soi Soonvijai is just a two-minute walk away from Bangkok Hospital and a short trip to Piyavate Hospital and Rama 9 Hospital. With its convenient location along Soi Soonvijai, which connects to Bangkok’s major roads, business travellers can enjoy a fuss-free commute to the main city centre and central business district a stone’s throw away. Those on holiday can take a leisurely stroll to some of the city’s best malls for shopping, entertainment and dining options, including SHOW DC, Central Rama 9, Terminal 21 and EmQuartier.
Commenting on the opening, Clarence Tan, Chief Operating Officer, South East Asia & Korea, IHG said: “Holiday Inn Express is one of our fastest-growing hotel brands. This is fuelled by a rising demand from self-sufficient travellers seeking an engaging place to rest, recharge – and get work done. We’re excited to expand our select service offering in Bangkok, one of the world’s most visited cities, with the opening of our fourth Holiday Inn Express.”
As with the over 2,500 Holiday Inn Express hotels around the world, guests can expect everything they need and nothing they don’t when they stay at Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Soi Soonvijai. Equipped with a function room for guests to host meetings, a self-service business centre, a zen rooftop garden where guests can relax and unwind and laundry facilities for everyday needs, the hotel also provides a choice of contemporary queen or twin non-smoking rooms that include:
Free and fast Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel to ensure connectivity to the ones who matter
Free Express Start™ Breakfast or a Grab & Go option for a smart start to the day
High quality bedding with a choice of firm or soft pillows for a comfortable sleep
Refreshing power showers with a three-function massage showerhead and fluffy towels to keep you rejuvenated
32-inch LCD television and ergonomic workstation for a smarter stay
Rohan Choudhury, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Soi Soonvijai, said: “The Holiday Inn Express brand is renowned for providing guests with a frictionless experience in the best locations, and Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Soi Soonvijai is no exception. With its excellent proximity to some of Bangkok’s best hospitals, major offices and most popular shopping malls, our newest hotel will be a smart choice for medical tourists, as well as business and leisure travellers alike. We are delighted to start welcoming guests at Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Soi Soonvijai.”
IHG opens fourth Holiday Inn Express in Bangkok
A more efficient copper industry in Poland and Europe, with state-of-the-art technologies and reduced environmental impact – this is the aim of a modernization plan undertaken by KGHM Polska Miedz (KGHM), a Polish blue-chip company and the sixth largest world copper producer, which the European Investment Bank (EIB) is spearheading with a PLN 900m loan .
The EIB loan will help KGHM to replace end-of-life equipment and machinery and to implement actions to address the challenges of a changing macroeconomic environment (reduction in commodities prices), varying mining and extraction conditions (deeper lying deposits) and tightening environmental legislation (reduction of noxious emissions). Thanks to upgraded technologies, the company will be able to increase its productivity, competitiveness and further grow its business both in Poland and worldwide.
“The loan granted to KGHM Polska Miedz provides evidence of the EIB’s support to Polish and European manufacturers and raw material producers”, said the European Investment Bank’s Vice-President Vazil Hudak, who is in charge of Poland. “This is in line with the European Union’s renewed Industrial Policy Strategy and its aim to secure a sustainable and affordable supply of raw materials, like copper, which is widely used in a high number of key industries”.
EIB supports key technological investments in Polish Copper Industry
The Asian Development Bank, has approved the 2018-2020 Country Operations Business Plan for the Philippines to help the government build infrastructure, create jobs, reduce income and regional disparities, and strengthen disaster resilience.
The plan, which reflects priorities outlined in the government’s 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan, includes $3.68 billion in ADB lending and $25.1 million in technical assistance from 2018-2020.
ADB Unveils 3-Year Philippine Operations Plan with Infrastructure Focus
In 2018 alone, ADB lending to the Philippines will reach $920 million, and the number is expected to rise to a record high of about $1.4 billion each for both 2019 and 2020.
“We are committed to supporting the government’s effort to realize its goals of sustainable and inclusive growth, delivering much-needed infrastructure, strengthening education, helping youth to access good jobs, and boosting regional development,” said Richard Bolt, ADB Country Director for the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure development program aims to raise spending on infrastructure to 7.4% of gross domestic product by 2022, up from 5.3% in 2017 to sustain the country’s current strong growth momentum.
ADB Provides $330 Million to Afghanistan to Complete National Ring Road
The Asian Development Bank’s(ADB) Board of Directors has approved $330 million in grant financing to support the completion of Afghanistan's national Ring Road, a vital national strategic corridor and a critical part of the country’s regional integration agenda.
ADB’s financing will support the construction of 151 kilometers (km) of road connecting the towns of Qaisar and Dari Bum in northwestern Afghanistan. The road is the last section of the 2,200-km Ring Road that connects Afghanistan's major cities and is also a key corridor under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program. The Ring Road is ranked first among the investment priorities of the road improvement master plan of the Government of Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan’s Ring Road is an essential piece of infrastructure which will help connect the country internally, as well as with its neighbors in Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Department Sean O’Sullivan. “ADB’s support for the final stage of the Ring Road will integrate lessons learned in provisioning infrastructure in a fragile environment, while also creating jobs, improving trade, and bringing greater security.”
The project will include both drainage and modern highway safety features. It also features roadside infrastructure facilities, including rural access roads and a community development program for 60 local communities. The road will be designed and constructed to incorporate disaster risk and climate change adaptation features, which are critical for the country to increase the resiliency of its infrastructure.
OTT TV revenues to surge, approaching $120 billion
OTTs Spend Big on Content
The new research, Digital TV & Video: Network and OTT Strategies 2017-2022, found that expenditure by OTTs on original content was increasing: Juniper estimates that Netflix will spend over $6 billion during 2017-18, in contrast to the publicly funded BBC, which is investing a comparatively small sum of $1.4 billion.
SVOD players including Netflix are seeking to out-spend traditional providers; attempting to deliver original content and reduce reliance on expensive back-catalogues. Research author Lauren Foye explained: “Success will hinge on whether these providers can continue to produce hits such as ‘Stranger Things’.
New data from Juniper Research has found that SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) services, provided by the likes of Netflix and Amazon, will drive a surge in OTT revenues to reach $120 billion in 2022, up from $64 billion in 2017. The research also found that over a quarter of global households will subscribe to SVOD services by 2022.
11-16 December 2017
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