Unilever to sell its Spreads business to KKR for US$ 8.9 bn
HEINEKEN opens new brewery in Meoqui, Mexico
it & BPM i FOOD I HEALTHCARE i TEXTILES i INFRASTRUCTURE i ENGINEERING i tourism
AXA agreement to acquire XL Group for US$ 15.3 bn
Inovalon to acquire ABILITY Network for US$ 1.2 bn
Rotana highlights robust hotel pipeline at ITB Berlin 2018
THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE FOR INVESTMENT PROMOTION EXECUTIVES
Cigna will acquire Express Scripts for US$ 67 billion
05- 10 March 2018
ADB to extend US$ 5 bn for next 3 years for Regional Cooperation in South Asia
Toyota and Mazda to build US$ 1.6 bn joint plant in Huntsville, Alabama
Cigna will acquire Express Scripts for $67 billion
Cigna Corporation, and Express Scripts Holding Company announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Cigna will acquire Express Scripts in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $67 billion, including Cigna's assumption of approximately $15 billion in Express Scripts debt.
“Cigna’s acquisition of Express Scripts brings together two complementary customer-centric services companies, well-positioned to drive greater quality and affordability for customers,” said David M. Cordani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cigna. “This combination accelerates Cigna’s enterprise mission of improving the health, well-being and sense of security of those we serve, and in turn, expanding the breadth of services for our customers, partners, clients, health plans and communities. Together, we will create an expanded portfolio of health services, delivering greater consumer choice, closer alignment between the customer and health care provider, and more personalized value. This combination will create significant benefits to society and differentiated shareholder value.”
“First and foremost, we believe this transaction delivers attractive value to the Express Scripts shareholders" said Tim Wentworth, President and Chief Executive Officer of Express Scripts. Regarding the combination of Cigna and Express Scripts, Mr. Wentworth noted, "Together, our two organizations will help make the healthiest choices the easiest choices, putting health and pharmacy services within reach of everyone we serve. Adding our company's leadership in pharmacy and medical benefit management, technology-powered clinical solutions, and specialized patient care model to Cigna’s track record of delivering value through innovation, we are positioned to transform healthcare. We will continue to have a distinct focus at Express Scripts and eviCore on partnering with health plans, and together, build tailored solutions for health plans and their members. Importantly, this agreement is a testament to the work of our team and their resolute focus on providing the best care to patients, and the most value to clients.”
Personalized Value. Making health care simpler for consumers by harnessing actionable insights and predictive analytics, maximizing adoption of evidence-based care and delivering industry-leading innovation and medical technology to support care decisions.
Read article on globalfdi.net
Inovalon, a leading technology company providing advanced, cloud-based platforms empowering a data-driven transformation from volume-based to value-based models across the healthcare ecosystem, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ABILITY Network (“ABILITY”) for aggregate consideration of $1.2 billion in cash and restricted stock, creating a vertically integrated leader in cloud-based enablement of data-driven, value-based care.
ABILITY is a leading cloud-based Software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company helping to simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare. Through the myABILITY® software platform, an integrated set of cloud-based applications for providers, ABILITY provides core connectivity, administrative, clinical, and quality analysis, management, and performance improvement capabilities to more than 44,000 acute, post-acute and ambulatory point-of-care provider facilities.
The extensive datasets, on-demand compute capability, advanced analytics, and broad healthcare ecosystem connectivity enabled by the Inovalon ONE™ Platform will provide a significant expansion of application offerings within the myABILITY®software platform while also expanding the nature and reach of high-value solutions for Inovalon’s existing payer, pharma, and device client-base.
Upon closing, the combination of Inovalon and ABILITY creates a vertically integrated cloud-based platform empowering the achievement of real-time, value-based care from payers, manufacturers, and diagnostics all the way to the patient’s point of care.
Meaningful Benefits to Healthcare
Together, Inovalon and ABILITY will bring capabilities unparalleled in empowering a comprehensive vertical integration of value-based healthcare. The power of advanced, ultra-high-speed, on-demand data and analytics brought to the patient’s point-of-care within the work-flow where care is delivered will enable high-value and high-impact applications of data sought after by health plans, employers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and diagnostic companies. Concurrently, acute, post-acute, and ambulatory care providers are eager to have access to deeper data, more advanced analytics, data-driven best-practices, clinical care protocols and decision support, and value-based tools to empower them to better succeed in a marketplace asserting growing cost pressures, outcomes expectations, and increasingly complex contract structures upon them. The capabilities achieved through the combination of Inovalon and ABILITY will empower a highly symbiotic ecosystem and a resulting value that is much greater than the sum of the parts.
Inovalon to acquire ABILITY Network for $1.2 billion
Toyota and Mazda to build $1.6 billion joint plant in Huntsville, Alabama
Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation have established their new joint-venture company “Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc.” (MTMUS) that will produce vehicles in Huntsville, Alabama starting in 2021.
The new plant will have the capacity to produce 150,000 units of Mazda’s crossover model that will be newly introduced to the North American market and 150,000 units of the Toyota Corolla. The facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs. Toyota and Mazda are investing $1.6 billion towards this project with equal funding contributions.
“We hope to make MTMUS a plant that will hold a special place in the heart of the local community for many, many years,” said Mazda’s executive officer Masashi Aihara, who will serve as president of MTMUS. “By combining the best of our technologies and corporate cultures, Mazda and Toyota will not only produce high-quality cars but also create a plant employees will be proud to work at and contribute to the further development of the local economy and the automotive industry. We hope that cars made at the new plant will enrich the lives of their owners and become much more than just a means of transportation.”
“The new plant, which will be Toyota’s 11th manufacturing facility in the U.S., not only represents our continuous commitment in this country, but also is a key factor in improving our competitiveness of manufacturing in the U.S.,” said Hironori Kagohashi, executive general manager of Toyota and MTMUS’s executive vice president. “We are committed to realizing a highly competitive plant and producing vehicles with the best quality for customers by combining Toyota and Mazda’s manufacturing expertise and leveraging the joint venture’s synergies. Based on this competitiveness, we will make every effort to becoming a best-in-town plant that will be loved by our hometown.”
Facebook to invest $750 million in Stanton Springs data center
Gov. Nathan Deal, announced that Facebook will create at least 100 full-time jobs and invest $750 million in a new data center in Stanton Springs over the next five years. New jobs will include positions in engineering and management, as well as opportunities for data center technicians.
“Georgia’s business-friendly climate and world-class technological infrastructure continue to attract innovative companies like Facebook,” said Deal. “It is fitting that the No. 1 company in the world in terms of active users has chosen the No. 1 state for business for this project. We appreciate Facebook’s leadership for recognizing Georgia as a state that serves not only as a major hub for general business, but also as a place where tech firms can be successful in the future. This project represents a significant investment and will create meaningful opportunities for the surrounding community. We welcome Facebook to Georgia and look forward to the growth of this partnership.”
The Newton Data Center will be part of the highly advanced infrastructure that helps Facebook provide apps and services to more than 2 billion people around the world. The new facility will be Facebook’s ninth data center in the U.S.
Facebook will construct two buildings to occupy 970,000 square feet. The buildings will be fully operational in 2020.
Facebook’s data centers are among the most advanced, energy-efficient facilities in the world. The Newton Data Center will be powered by 100 percent clean and renewable energy, and cooled using outdoor air instead of energy-intensive air conditioners. The facility will also house Facebook’s hyper-efficient hardware, which powers apps and other services.
Oceaneering acquires Ecosse Subsea Limited
Oceaneering International, Inc. announced that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has acquired Ecosse Subsea Limited ("Ecosse"), a provider of offshore engineering, seabed preparation, route clearance and trenching services to the renewable energy and oil and gas industries, for approximately 50 million pounds sterling.
Headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, Ecosse builds and operates seabed preparation, route clearance and trenching tools for submarine cables and pipelines on an integrated basis that includes vessels, ROVs and survey services. Enabling technologies acquired in the transaction include Ecosse's modular SCAR Seabed System, capable of completing the entire trenching work scope (route preparation, boulder clearance, trenching and backfill), and its newly developed SCARJet trenching system. The SCARJet is an evolutionary trenching system designed for use with standard work class ROVs and adds state of the art jetting and post-lay trenching capabilities to the existing pre-cut methods offered by the SCAR plowing tools.
Roderick A. Larson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceaneering, said, "We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Ecosse, which we believe offers Oceaneering the opportunity to expand our service line capabilities and grow our market position within the offshore renewable energy market, and provide our customers with proven tools to optimize installation projects. The addition of Ecosse reflects our commitment to expand into the adjacent renewable energy market to more comprehensively serve the offshore energy industry. We expect the acquisition to be accretive to Oceaneering's 2018 cash flow and earnings."
Senior officials of member countries of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program met on 5-6 March in Singapore to review progress of regional projects in transport, trade facilitation, and energy. They also updated and improved the SASEC operational plan, which has identified about 300 projects in transport, energy, and trade facilitation.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized the meeting and assisted with the updating of the operational plan.
“ADB is deeply committed to SASEC and will continue to play its role as secretariat for financial and technical support,” said Hun Kim, Director General of ADB’s South Asia Department. “In addition to loan and grant assistance amounting to $6.2 billion that ADB has extended to the SASEC program since the program’s inception in 2001, our indicative investment pipeline for 2018-2020 includes 26 loan projects with a total amount of about $5 billion.”
SASEC is a projects-based partnership, which aims to improve cross-border transport connectivity, promote energy trade, and facilitate faster and less-costly trade. Participating countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
Since SASEC’s establishment in 2001, participating countries have undertaken 49 projects in transport, energy, trade facilitation, and information and communications technology worth almost $11 billion.
ADB to extend $5 billion for next 3 years for Regional Cooperation in South Asia
CommerceHub to be acquired by GTCR and Sycamore Partners
for $1.1 Billion
CommerceHub, Inc., and Sycamore Partners (“Sycamore”) announced a definitive agreement whereby affiliates of GTCR and Sycamore, two leading private equity firms, will acquire all outstanding shares of CommerceHub, a leading distributed commerce network for retailers and brands.
The all-cash deal provides substantial value to CommerceHub stockholders. Under the terms of the agreement, Sycamore will acquire all outstanding shares of CommerceHub’s Series A, B, and C common stock for a total value of approximately $1.1 billion.
“This is a significant milestone for CommerceHub and a very positive outcome for our stockholders,” said Frank Poore, CommerceHub’s Founder, President and CEO. “GTCR and Sycamore recognize the power of CommerceHub’s platform and our unique ability to transform how retailers and brands drive growth through ecommerce. Our customers rely on CommerceHub as a strategic partner to enable their most critical growth strategies, and we are confident that our relationship with GTCR and Sycamore will accelerate the development of our platform and solutions to enable the future of retail.”
“CommerceHub is a valued partner to many leading retailers,” said Peter Morrow, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. “We look forward to working with the CommerceHub team to help them grow by continuing to enable retailers’ and suppliers’ ecommerce offerings.”
Vattenfall plans to invest $123 million in developing new solar power plants
Vattenfall plans to invest SEK 1 billion (EUR 100 million) in large-scale solar energy generation over the next two years. In addition, Vattenfall also provides small-scale solar solutions for customers. The investments support Vattenfall's objective to become fossil-free within a generation.
Solar farm at Parc Cynog, Wales. In total, 5 megawatts (MW) of solar panels close to the wind farm.
Vattenfall plans to invest SEK 1 billion in developing new solar power plants, primarily large-scale, during 2018-2019.
“Solar power is an important supplement to wind power as a renewable source of energy. We are now increasing the investment budget for solar power to satisfy our customers’ increased interest and demand. From electricity consumers, who can obtain electricity from our future solar farms, but also from potential customers, who want to both consume and generate electricity from solar power,” says Magnus Hall, Vattenfall's President and CEO.
There are two main areas for Vattenfall’s investments in solar power:
Development of large-scale solar PV farms, in locations where Vattenfall can use existing infrastructure to reduce costs. The Parc Cynog wind farm in Wales is such an example of a combined wind and solar farm
Vattenfall is facilitating decentralised energy generation for both private customers and business customers. This will result in new energy services where Vattenfall provides solutions for our customers’ needs, enabling them to generate and consume their own solar PV electricity.
Vattenfall has recently taken the investment decision for three large-scale solar power installations at its existing plants in Velsen, Hemweg and Eemshaven (the Netherlands). The total capacity for these projects amounts to 10.5 MW. More Vattenfall investments in the Netherlands are planned for this year, including Haringvliet solar farm for which subsidy was confirmed last month. This solar farm will have a capacity of approximately 40 MW and will include over 130,000 solar panels, which equals the renewable electricity demand of over 11,000 Dutch households. The solar farm will be combined with Haringvliet wind farm, which includes 6 turbines. For this combined renewable production park, construction is currently being prepared.
Health Care Service Corporation, the nation’s largest customer-owned health insurer, announced it has committed $1.5 billion over three years to accelerate its efforts to reduce health care costs for its members. The new endeavor, Affordability CuresSM, builds on the company’s ongoing efforts to control medical and administrative costs for the long-term and was bolstered by benefits due to the more recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
HCSC reported operating income has returned to levels required to sustain operations while enabling the company to invest in the future, following significant losses. For 2017, HCSC earned $1.3 billion and grew membership by 315,000 members. In January 2018, HCSC welcomed an additional 500,000 members across its five states. Through the Blue Cross and Blue Shield® plans it operates in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, the company is entrusted to purchase and administer approximately $70 billion in health care goods and services on behalf of more than 15 million members each year.
“Across the board, there’s still work to do,” said Steiner. “Moderating premium increases year-to-year is relative. Long-term, sustained rate reduction is only achievable when all stakeholders work together to create a stable market for affordable coverage that works for our customers. Many people struggle to afford health insurance. We owe it to them to find solutions with staying power that aim for what has eluded us as a nation—and that’s what Affordability Cures is all about.”
HCSC launches $1.5 billion commitment to accelerate affordable Health Care Solutions
Loyola Medicine has finalized the acquisition of MacNeal Hospital and its affiliated operations from Tenet Healthcare. The acquisition also includes Chicago Health System, Chicago Market Laboratories, Inc. and some physicians of Chicago Health Medical Group.
MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn, Illinois, with over 550 medical staff members in 50 specialties, advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services and advanced diagnostics and treatments in a convenient community setting. In addition, MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility and a 68-bed behavioral health program.
MacNeal is now part of the Loyola Medicine regional system, which includes Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and a large ambulatory network offering primary and specialty care at convenient locations throughout Cook, Will and DuPage Counties. Loyola Medicine is also a member of Trinity Health, one of the nation's largest health systems with 94 hospitals in 22 states.
Loyola Medicine acquires MacNeal Hospital and affiliated operations
Dusit Thani Public Company Limited (DTC) or Dusit International, one of Thailand’s foremost hotel and property development companies, has announced its plans to invest around 660 million baht for an approximate 26% share in NR Instant Produce Co., Ltd., (NRIP), a well-known producer and exporter of ready to cook, ready meals, seasoning powders, dipping sauces, drinks and juices.
To invest in NRIP, whose signature brands include Por Kwan, Lee, Thai Delight, DEDE, and Shanggie, DTC will establish Dusit Foods Co., Ltd., a new subsidiary designed to leverage Dusit’s rich experience in food and beverage service. The investment approval process will be completed at the end of March.
The investment forms part of DTC’s three-pronged strategy for sustainable and profitable growth, which includes balance, expansion, and diversification. Investment in NRIP is considered DTC’s first investment in an entirely non-hotel related business. It follows last year’s announcement of DTC’s investment in a mixed-use project in Bangkok, which will include a new flagship Dusit Thani Bangkok hotel at the heart of the project.
“With our expertise and experience in F&B, there is huge growth potential for our company in the food business,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International. “With time, we hope to create a partnership with NRIP to develop a line of Dusit-branded, premium products for local and international consumer markets.”
Dusit International plans to enter food business with strategic investment in NR Instant Produce Co., Ltd.
Launching of $102 million project to help Vietnam improve Energy Efficiency in industrial sector
The World Bank and Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade jointly launched a $102 million project to support the efforts of industrial enterprises to adopt energy-efficiency technologies and practices.
Under this project, industrial enterprises can access a new line of credit to fund their purchases of energy-efficiency and production- optimization technologies, thus reducing energy consumption and production costs and increasing their overall competitiveness in the domestic and international markets.
With the support of the project, financial institutions and industrial enterprises will be able to prepare, evaluate and appraise energy efficiency projects. This will create a new line of business for financing institutions, providing loans to support industrial energy-efficiency investments, which will enable them to scale up energy-efficiency lending to industries.
“The Government has made strong efforts over the last few years in developing policies and regulations aiming to promote energy efficiency in all sectors.”said Ousmane Dione, the World Bank’s Country Director for Vietnam. “Vietnam’s energy sector is facing many challenges due to limited domestic energy resources and the high electricity demand to support economic growth. In this context, implementing and scaling up energy efficiency investments will bring multiple benefits, such as improving the competitiveness of Vietnam’s industrial sector, reducing GHG emissions and avoiding the need for investments in new coal fired power generation.”
Funding under this project will be provided to participating financial institutions, which will then lend to industrial enterprises to invest in energy-efficient subprojects.
AXA agreement to acquire XL Group for USD 15.3 billion
AXA announced, that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of XL Group Ltd, a leading global Property & Casualty commercial lines insurer and reinsurer with strong presence in North America, Europe, Lloyd’s and Asia-Pacific. The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of AXA and XL Group. Total consideration for the acquisition would amount to USD 15.3 billion (or Euro 12.4 billion), to be fully paid in cash.
This transaction is a unique strategic opportunity for AXA to shift its business profile from predominantly L&S business to predominantly P&C business, and will enable the Group to become the #1 global P&C Commercial lines insurer based on gross written premiums. The transaction offers significant long-term value creation for our stakeholders with increased risk diversification, higher cash remittance potential and reinforced growth prospects. The future AXA will see its profile significantly rebalanced towards insurance risks and away from financial risks.
XL Group has the right geographical footprint, world-class teams with recognized expertise and is renowned for innovative client solutions. Our combined P&C Commercial lines operations, will have a strong position in the large and upper mid- market space, including in specialty lines and reinsurance, and will complement and further enhance AXA’s already strong presence in the SME segment. The two companies share a common culture around people, risk management and innovation, positioning AXA uniquely for the evolving future of the P&C industry.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF XL GROUP
This agreement marks an unrivalled opportunity to accelerate our strategy with a new strength and dimension. With every confidence in how we have positioned XL Group for the future, it is a substantial testament to AXA’s leadership and commitment to maintaining the XL Group brand and culture that we have come to an alignment. We are excited at the opportunity to build the scale, geographical footprint, product portfolio, and the unmatched commitment to innovation that relevance in the global insurance industry requires. In AXA we have found like-minded partners committed to the absolute necessity to innovate and move this industry forward.
XL Group Overview
Founded in 1986, XL Group is a leader in P&C Commercial and specialty lines with an active global network. XL Group generated USD 15 billion of GWP in FY17. It is a growing franchise with a high-quality underwriting platform and a rich and diversified product offering. XL Group is a highly agile company renowned for innovative client solutions and has a comprehensive business model of originating, packaging and selling risks. XL Group has ca. 7,400 colleagues worldwide and has a strong presence across specialty and mid-market segments via insurance and reinsurance.
Heineken N.V., opened a new brewery in Meoqui, Chihuahua, Mexico. The brewery, the company's seventh in Mexico, has a production capacity of 6 million hectolitres per year and will produce leading brands such as Tecate, Dos Equis and Heineken for the Mexican market as well as for export markets. With a US$500 million investment, the new brewery is the largest greenfield project in the company's history. The brewery is constructed following circular economy principles, focusing on renewable energy and efficient water usage.
The Mexican market is of great importance to HEINEKEN; the country has a dynamic economy and rich culture, which helped to drive four years of consecutive growth in the national beer market.
Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board/CEO of HEINEKEN said: "Mexico is an important market for HEINEKEN. With a developing economy, a rich geographical and demographic diversity and a flourishing beer sector, we see great additional potential here. I am proud that the Meoqui brewery will be one of our biggest and 'greenest' breweries showcasing our long-term commitment to the country, the region and the environment."
Environmental sustainability has been central to the design of the new brewery. The Meoqui brewery operates following circular economy principles. It will use 100% renewable electricity. The windows in the brewery, for example, contain photovoltaic cells that will create approximately 12% of the electricity for the site. The remainder will come from wind power.
The brewery will also have a wastewater treatment plant, which will allow the use of biogas in boilers and reuse treated water for the cleaning of shared facilities and the irrigation of green spaces. The Meoqui brewery will be HEINEKEN's most water efficient brewery globally and is aiming to use just two litres of water for every litre of beer produced by 2020.
Carrington Farms acquires leading organic whey protein brand
The Carrington Tea Co. LLC, DBA Carrington Farms announced it has acquired tera'swhey, the leading organic whey protein in the US, of Madison, Wisconsin. Founded in 2009 and made from grass fed dairy cows in Wisconsin, tera's is the first and most complete line of USDA certified organic whey proteins in the U.S. – tera'swhey has sustained substantial year over year growth in the whey protein space since their inception.
Carrington Farms is a natural foods industry innovator that has pioneered the Simple.Clean.Real. philosophy for its products, distributed in retailers nationwide. tera'swhey products and approach are very closely aligned with Carrington Farms' real food philosophy which embodies the ideals that the brand will only make the product if they would feel confident in feeding it to their own family. The acquisition will help accelerate Carrington Farms' efforts to deliver protein powders that meet consumers' changing tastes and preferences. The acquisition will also further Carrington Farms' efforts to drive innovation in the health and well-being space within the protein powder set, while giving the company even more access to supplement purchasing customers and channels.
"Between the quality products and the respectable reputation the tera'swhey brand has already established, we could not be more excited to use our unique, innovative and prospective approach to really disrupt the protein powder and supplement category. The seamless matchup between tera's core values with Carrington's is one that brings great promise and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to propel tera's forward."
Archer Daniels Midland Company, announced an agreement to acquire a 50 percent equity stake in the sweeteners and starches business of Russia-based Aston Foods and Food Ingredients.
“ADM has substantially added to our global sweeteners and starches capabilities with acquisitions serving the European Union, Middle East and North Africa markets, and now we are expanding to serve the growing Russian food and beverage industry,” said Pierre Duprat, president, ADM Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Aston is a key player in this important market, and we look forward to joining them and bringing our experience and capabilities to help our new jointly-owned business grow.”
Under the terms of the agreement, ADM will become 50 percent owner of Aston’s corn wet mills in Ibred and Novlyanka, which are strategically located close to major customers in the Russian food and beverage industry.
“This investment is the latest in a series of important additions and enhancements we have made to grow our global Corn business,” said Chris Cuddy, president of ADM’s Corn Processing business. “Last year, we completed our acquisition of Chamtor, opening up access to key markets in Western Europe. In 2015 and 2016, we acquired corn facilities in Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey and Morocco, then launched a significant expansion effort to enhance our capabilities in those businesses. And we’ve grown significantly in Asia, with our sweetener facility in Tianjin as well as several animal feed plants. Taken together with this expansion into Russia, these global additions represent a substantial transformation for our Corn business as we continue our geographical growth and diversification.”
ADM to acquire 50 % stake in sweeteners and starches business of Russia-based Aston Foods
EIB and Attijariwafa bank reinforce $123 million in support for Morocco companies
the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Attijariwafa Bank announce the signing of a credit line of 100 million euros to strengthen support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and businesses of size intermediaries (ETI) in Morocco. The signing ceremony was held in Casablanca in the presence of Mr. Mohamed El Kettani, CEO of the Attijariwafa bank group and Mrs. Flavia Palanza, Director of Loan Operations in the Neighborhood Countries at the EIB.
This new line of credit, granted on favorable terms thanks to the EIB's triple A rating, will enable Attijariwafa Bank to strengthen its intervention capacity in favor of Moroccan companies, whether they are small, medium or intermediate, thus facilitating the their access to attractive financing adapted to their needs, in particular through longer loan maturities. Particular attention will be paid to the industrial sector, particularly manufacturing and services, as well as to the social impact of the new line of credit, which should support around 3,500 jobs.
On this occasion, Mr. Mohamed EL KETTANI, Chief Executive Officer of Attijariwafa bank group said: "We are very pleased with the signing of this new 100 million euro line with the EIB for a number of reasons. First, I want to highlight the convergence of our visions in terms of supporting and supporting companies, whether they are very small, small, medium or medium-sized. In this respect, this line broadens the scope of our commitments already made to SMEs and midcaps; beating heart of the Moroccan economy. Secondly, we must remember the high social impact orientation that will be given to the use of this line by funding industrial projects and services that will help create jobs, especially for our young people. Finally, I am convinced that this line will meet the financing needs of export-oriented offshore activities such as the automotive ecosystem. "
S&P Global, announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Kensho Technologies Inc. ("Kensho"), a leading edge provider of next-generation analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data visualization systems to Wall Street's premier global banks and investment institutions, as well as the National Security community.
The acquisition of Kensho will strengthen S&P Global's emerging technology capabilities, enhance its ability to deliver essential, actionable insights that will transform the user experience for its clients, and accelerate efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its core internal operations.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to close late in the first quarter of this year or early second quarter.
A technology company founded in Harvard Square in 2013 by Dr. Daniel Nadler, a Harvard PhD, Kensho is a leading provider of next-generation machine learning and analytics to the world's premier financial institutions as well as the National Security community. Its mission is to develop and deploy scalable artificial intelligence systems across the most critical commercial and government institutions in the world to solve some of the hardest analytical problems of our time.
A winner of multiple awards since its founding, Kensho has been named a "Technology Pioneer" by the World Economic Forum and honored as one of the most innovative technology companies—of any kind—in the world.
Kensho will continue to operate independently in Cambridge, Massachusetts and remain a distinct brand.
"We are thrilled that Kensho will become part of S&P Global as its new class of analytical tools will help us accelerate transformation across our entire company," says Douglas Peterson, S&P Global President and CEO. "In just a short amount of time, Kensho's intuitive platforms, sophisticated algorithms, and machine learning capabilities have established a wide following throughout Wall Street and the technology world. Via this acquisition, S&P Global is demonstrating a strong commitment to not just participating in the fintech evolution, but leading it."
"The additional resources of S&P Global, one of the world's cornerstone data companies, will accelerate Kensho's research and development of advanced artificial intelligence technologies for both Wall Street and the National Security mission. Kensho has assembled one of the most elite artificial intelligence teams in the world, drawing from the scientific community's leading global research universities," says Dr. Daniel Nadler, Founder and CEO of Kensho. "Combining our unique and industry-leading expertise in machine learning with S&P Global's deep data sets, global-scale analytics platforms, essential benchmarks, illustrious reputation, and strong leadership team will allow Kensho to expand and innovate faster, further and in new ways. Lastly, this deal values Kensho at a premium to its most recent funding round."
S&P Global to acquire Kensho
Zitcom to acquire Surftown
Cohaesio Group, who has been in the IT Outsourcing, hosting and software business since 1996, has made a deal to have hosting company Zitcom acquire Surftown from the company.
The acquisition is part of Zitcom's growth strategy in the Scandinavian hosting market.
The founders and owners of Cohaesio Group, Morten Felsvang and Frederik Schouboe are pleased to have found the right strategic owner for Surftown.
"It has been fun, exciting and challenging to develop Surftown and now see it as part of a strong platform. It goes without saying that we are sad to have to say goodbye to the many talented colleagues, but we also know that the new owner can provide a stronger platform for the continued development of the business. We are looking forward to focus 100 percent on our cloud-to-cloud backup company Keepit.com", both of them say.
Stefan Rosenlund, CEO at Zitcom, is very pleased with the transaction and the possibility to continue the growth in the Scandinavian hosting market and adds:
"We are extremely proud and thrilled to add Surftown to our growing portfolio of hosting brands. In Zitcom it is our ambition to become the preferred vendor of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Scandinavia when they move their business online. With the addition of Surftown, which is known for its excellent support and skilled employees, we have gotten closer to reaching our ambition also because Surftown has a strong position in the Swedish market."
ArcelorMittal (The Company) has signed a joint venture formation agreement with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC) in relation to its offer to acquire Essar Steel India Limited (Essar Steel). The Company’s subsidiary ArcelorMittal India Private Limited (AMIPL) submitted a Resolution Plan for Essar on 12 February, which outlined the intention to have NSSMC formally join its bid for Essar Steel.
In its Resolution Plan, AMIPL set out a detailed industrial and turnaround plan aimed at restoring Essar Steel’s fortunes, enabling it to realise its full potential and participate in the anticipated steel demand growth in India.
Commenting, Mr. Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal, said:
“Partnering with NSSMC for Essar Steel was always our intention and adds further strength to our offer. Combining our experience and expertise creates a powerful partnership that has a proven track record - our rich history of positive collaboration dates back more than 20 years with three joint ventures in the US. We believe that together we can contribute our knowledge and technology to support a rapid turn-around in Essar’s performance, enabling it to increase production, enhance its product capabilities and make a meaningful contribution to the future growth of India’s manufacturing sector and the development of its economy.”
ArcelorMittal and NSSMC have operated I/N Tek and I/N Kote in Indiana, USA, under joint venture agreements since 1987. I/N Tek and I/N Kote are high-added value downstream steel finishing facilities which serve the automotive and domestic appliance markets.
More recently, in 2014, ArcelorMittal partnered with NSSMC on the acquisition of AM/NS Calvert, a state-of-the art downstream finishing facility in Alabama, USA. The facility, which opened in 2010 and has a 5.3 million tonne capacity, was the largest newly constructed steel facility in the US in 40 years but had failed to reach its potential. A major investment programme has been undertaken following the acquisition.
The programme focussed on improving the facility’s finishing lines to enable the production of higher-added value steel products, including production of Usibor®, ArcelorMittal’s flagship advanced high-strength steel for the automotive sector, and increasing slab staging capacity and efficiency. These investments have helped to facilitate a rapid improvement in AM/NS Calvert’s performance: capacity utilisation rates have improved by over 20 per cent; shipments to the automotive sector more than doubled between 2015 and 2017; and productivity at the hot strip mill has increased by over 1 million tonnes since the acquisition.
ArcelorMittal forms JV with Nippon Steel to acquire Essar Steel India Limited
Boeing, Hawaiian Airlines announce purchase of 10 787- Dreamliners
Boeing, and Hawaiian Airlines announced that the carrier has selected the market-leading 787 Dreamliner as its flagship airplane for medium to long-haul flights. As part of the selection, Hawaiian intends to purchase 10 787-9 jets valued at $2.82 billion at list prices. Hawaiian also has purchase rights for 10 additional 787s.
The Honolulu-based airline, which has steadily grown its award-winning service connecting the Hawaiian Islands with Asia and North America, had been conducting an extensive evaluation of its airplane requirements. In selecting the 787, Hawaiian will be able to take advantage of the Dreamliner family's superior fuel efficiency, range and passenger-pleasing features to enhance its operations and open new routes profitably. Boeing's competitive advantage was also enhanced by Boeing Global Services. Hawaiian will use a number of new aircraft transition support services from BGS, including Training and Initial Provisioning to ensure a successful and on-time entry into service.
The 787-9 can carry about 290 passengers on flights of about 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km), while using 20 percent less fuel and emitting 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaces.
"The Dreamliner's operational efficiency and superior guest experience make it the best aircraft for modernizing our fleet in 2021 and beyond," said Peter Ingram, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Airlines. "Its expanded seat capacity and extended range will allows us to expand within our current route network and offer new destinations in the Asia-Pacific region."
Boeing establishes new autonomous systems program in Australia
Australia will be home to Boeing’s largest autonomous systems development program outside of the United States following a new partnership agreement with the Queensland Government.
Over the next three years, the rapid innovation program will see Boeing develop next-generation autonomous systems capability in Australia to increase the independent operation of air and sea vehicles.
Chris Raymond, Boeing vice president and general manager, Autonomous Systems, said the Queensland program formed part of Boeing’s global growth strategy to accelerate game-changing autonomous technology for commercial and defence systems.
“As autonomy becomes increasingly common, Boeing will continue to pioneer autonomous technologies from seabed to space – setting a new standard for safe, successful missions that amplify human capabilities,” said Raymond.
“Boeing will work with small-to-medium sized Queensland businesses to develop transformative ‘brain-on-board’ technology. Our program will complement the work undertaken by the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre, taking research outcomes and developing them into exportable commercial products for the global autonomous market.”
Deere & Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire King Agro, a privately-held manufacturer of carbon fiber technology products with headquarters in Valencia, Spain and a production facility in Campana, Argentina.
"This transaction provides John Deere customers the chance to benefit further from King Agro's unique knowledge, designs, and expertise in carbon fiber technology," said John May, President, Agricultural Solutions & Chief Information Officer, at John Deere.
In 2015, John Deere and King Agro agreed to develop and distribute carbon fiber booms for John Deere application equipment in agriculture, offering growers the significant advantages of carbon fiber's versatility, strength and durability in self-propelled spraying equipment.
King Agro has been a family-owned business with approximately 180 employees and an extensive 30-year history of developing various carbon fiber products. In agriculture, the company has targeted innovative designs that improve productivity and lower costs. King Agro will retain its brand name, trademark, and commercial relationships.
Deere & Company to acquire King Agro
KKR completes investments in LS Group's Auto Parts and Copper Foil Businesses
LS Group, one of South Korea's largest diversified corporations, and KKR, a leading global investment firm, announced that KKR has completed its investment in LS Automotive ("LSA"), an electrical auto parts maker for the global automotive industry, and has completed the acquisition and carve-out of KCF Technologies Co., Ltd. ("KCFT"), the copper foil and flexible copper clad laminate business formerly known as LS Mtron.
By leveraging KKR's expertise and global network, KKR's partnership with LSA and KCFT will accelerate the companies' growth in domestic and overseas markets, help to penetrate new verticals, and increase sales in existing markets. Further, KCFT will leverage KKR's expertise in completing complex, strategic carve-outs from corporations worldwide and supporting these companies in operating as independent entities.
Hyoung Seok Lim and Chung Ho Park, Managing Directors at KKR, said, "LS Automotive and KCF Technologies are world-class businesses and leaders in their respective fields. We are excited to partner with their management teams to support long-term growth as the auto industry rapidly evolves and global customers increasingly seek environmentally friendlier automobiles."
Dr. Young-tae Kim, CEO of KCFT, added, "Our partnership with KKR is transformational in that KCF Technologies will operate as a standalone company for the first time in its history. We're thrilled to work alongside KKR given its track record of carving-out and helping companies operate independently by driving sustainable operational improvements.
Together, we look forward to delivering great value to existing customers while expanding into new segments under our fresh brand."
InterContinental Hotels Group one of the world’s leading hotel companies, announced the bicoastal expansion of the EVEN® Hotels brand, with openings in Sarasota, Fla. and Eugene, Ore.
The EVEN® Hotel Sarasota – Lakewood Ranch is located just off I-75 near miles of white, sandy beaches. Owned by Zieg Hospitality, the hotel features 128 rooms and 4 suites along with 2,566 square feet of meeting space. The hotel is conveniently located near shopping venues, restaurants, arts and cultural attractions, Siesta Key Beach, and is just eight miles from the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The EVEN Hotel Sarasota marks the first Florida location for the brand, with a second property slated to open summer 2018 in Miami.
On the West Coast, EVEN Hotel Eugene is conveniently located near Downtown Eugene; one mile from the Autzen Stadium, north of the University of Oregon. The 100-room and 2 suite property, owned by VIP Hospitality Group, offers 1,061 square feet of meeting space and a heated indoor pool. A second West Coast location will open in April; a dual-branded EVEN® Hotel and Staybridge Suites in Seattle.
As soon as guests arrive at an EVEN Hotel property, natural elements of wood and living plants create a welcoming and revitalizing space. The hotels offer different design and technology elements to help guests maintain the balance they desire while traveling. Guests can also expect a personalized service culture where team members champion wellness and empower guests to maintain their personal wellness while on the road.
The EVEN Hotels experience is built on four key pillars:
Eat Well – Cork & Kale is a café featuring healthy to indulgent made-to-order options for breakfast and dinner. It has been carefully designed to provide guests with a balance of health-conscious and indulgent items while on the go, whether fueling up for a long day of meetings, powering a workout or relaxing with a fresh, signature cocktail. The Cork & Kale menu emphasizes variety, dine-in meals and quicker options like breakfast sandwiches and fresh salads from the Grab-and-Go marketplace, available 24/7 for guests’ convenience.
IHG announces EVEN Hotels Bicoastal expansion with openings in Sarasota and Eugene
Park Inn by Radisson, the upper midscale hotel brand that delivers stress-free experiences, good food and upbeat environments, is proud to announce the opening of a 168-room property in Katowice, Poland. This brings the group’s Polish portfolio to 15 hotels and over 3,100 rooms in operation or under development.
Park Inn by Radisson Katowice is located close to the center of Katowice. The hotel offers quick access to the main roads of the Silesian region and is within walking distance of the 620-hectare Silesian Park, as well as the International Conference Center.
“We are pleased to continue the growth of Park Inn by Radisson brand across Central Europe, in particular Poland, where our brand awareness – and the portfolio – is growing from strength to strength. Poland is also identified as the focus country for growth in our 5-year operating plan, so we are pleased to move forward positively in this region with our two core brands, Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson, and look forward to expanding our reach across all primary markets of Central and Southern Europe,” said Yilmaz Yildirimlar, Area Senior Vice President, Central & Southern Europe at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
Park Inn by Radisson Katowice has 168 rooms, an all-day restaurant and lobby bar, gym and sauna. The hotel also offers extensive and newly built meeting facilities, including a 370-square-meter ballroom.
Park Inn by Radisson opens in Katowice, Poland
With the aim of capitalizing on German tourists’ growing interest in the UAE’s diverse tourism offerings, Rotana, one of the leading hotel management companies in the region with hotels across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, showcased its portfolio of hotels at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show held in the German capital from March 7-11, 2018.
At its stand at the tourism fair, Rotana highlighted its strong inventory of operational properties and upcoming hotels. With a robust pipeline of 48 hotels and 12,083 rooms in 15 countries, the company continues to pursue its aggressive expansion plans. In the UAEalone, there are 5,626 keys under various stages of development.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, a luxurious five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi that soft opened in March 2018, took center stage at the exhibition. Situated on Saadiyat Beach, a nine-kilometer stretch of pristine white sand on the sprawling Saadiyat Island, and featuring 354 luxurious rooms and suites in addition to 13 private beach villas, the luxury resort will be the 16th Rotana property to open in the UAE capital.
Rotana has seen a steady growth in the number of European travelers, and German visitors in particular, to its 59 operating hotels and 15,876 keys around the world. With its rising visitor footfalls, Germany has become the fourth largest feeder market for Rotana and its revenue contribution to the company’s business has increased to 6% last year, as compared to 5% in 2016.
Rotana highlights robust hotel pipeline at
ITB Berlin 2018
Rotana Hotel Management Corporation PJSC has announced the launch of the new Pearl Rotana Abu Dhabi, set to officially open at the beginning of March 2018. Located in the heart of the Capital Centre business district, the new hotel is only a few steps away from the National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi‘s international airport. With five exclusive dining options, modern and comfortable accommodation and convenient business and leisure facilities, the new hotel is set to become the place to meet, dine and do business in the capital. Guests can immerse themselves in the Pearl Rotana experience in one of the 315 modern and spacious rooms and suites offering scenic views overlooking the stunning Arabian Gulf. With easy access to Abu Dhabi’s prime business area, the hotel’s extensive meeting and conference facilities are elegantly designed to complement the hotel and come equipped with the latest technology for meetings and presentation. Pearl Rotana’s restaurants will bring new food & beverage venues to the Abu Dhabi dining scene and will satisfy all tastes through an array of bespoke menus. Three of the venues - Saffron, Chai and Dino’s Bistro Italiano - will open alongside the hotel in early March, followed by signature concept The Warehouse wine bar & tapas in early April this year.
As one of the hotel’s two signature restaurants that will open in March, Dino’s Bistro Italiano is a casual Italian eatery that the whole family will enjoy. Its menu takes diners on a journey through the very best of Italian cuisine, including an open pizza station from the wood-fired oven and pasta made fresh onsite by the talented culinary team. With a cosy and relaxing ambience, it will be the new hotspot for grabbing a business lunch on weekdays or a family-friendly brunch every Friday and Saturday.
Pearl Rotana Abu Dhabi set to launch in March 2018
World Bank Invests US$ 3.2 Billion in adolescent Girls’ education in 2 years
The World Bank Group (WBG) has invested US$3.2 billion over the past two years in education projects benefiting adolescent girls, surpassing its April 2016 commitment to invest US$2.5 billion over five years, the organization announced on the eve of International Women’s Day.
The investments, largely concentrated across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, are helping provide adolescent girls (ages 12-17) with access to quality education at the secondary level, and ensuring they are enrolled in and stay in school through a number of initiatives, including scholarships, conditional cash transfers, and basic facilities at school like clean drinking water and toilets.
New WBG education programs that include support for adolescent girls focus on education quality and access in 21* countries, including some of the world’s poorest. A project in Bangladesh, for example, is providing educational stipends for girls, building separate toilets, and introducing a girls’ empowerment curriculum that promotes health and hygiene.
In Lebanon, the WBG is working with the government to promote equitable access to education, with a focus on girls and refugees, while in Tanzania, it is boosting girls’ enrollment by making schools affordable, reducing the time and distance to school, and proving teacher training on ways to reduce gender-based violence.
Research consistently shows the importance of girls’ education: better educated women are healthier, earn higher incomes, have fewer children, marry at a later age, and provide better health care and education for their children.
EUR 550 million from the EIB to ORES for the optimization of the electricity and gas distribution networks in Wallonia
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted EUR 550 million to ORES for its priority action on climate and safe and efficient energy networks. The protocol signature of the financing agreement took place this morning in Namur, in the presence of the Walloon Minister for Energy, Mr Jean-Luc Crucke. ORES is the first Belgian distribution network operator (GRD) to benefit from such financing. Every year, ORES invests on average around EUR 250 million in its territory of activity (198 Walloon municipalities). For the 2018-2022 period, no less than EUR 1.15 billion will be invested in the maintenance, modernization and development of the electricity and natural gas distribution networks.
A quarter of the amounts allocated will be dedicated to investments having a beneficial effect on the environment: renewable production connections, construction of energy-efficient buildings such as the company's future head office in Gosselies or investment in systems allowing the reduction of energy consumption. electrical losses on the network. In the global context of the energy transition and the sustainable development dynamic, this financing will allow ORES to continue to adapt and develop its electricity distribution infrastructures, by equipping them with new control and telecontrol tools, while making them more reliable. even more security of supply. In natural gas, the loan will contribute in particular to the financing of interconnection works, reinforcement and looping of the networks.
This loan from the EIB, on favorable terms thanks to the 'AAA' rating of the European institution, and with a long maturity, is an asset for the Walloon distributor. The funds will be mobilized by drawing over a period of five years and will be repaid, at a fixed or variable rate, for a maximum period of 20 years.
Fernand Grifnée , Managing Director of ORES , said: "For our company, the granting of this financing is a magnificent proof of confidence on the part of the European Union's financing institution. By granting this loan, the EIB recognizes the financial strength of ORES, the relevance of its business model, the quality of its governance and our corporate vision. Today, we are mobilized to serve the energy transition and respond to new customer expectations. "
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