Johnson & Johnson selling LifeScan Unit for US$ 2.1 bn
Glencore to acquire Hail Creek Coal Mine in Queensland for US$ 1.7 bn
it & BPM i FOOD I HEALTHCARE i TEXTILES i INFRASTRUCTURE i ENGINEERING i tourism
Alibaba invests additional US$ 2 bn in Lazada
SK biotek, first South Korean pharma-co.to invest in Ireland
KLA-Tencor agreement to acquire Orbotech Ltd for US$ 3.4 bn
THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE FOR INVESTMENT PROMOTION EXECUTIVES
Salesforce to acquire Mulesoft in US$ 6.5 bn deal
19 - 24 MARCH 2018
Salesforce to acquire Mulesoft in US$ 6.5 billion deal
Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, and MuleSoft, the provider of one of the world's leading platforms for building application networks, have entered into a definitive agreement under which Salesforce will acquire MuleSoft for an enterprise value of approximately $6.5 billion.
Comments on the News:
"Every digital transformation starts and ends with the customer," said Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce. "Together, Salesforce and MuleSoft will enable customers to connect all of the information throughout their enterprise across all public and private clouds and data sources—radically enhancing innovation. I am thrilled to welcome MuleSoft to the Salesforce Ohana."
"With the full power of Salesforce behind us, we have a tremendous opportunity to realize our vision of the application network even faster and at scale," said Greg Schott, MuleSoft Chairman and CEO. "Together, Salesforce and MuleSoft will accelerate our customers' digital transformations enabling them to unlock their data across any application or endpoint."
MuleSoft: One of the World's Leading Application Network Platforms
MuleSoft provides one of the world's leading platforms for building application networks that connect enterprise apps, data and devices, across any cloud and on-premise. More than 1,200 customers, including Coca-Cola, Barclays, Unilever and Mount Sinai, rely on MuleSoft to change and innovate faster, deliver differentiated customer experiences, and increase operational efficiency.
Acquisition to Accelerate Customers' Digital Transformations
Together, Salesforce and MuleSoft will accelerate customers' digital transformations, enabling them to unlock data across legacy systems, cloud apps and devices to make smarter, faster decisions and create highly differentiated, connected customer experiences.
MuleSoft will continue to build toward the company's vision of the application network with Anypoint Platform, and MuleSoft will power the new Salesforce Integration Cloud, which will enable all enterprises to surface any data—regardless of where it resides—to drive deep and intelligent customer experiences throughout a personalized 1:1 journey.
Read article on globalfdi.net
KLA-Tencor agreement to acquire Orbotech Ltd
for $3.4 billion
KLA-Tencor Corporation, and Orbotech Ltd. announced they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which KLA-Tencor will acquire Orbotech for approximately $3.4 billion. In addition, KLA-Tencor announced a $2 billion share repurchase authorization. The share repurchase program is targeted to be completed within 12 to 18 months following the close of this transaction.
With this acquisition, KLA-Tencor will significantly diversify its revenue base and add $2.5 billion of addressable market opportunity in the high-growth printed circuit board ("PCB"), flat panel display ("FPD"), packaging, and semiconductor manufacturing areas. The broader portfolio of leading products, services, and solutions, as well as increased exposure to technology mega trends, will support KLA-Tencor's long-term revenue and earnings growth targets.
"This acquisition is consistent with our strategy to pursue sustained, profitable growth by expanding into adjacent markets," commented Rick Wallace, President and Chief Executive Officer of KLA-Tencor. "This combination will open new market opportunities for KLA-Tencor, and expands our portfolio serving the semiconductor industry." Mr. Wallace continued, "Our companies fit together exceptionally well in terms of people, processes, and technology. In addition, KLA-Tencor has had a strong presence in Israel over the years, and this combination further expands our operations in this important global technology region."
Total cost synergies are expected to be approximately $50 million on an annualized basis within 12 to 24 months following the closing of the transaction, and the transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to KLA- Tencor's revenue growth model, non-GAAP earnings and free cash flow per share.
Glencore has reached agreement to acquire Rio Tinto’s 82% interest in the Hail Creek coal mine and adjacent coal resources, as well as its 71.2% interest in the Valeria coal resource in central Queensland for a total cash consideration of US$1.7 billion.
The Hail Creek mine is located 120 kilometres south-west of Mackay and in 2017 produced about 9.4 million tonnes of coal for export from the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.
Hail Creek is a large-scale, long-life and low-cost mine producing two-thirds premium quality hard coking coal and one-third thermal coal for export.
As at 31 December 2017, Hail Creek had JORC resources of 794 million tonnes with proven and probable reserves of 142 million tonnes.
The Valeria thermal coal deposit is located 265 kilometres west of Rockhampton and 67 kilometres south-east of our Clermont managed coal operation. It has JORC resources of 762 million tonnes.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete in H2 2018.
Glencore is already a significant contributor to the Queensland economy, employing more than 7,300 people across mining and minerals processing operations in coal, copper and zinc.
Glencore to acquire Hail Creek Coal Mine in Queensland
for US$1.7 billion
Seabased signs 100 MW Wave Power Plant contract with Ghana
Seabased has been contracted by TC’s Energy, a Ghanaian renewable energy production company, to deliver a wave energy plant near Ada, Ghana. The 100 MW park is one of the first, and one the largest, commercial contracts in the fledgling wave energy industry.
Wave power is an emerging sector in the rapidly growing renewable energy industry, and has the potential to provide more than 100% of the electricity generated globally today. Bloomberg estimates $10.2 trillion USD will be invested on new renewable generation between now and 2040.
Waves are a stable, predictable resource; they work 24/7, all year long. Wave power is very convenient to large markets. By 2050, nearly 70 percent of all people will live in cities; 8 out of 10 of the largest cities are coastal. This proximity to end users can eliminate the need for batteries and minimize both losses in, and costs of, transmission.
TC’s Energy is focused on developing and spreading renewable ocean energy throughout Ghana and the West African coast, which has a large population concentration. The 100 MW plant could provide all the electricity needed for tens of thousands of Ghanaian homes, year after year, from a nearly invisible wave park that produces no pollution and creates an artificial reef for marine life.
Siemens is planning to acquire Aimsun SL, a software company headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. The two parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the deal. The closing is expected in April 2018. Aimsun will be managed as a legally independent company under the roof of the Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) business within the Mobility Division.
The growing volume of individual traffic, especially in booming metropolitan areas, as well as new requirements driven by technological developments such as shared and autonomous mobility, force traffic planners and operators to take a new perspective on the mobility of the future. Data-driven solutions are considered as key to also address resource constraints and environmental protection considerations. Aimsun develops software that simulates future traffic flows in the planning phase of construction projects.
"Siemens is aiming to becoming a fully integrated provider of intermodal door-to-door travel solutions. Therefore we have taken several steps in the recent past to strengthen our portfolio and competence in the growing area of digitized, data-driven mobility solutions. In combination with the acquistion of HaCon, a software provider for public transportation, mobility, and logistics, we are expanding our strong position in rail and road automation technology," says Michael Peter, CEO of the Mobility Division.
Siemens to acquire Aimsun
Alibaba Group Holding Limited, announced that it will invest an additional USD 2 billion in Lazada Group to accelerate the growth plans of Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce platform and deepen its integration into the Alibaba ecosystem.
Including this new capital for expansion, Alibaba will have invested a total of USD4 billion in Lazada, the region’s top e-commerce platform operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Alibaba acquired control of Lazada in 2016 with an investment of US$1 billion and further increased its stake to 83% with another US$1 billion investment in 2017.
The investment underscores Alibaba’s confidence in the future success of Lazada’s business and the growth prospect of the Southeast Asian market, a region that is a key part of Alibaba’s global growth strategy.
The investment is expected to deepen Lazada’s integration into the Alibaba ecosystem, which will enable Lazada to tap into Alibaba’s resources to further serve consumers and empower merchants in Southeast Asia in innovative ways. The investment underlines Alibaba’s commitment to provide a broad platform for local talent in Southeast Asia to contribute to the development of the digital economy in their home countries.
Alibaba invests additional USD 2 billion in Lazada
Baidu invests US$ 160 million in COOCAA
Skyworth Group and Baidu, Inc. announced their strategic collaboration and Baidu committed 1.01 billion yuan ($ 159.7 million) to Shenzhen Coocaa Network Technology Company Limited (COOCAA) wants to invest. The Skyworth Group subsidiary will become the second largest shareholder of COOCAA through this transaction. The two parties plan to collaborate in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to jointly empower consumers to enter the world of smart home products and services.
Skyworth Digital Holdings (00751.HK) announced on March 16 that Dagze Bairuixiang Venture Investment Management Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Baidu, plans to invest 1.01 billion yuan (about $ 159.7 million) in COOCAA.
In relation to the product, Skyworth plans to launch the AI TV series, including Q5, Q6 and Q7, which are equipped with CoibaaOS 'proprietary operating systems and Duo, Baidu's AI dialog system, while earlier smart-TV models, on which the COOCAA system is set up, this year will gradually be equipped with the dual setup. The two companies also plan to launch entry-level smart home products and integrate them into the control terminal of their smart home solutions. In terms of technology, the DuerOS should be fully integrated into the COOCAA systems, including the use of Baidu's cutting-edge technologies, such as facial and image recognition.
Nok Nok Labs Announces Strategic Partnership with NTT DATA
Nok Nok Labs, a leader in modern authentication and the founder of the FIDO Alliance, announced that it has entered into a partnership with NTT DATA, a leading IT services provider headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. With this partnership, NTT DATA becomes an authorized reseller of the FIDO-certified Nok NokTM S3 Authentication Suite (Nok NokTM S3 Suite) and Nok Nok Labs continues to expand its global footprint.
The Nok NokTM S3 Suite will form the cornerstone of a new systems integration offering from NTT DATA focused on biometric authentication. Executives from NTT DATA are forecasting that the new systems integration offering will produce an additional 1 billion yen (over $8 million USD) in sales by 2020. Additionally, NTT DATA will leverage the experience of using and deploying Nok Nok Labs' next-generation authentication technologies to further develop new solutions for the Mobile Network Operator (MNO), Financial Services, and Public Sector marketplaces all over the world.
"NTT DATA is a worldwide leader in IT services and we will work closely with them to bring secure, scalable, modern authentication to customers around the globe," said Phillip Dunkelberger, President and CEO of Nok Nok Labs. "Providing high assurance of customer identity is a cornerstone of modern security architecture. Together, Nok Nok Labsand NTT DATA will deliver these benefits through next-generation authentication technology."
Auto Parts supplier Magna invests $200 million in Lyft
Magna, a mobility technology company and one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, and Lyft, North America's fastest growing rideshare company, announced a multi-year collaboration in which the companies will jointly fund, develop, and manufacture self-driving systems. In addition, Magna will invest $200 million in Lyft equity. The establishment of this partnership is subject to regulatory approval.
This partnership is an industry-first and positions Magna and Lyft to enable the development and manufacturing of self-driving systems at scale. In addition to self-driving vehicles that will be deployed on Lyft's own ridesharing network in the coming years, Magna has the ability to deploy the technologies across a wide-range of use cases to benefit the entire global mobility ecosystem.
"Together with Magna, we will accelerate the introduction of self-driving vehicles by sharing our technology with automotive OEMs worldwide," said Lyft CEO Logan Green. "This is an entirely new approach that will democratize access to this transformative technology."
Partnership details include:
Lyft will lead the co-development of the self-driving system at its Palo Alto-based self-driving engineering center
Magna will lead manufacturing and join Lyft's development team onsite, contributing their vehicle systems knowledge, safety and ADAS expertise, and manufacturing capabilities
Lyft and Magna will share jointly created IP and utilize Lyft data to improve systems
Lyft will utilize Magna's vast automotive experience for its fleet's self-driving systems
This scalable technology is expected to be market-ready over the next few years and can be deployed across the industry through Magna
Siemens invests in new 3D-printing facility in UK
Siemens is to make a $37 million investment in a new, state-of-the-art
manufacturing facility for Materials Solutions Ltd., its Additive Manufacturing, or 3D-printing specialist. The new building in Worcester, UK, set to open in September 2018, will more than double the company's current footprint, enabling it to increase its fleet of 3D-printing machines to 50.
The expansion is also expected to support the creation of more than 50 high quality new jobs in Worcester. This major investment is part of Siemens' plans to build and grow a global business with Additive Manufacturing services for the aerospace industry, the automotive industry and other industries. The new factory will be fully powered by Siemens Digital Enterprise solutions, an end-to-end portfolio comprising software-based systems and automation components which cover every conceivable requirement arising along the industrial value chain. It will therefore harness the potential of digitalisation.
"Additive Manufacturing is a major pillar in our digitization strategy," said Willi Meixner, CEO of Siemens Power and Gas Division. "This significant investment underlines our belief that there is huge potential for innovation and growth within the Additive Manufacturing sector. It is also the next step towards achieving our ambition of pioneering the industrialisation of this exciting new technology and demonstrates how we are leading the way for the fourth industrial revolution," he added. Siemens is leading not only as a user of 3D-printing but also as a supplier of software and solutions for the automation of this technology. Moreover, with Materials Solutions, the company also offers comprehensive services for engineering and printing up to the complete manufacturing of parts for external customers for example in the aviation industry, the automotive industry and motor sports.
TransDigm Group Incorporated to acquire Extant
for US$ 525 million
TransDigm Group Incorporated, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Extant Components Group Holdings, Inc.(“Extant”), a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus LLC, for approximately $525 million. TransDigm expects to finance the acquisition primarily through a combination of cash on hand and existing availability under its revolving credit facility.
Located in Melbourne, Florida, Extant employs more than 170 people and expects to generate revenue of approximately $85 million for the fiscal year ending September 2018. Extant provides a broad range of proprietary aftermarket products and repair and overhaul services to the aerospace and defense end markets. The company exclusively licenses or acquires proprietary aftermarket-focused products from leading aerospace and defense OEMs. Extant then supports these products over the significant remaining useful lives of the aircraft on which the equipment is installed.
The company currently owns or exclusively licenses in excess of 2,500 assemblies and sub-assemblies on over 70 active platforms. Extant offers an attractive value proposition to OEMs and as a result has an active pipeline of new product line acquisition opportunities.
Fortum has signed a significant multi-year agreement to buy and sell to the Nordic electricity markets the wind power produced by the financial services group Taaleri. The agreement term starts 1 April 2018.
Fortum won the tender round arranged by Taaleri for the purchase of the company’s entire annual wind power production in Finland. Taaleri’s wind power portfolio is the second largest in Finland. Its total output is 312 MW and annual production about 1 TWh, which equates to about 1.5% of Finland’s annual electricity production in 2017.
According to the agreement, Fortum will purchase the wind power generated by the 13 different wind farms in Taaleri’s portfolio and sell it to the Nordic electricity markets through the Nord Pool electricity exchange.
“Taaleri’s wind portfolio is one of the largest in Finland, as is this newly signed wind power purchase and balance agreement. It is wonderful that we can help Taaleri to get the emissions-free wind power they generate to the Nordic electricity markets. At the same time, this supports the advancement of our own expertise in wind power,” says Saara Rantanen, Originator and B2B Sales, Fortum.
Buying Taaleri’s wind power production and selling it to the Nordic electricity markets aligns very strongly with Fortum’s targets to increase the share of electricity produced with renewable energy in the Nordic electricity markets and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from energy production into the atmosphere.
Fortum has signed a significant wind power purchase and balance service agreement with Taaleri
The African Development Bank’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott, took part in the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in New Delhi co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Emmanuel Macron of France.
About 50 countries were represented by Heads of State and Government and Ministers including 11 African Presidents and several African Prime Ministers, who were joined by solar manufacturers, developers, financial institutions, green funds, innovators, start-ups and NGOs.
In his opening remarks, President Macron identified the three top priorities of ISA as identification of solar projects; mobilization of public and private finance at scale with a focus on guarantee instruments; and transfer of innovative technology solutions and capacity-building. Prime Minister Modi highlighted the need to ensure that better and more affordable solar technology is available and accessible to everyone. Vice-President Hott joined a panel of Minsters, international financial institutions and CEOs to discuss the financing of solar projects and concrete mechanisms to reduce risks.
The day preceding the conference, the African Development Bank signed a joint declaration with the International Solar Alliance on promoting solar energy in Africa in the presence of the Indian Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy and the Indian Minister of Finance.
The joint declaration recognizes the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, its energy policy and its leadership in working with governments, the private sector, and bilateral and multilateral energy sector initiatives to develop a Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa.
The declaration lays out areas of deeper cooperation between ISA and the Bank, including:
Developing innovative financial instruments to reduce risks and costs associated with solar investments and to leverage climate financing and commercial co-financing;
Supporting technical assistance and knowledge transfer for solar development and deployment;
Support for the Bank’s 10 GW Desert to Power solar initiative;
Mobilizing concessional financing through the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and other Bank-hosted funds; and
Developing finance instruments for off-grid solar projects, as well as large-scale solar independent power producers for African ISA member countries.
African Development Bank and the International Solar Alliance team up to drive solar development in Africa
DP World and NIIF JV Hindustan Infralog to acquire 90% of Continental Warehousing Corporation
Hindustan Infralog Private Limited (HIPL), a joint venture between DP World and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), announces the acquisition of a 90% stake in Continental Warehousing Corporation (Nhava Seva) Ltd (CWCNSL), an integrated multimodal logistics player in India. CWCNSL’s founders, the Reddy family, will retain the remaining 10% shareholding and will remain involved in the business operations. The purchase consideration is below 5% of DP World’s net asset value as of FY20171 and it is the first investment of HIPL, the recently created investment vehicle between DP World and NIIF to invest up to US$ 3 billion in ports, logistics and related sectors.
CWCNSL was founded in 1997 and is a leading integrated multimodal logistics provider of Warehousing, Container Freight Stations (CFS), Inland Container Depots (ICD), Private Freight Terminals (PFT) and integrated logistics solutions. CWCNSL’s logistics network is spread across key strategic locations in India covering a total area of over 400 acres and providing over 660k TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) capacity. In addition, CWCNSL’s wholly owned subsidiary Delex Cargo India Private Ltd provides door-to-door logistics solutions including freight forwarding, 3rd party logistics, express logistics and hub-and-spoke model of delivery across 54 locations in 40 cities.
In India, DP World has been operating container port terminals since 1997 and was instrumental in building the first Private-Public Partnership (PPP) project for the Government of India. DP World is currently present at six locations in India with over 6 million TEU of gross capacity and also operates container trains connecting ports to the hinterland.
Johnson & Johnson, announced that it has received a binding offer from Platinum Equity, a leading private investment firm, to acquire its LifeScan business for approximately $2.1 billion, subject to customary adjustments. LifeScan, Inc. is a leader in blood glucose monitoring products with 2017 net revenue of approximately $1.5 billion.
“LifeScan’s OneTouch® blood glucose monitoring products play an important role in the lives of millions of patients living with diabetes, and following a thorough review of all strategic options, we feel confident that the business would have a promising future with Platinum Equity,” said Ashley McEvoy, Company Group Chairman, Consumer Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson. “This initiative is part of our ongoing, disciplined approach to portfolio management to focus on our most promising opportunities to help patients and drive growth.”
The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies will continue to serve those impacted by diabetes through innovative products, services and solutions from its Medical Device, Pharmaceuticals, and Consumer businesses. These include important leadership and innovation in areas such as bariatric surgery and through medicines such as INVOKANA® (canagliflozin) and INVOKAMET® (canagliflozin/metformin HCl).
Johnson & Johnson selling LifeScan Unit
for US$ 2.1 Billion
Boston Scientific agreement to acquire NxThera
Boston Scientific, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NxThera, a privately-held company based in Maple Grove, Minnesota. NxThera developed and commercialized, in the United States (U.S.) and Europe, the Rezūm® system which is a minimally invasive therapy in a growing category of treatment options for men with symptoms arising from of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The transaction consists of an upfront cash payment of $306 million, and up to an additional $100 million in potential commercial milestone payments over the next four years.
BPH is an enlargement of the prostate that affects 110 million men worldwide and may cause symptoms that impact a patient's qualify of life, such as pain and a frequent need to urinate.1,2 The likelihood of having BPH increases with age and more than 12 million symptomatic men in the U.S. are currently being treated for the condition with medications or procedural approaches.3,4
Treatment with the Rezūm system is typically performed in a physician's office without general anesthesia and uses water vapor to remove excess prostate tissue thereby alleviating obstruction to flow, which helps reduce BPH-related symptoms. A study published in the March issue of the Journal of Urology demonstrated that over a three year period, patients treated with the Rezūm system had clinical progression rates that were five times lower than reported rates of patients treated with daily, long-term
medications.5 Additional clinical data from a randomized controlled trial demonstrated that patients treated with the Rezūm system had a 51 percent reduction in their symptoms at 24 months post-treatment and maintained a 50 percent reduction in BPH symptoms at three years post-treatment.5,6,7
Patients with symptomatic BPH are generally first treated with medications that can have side effects including nausea, dizziness and sexual dysfunction.8 As the prostate continues to enlarge, men may undergo surgery which can result in worsening stress urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
SK biotek, first South Korean pharma-company to invest in Ireland
The Irish and South Korean flags will be ceremoniously raised in the grounds of a pharmaceuticals manufacturing campus in Swords, Co. Dublin, which has been acquired by SK biotek, a global life sciences company, the first Korean pharma-company to invest in Ireland.
SK biotek is a solely owned subsidiary of SK Group - a Top 100 Fortune 500 Global Company which employs 84,000 associates globally with annual revenue of €99.7 billion.
SK biotek announced the acquisition of the former Bristol-Myers Squibb API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) facility in Swords, Co. Dublin in June 2017 and completed the deal by year-end 2017.
The acquisition of Swords Campus represents the progression of a growth plan for SK biotek to become a top tier global contract pharmaceuticals manufacturing firm by 2020.
SK biotek has confirmed that it plans to operate and develop Swords Campus as a stand-alone Contract Development Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), which will manufacture pharma products to specification for other pharmaceutical companies on a contract basis. SK biotek has also confirmed that it intends to add marketing, research and development (R&D) talent, while investing to bring additional API manufacturing capacity to Swords Campus.
Clorox to acquire Nutranext
The Clorox Company, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Nutranext, a health and wellness company based in Sunrise, Florida, which manufactures and markets leading dietary supplement brands in the retail and e-commerce channels as well as in its direct-to-consumer business.
Nutranext’s products include multivitamins under the Rainbow Light® brand, the No. 2 vitamin brand in the natural channel1; specialty minerals under the Natural Vitality brand, the No. 1 anti-stress and sleep brand in the natural channel2; and supplements for hair, skin and nails under the Neocell brand. The company also manufactures and markets multivitamins and specialty minerals through its direct-to-consumer business, primarily under the Stop Aging Now® brand. About 90 percent of Nutranext sales are in the U.S.
“Adding Nutranext to our portfolio is consistent with our strategy to accelerate growth through acquisitions of leading brands in fast-growing categories with attractive gross margins and a focus on health and wellness,” said Clorox Chairman and CEO Benno Dorer. “We’re looking forward to leveraging our proven capabilities in brand building, including innovation and digital marketing, as well as strong partnerships in retail and e-commerce to accelerate growth of Nutranext brands.”
The Nutranext acquisition brings significant scale and breadth to Clorox’s dietary supplements business. It follows the company’s May 2016 acquisition of the RenewLife® brand, a leader in digestive health. Clorox’s brand-building capabilities and retail execution behind the RenewLife brand have led to strong growth in the e-commerce channel and expanded distribution in the retail channel.
Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire M&G Polimeros Brazil S.A. in Ipojuca Brazil. The plant is the largest PET facility in Brazil, with capacity of 550,000 tonnes/ annum. This plant is strategically located and benefits from virtual integration with a manufacturer of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA), a key feedstock to PET.
The transaction is expected to be completed in second quarter 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.
This acquisition in Brazil is in line with the Company’s strategy to further extend its market position, and expand its global footprint in key markets with high growth potential.
This strategic position allows Indorama Ventures to deliver products to key customers in Brazil and elsewhere in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Indorama Ventures is well positioned to service its current global client base and M&G’s existing customers once this acquisition is complete and the plant is fully operational. The Company expects immediate incremental revenues and cost synergies, driven by a substantial volume increase and potential value add through backward integration.
Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, to acquire M&G Polimeros Brazil S.A.
231,000 New jobs added in Western Balkans amid ongoing economic challenges, Emigration
A 3.9 percent increase in employment over the last year has led to the creation of 231,000 new jobs throughout the six countries of the Western Balkans, according to the "Western Balkans Labor Market Trends 2018" report, launched by the World Bank and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw). Unemployment also fell from 18.6 percent to 16.2 percent, reaching historic lows in some countries.
Leading the way for employment in the region was Kosovo, which saw an increase of 9.2 percent, followed by Serbia (4.3 percent), Montenegro (3.5 percent), Albania (3.4 percent), FYR Macedonia (2.7 percent), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1.9 percent). Despite this progress, however, low activity rates - particularly among women and young people – along with high rates of long-term unemployment and a prevalence of informal work, continue to pose challenges for sustained economic growth in the region.
“The region has made great strides in improving labor market outcomes over the last year – meaning more people are finding jobs,” says Linda Van Gelder, World Bank Country Director for the Western Balkans. “However, we continue to see high rates of people who are not in employment, education or in training programs and we need to find ways to link them to future opportunities.”
Youth unemployment of 37.6 percent is a key challenge for the region. However, this rate is down from last year and nearly every country in the region is experiencing the lowest levels of youth unemployment since 2010. Country rates range from 29 percent in Montenegro and Serbia, to more than 50 percent in Kosovo. According to the report, it may be difficult for young people who become detached from jobs or education for long periods to reintegrate into the labor market. They also face a wage gap, earning up to 20 percent less than those who find employment sooner.
The report also notes that female employment rates are on the rise but they still remain low by European standards. The employment rate for women across the region stands at 43.2 percent, varying from a low of 13.1 percent in Kosovo to a high of 52.3 percent in Serbia. The gender gap in employment has also narrowed since 2010, ranging from 28.9 percentage points in Kosovo to 9.8 percentage points in Montenegro.
Flagship Food Group acquires Select New Mexico brand of green chile products
Flagship Food Group, the maker of 505 Southwestern® sauces, salsas, and snacks, has announced that it has acquired certain assets of Es Mi Tiempo, Inc., the owner of the Select New Mexico® brand of premium green chile food products from the state of New Mexico. "505" is the area code for Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the 505 products are made, and 505 Southwestern® was the first brand to be recognized as "New Mexico True" by the State. Thus, the merger brings together two brands that are largely committed to bringing the bold flavors of New Mexico and the Hatch Valley green chile growing region to markets around the country and the world. Today, 505 Southwestern and Select New Mexico products are sold in all 50 U.S. states and in the U.K.
Based in Denver, Colorado, Select New Mexico serves retail and food service accounts throughout the Front Range and the Rocky Mountain Region. Flagship has announced that it has no plans to change management or key personnel at Select New Mexico and that it plans to expand its presence in the Denver area following the acquisition. In addition, Flagship has said that it does not expect to change the product offerings of Select New Mexico or change any supplier or vendor relationships.
"It will be business as usual for our employees and customers, except that now we just have more resources behind us," said Harold Montana, President of Select New Mexico. Harold will lead all DSD (direct store delivery) efforts for Flagship going forward.
Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Highland Packaging Solutions for approximately $150 million in cash. Highland is a privately owned producer of thermoformed plastic packaging for fresh produce and dairy products, based in Plant City, Fla. The transaction is subject to normal regulatory review and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.
Owned by Steve Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer, and John Durham, along with select members of the company’s leadership team, Highland has grown from a regional supplier of agriculture packaging products into a global packaging company with 2017 net sales of approximately $90 million. The Company has approximately 425 employees operating a world-class production facility in Plant City producing a total packaging solution for customers that includes sophisticated engineered containers, flexographic printed labels and inventory management through distribution warehouses in the Southeast and West Coast of the United States.
Highland CEO Maxwell commented, “Highland and Sonoco each have their own strengths, with a similar passion for crusading for our customers. Joining our two companies together will enable the best of both companies to be integrated and serve our customers, and will enable Highland to further enhance our speed to service and our ability to offer customers the most diverse consumer packaging formats and solutions in the industry.”
Tiede said the acquisition of Highland will be accretive to earnings in 2018, and the purchase price represents an EBITDA multiple of approximately 6.5 times post-synergies and tax benefits from the write-up of intangibles.
Sonoco to acquire Highland Packaging Solutions
My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream expands to Canadian market
My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream continues impressive distribution gains and announces their expansion into the Canadian market beginning in early April.
Since the company's launch in early 2017, the brand has revolutionized the snacking category by elevating consumer experiences and taking an unprecedented step beyond the freezer aisle into the bakery sections of supermarkets throughout the U.S. Over the past year My/Mo Mochi Ice cream has delighted snackers across America with its flavor-filled, bite-sized frozen treats, closing out the year with an 86% market share and placement in over 9,000 retail locations. As market leader and top innovator in the frozen novelty space, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream continues to make headway with their vision to deliver the snackable mochi ice cream experience to the masses with expansion to freezer aisles outside of the U.S.
Made with a scoop of rich, decadent frozen cashew cream and wrapped in pillowy soft sweet rice dough, My/Mo Mochi Cashew Cream Frozen Dessert is a carefully crafted vegan-friendly snack. At just 100 calories per mochi ball, the new frozen dessert is the perfect choice for every snacking occasion.
Beginning in April, My/Mo Mochi Cashew Cream Frozen Dessert will be available in retail packs of six in the freezer aisles of Metro and Longo's supermarkets.
Historic location gets an eco-friendly makeover with first Element Hotel in Illinois
Element Hotels, part of Marriott International, and Ctwo Hotels, announces the opening of Element Moline, marking the debut of the eco-conscious, extended-stay brand in Illinois. With the support and inspiration of the Moline Historic Society, Element Moline offers guests eco-friendly and wellness-focused amenities within the historical surroundings of one of Moline's oldest buildings.
Part of the hotel is housed in the O'Rourke Building, a warehouse that was originally built in 1916 by the Crandall Transfer and Warehouse Company.
Located near the Mississippi River, the six-story building features earth tones and nature-inspired designs throughout while retaining the same structure and foundations of the historic building. The design includes many details of the original warehouse such as exposed brick and columns in its spacious guest rooms, and many components of the building's lobby, ceilings, and flooring have been preserved.
The hotel also features a firepit in the interior courtyard. The project embraces Element Hotels' sustainable design philosophy—the Moline Historic Society partnered with the ownership to review and approve every aspect of the project, including the restored Art Deco façade and entrance.
IHG signs Crowne Plaza Doha West Bay in partnership with Tanmiyat Real Estate
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has announced the signing of Crowne Plaza Doha West Bay in partnership with Tanmiyat Real Estate. Currently operating as the M Doha Hotel, the hotel is expected to be rebranded by August 2018, aligning with IHG’s strategy to grow the Crowne Plaza brand across the region.
Dr. Braik Bin Samikh, Chairman of Tanmiyat Real Estate, signed the agreement for Crowne Plaza Doha West Bay with Mr. Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG.
317-room Crowne Plaza Doha West Bay will be the seventh operating IHG hotel and second Crowne Plaza hotel in the city. Strategically located in Doha’s most prestigious accommodation precinct, West Bay, guests will have easy access to Qatar’s financial, shopping and diplomatic districts, as well as views of the city’s impressive skyline. Additionally, the hotel is within 20km of Hamad International Airport for the guests’ added convenience.
Business and leisure guests staying at Crowne Plaza Doha West Bay will experience the best of both worlds with eight meeting rooms and an executive lounge, alongside an outdoor pool, and a gym to rest and rejuvenate after a hectic work day. Guests will be spoilt for choice with five dedicated food and beverage outlets catering to all tastes. To further enhance their culinary experience, Crowne Plaza Doha West Bay will also be home to the Indian celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s restaurant ‘Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor’, which will serve contemporary Indian cuisine to guests staying at the hotel, as well as the residents of Doha.
IHG and Epelboim Development Group announce a new EVEN Hotel coming to metro Atlanta
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world's leading hotel companies, and Epelboim Development Group, an established hospitality developer, announce the groundbreaking of a
new EVEN Hotels property in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Set to open in the third quarter of 2019, the new-build construction hotel continues the expansion of the wellness-focused brand’s footprint in the Southeast and marks the first location in metro Atlanta. This comes on the heels of the brand’s recent openings of two EVEN Hotels in Sarasota, Florida and Eugene, Oregon.
The six-story EVEN Hotel will feature 132 rooms, four suites, flexible public workspaces, 750 square feet of meeting space, a business center, onsite restaurant and a 1,200-square-foot Athletic Studio. The hotel will also incorporate the brand’s signature in-room fitness elements and a balance of health-conscious and indulgent food and beverage options to help guests maintain their wellness routine while traveling away from home.
The hotel will feature a best-in-class fitness experience with the brand’s signature Athletic Studio that is larger than typical hotel gyms. Every guest room will include an in-room fitness zone with a dedicated workout space with fitness equipment and 18 different workout videos, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes in length.
The EVEN Hotel Alpharetta will also feature the brand’s signature Cork & Kale café, offering a menu that emphasizes variety, dine-in meals and quicker options like breakfast sandwiches and fresh salads from the Grab-and-Go marketplace that will be available 24/7 for guests’ convenience.
Citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic will have improved access to more affordable internet, better quality electronic government services, and opportunities for digital skills development and new jobs, thanks to the US$ 50 million financing for the Digital CASA (Central Asia-South Asia) – Kyrgyz Republic Project approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. The project will be financed by a combination of a US$ 25 million grant and a US$25 million credit.
The objective of the Digital CASA - Kyrgyz Republic Project is to increase access to more affordable internet, attract more private investments in the ICT sector, and improve the government’s capacity to deliver digital government services in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The project is aligned with the Kyrgyz government’s high priority initiative called Taza Koom, which means “Clean Society.” It is the Government’s Digital Transformation Strategy, envisioned to build a transparent and efficient public administration system that provides improved public services, based on digitalization and streamlining of administrative processes. The Digital CASA - Kyrgyz Republic project will build foundations for the implementation of this initiative, which is a crucial pillar of the country’s National Sustainable Development Strategy 2018-2040.
“The World Bank supports the digital transformation agenda in Kyrgyzstan and the Government’s Taza Koom program, as digital technologies can be a powerful enabler of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development,” says Bolormaa Amgaabazar, World Bank Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic. “The Digital CASA - Kyrgyz Republic project will be instrumental in developing national and regional ICT infrastructure, promoting public sector reforms, unlocking Kyrgyzstan’s export potential, and creating new investment opportunities for Kyrgyz businesses, as well as new quality jobs for the people.”
The project will support the development of a regionally integrated digital infrastructure, promoting more affordable, high-quality internet access for the people by bringing in more private sector investments in network infrastructure development and service provision at the regional and national levels. It will also support building regional cloud-based datacenter infrastructure and platforms for the government and the private sector to deliver better and more secure services. Another important element of the project is the creation of an enabling environment for the digital economy through strengthening and harmonizing the laws and regulations related to the digital economy across the region.
New World Bank-Financed Project to Support Digital Transformation in Kyrgyz Republic
Commvault, a global leader in enterprise backup, recovery, archive and the cloud, announced the expansion of its presence in India with a move to a new and bigger office in Hyderabad. The new office to accommodate the emergent demand for its services in India is almost double the area of the old one and is in the prime central location of Madhapur area of Hyderabad in the 'V' Ascendas IT park.
This area is known as center of Information Technology activity and has the highest concentration of IT/ITES establishments in the city. With a seating capacity of 250, the new office will cater to the increased workforce that will address the burgeoning Indian market.
The new office in Hyderabad houses our Development Centre, and is one of the five locations in India where Commvault has presence. The state-of-the-art facility provides a contemporary work culture with a gymnasium to promote health and fitness among the employees and a communal area where employees can relax and interact over activities and games.
The Union Budget 2018 saw the Government of India doubling the allocation toward Digital India with an enhanced push to the National Mission on Cyberspace Security. This has set the direction for data protection to take center stage for India Inc. The framework to regulate data privacy in India and the upcoming implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) presents a tremendous opportunity for the growth of the data management and protection sector in India.
Commvault expands India presence with new Hyderabad office
Global chemical mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in 2018 is expected to remain strong, as higher valuations continue to be mitigated by improving global economic conditions, continued inexpensive financing, and an appetite amongst industry participants for growth and transformative M&A transactions, according to Deloitte Global’s 2018 chemical industry mergers and acquisitions outlook.
A multitude of mega-deals which resulted in record levels of deal value in 2015 and 2016 were not seen in 2017 (46.4 US$ billions). Deal volumes on the other hand were just as strong in 2017 with 637 transactions. “There may be a slight decline in deal volume in 2018 as the dispositions from the mega-deals have subsided, but 2018 is expected to be another robust M&A year in the chemical industry,” said Dan Schweller, Deloitte Global M&A leader for the Chemicals & Specialty Materials Sector. “Deal flow remains strong and there remains great interest in turning to M&A to further drive shareholder returns.”
In the US, historic tax reform measures that have cut tax rates and increased cash repatriation from international locations may serve to support M&A activity. “US corporate taxpayers will likely benefit from having more cash available to invest in improving their shareholders’ value—this could result in additional capital expenditures, increasing buybacks or dividends, or in pursuing M&A activity,” said Dan Schweller.
During 2017, the number of US$1 billion deals maintained their volume (number of transactions) but notably failed to deliver the mega-deal values established in prior years, falling below the deal values achieved in both 2015 and 2016. It is not expected that 2018 will deliver such deal values either as many sectors have reached a point where regulatory constraints may challenge further consolidation at a large scale.
Deloitte 2018 Global chemical industry mergers and acquisitions outlook
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