GLOBAL B U S I N E S S
EDITION NO. 01 NOV 2017
F I N A N C E
B U S I N E S S
S E C T O R
N E W S
I N S I G H T
MILLION POUND INVESTMENT Laundryheap, an on-demand laundry company
POST-BREXIT PROPERTY WWW.GBUSINESSINSIGHT.COM
No signs of slowing down. Bitcoin continued to gather pace over the weekend rising above $9,000
VERVE RALLY CHARITY GALA “A TIME FOR DRIVEN PEOPLE TO GIVE BACK”
HOW TO DEAL WITH A QUARTER LIFE CRISIS
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No signs of slowing down, despite warnings of bubble being created.
government industrial strategy RSM urges wise spending on technology to ensure competitive edge
million pound investment
LaundryHeap, an on-demand laundry company has raised £2m.
alten calsoft labs
Acquires Calsoft Logic. This acquisition brings deep experince in digital innovation.
mars food announces
Successful completion of previously announced acquisition of preferred brands international and Tasty Bite.
Interview with entrepreneur, businesswoman Darshana Ubl
40 44 47
51% of Americans firmy believe cryptocurrencies in the next ten years won’t replace traditional currency.
uk pharma continues to flourish post brexit
Are we now seeing the evidence that Brexit promises to give a major boost to the UK’s pharma sector.
QICGRE and Clean Energy Finance Corporation partner in an Australian.
swing joins microsoft
Swing Technologies, makers of the acclaimed ‘living photo’ app SWNG will join Microsoft.
industry defining ai technology Start-up secures £1.3m to create selflearning machines.
young innovations Announces sale to the Jordan Company.
quarter life crisis 86% of millennials feel under immense pressure.
Property consultant remains positive for PostBrexit construction sector.
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OIL UNDER THE RADAR
BIHIMIA DATA SHOWS RENEWED GROWTH IN PRIVATE HEARING MARKET
EQUITIES SLIDE AHEAD OF A BUSY WEEK Despite a record high close on the S&P 500 last Friday, Asian equities edged lower, led by Korean markets. Chinese stocks continued to decline after having the biggest one-day selloff in 17months on Thursday, as rising government and corporate bond yields signaled tighter liquidity conditions. Whether the selloff is a slight correction after a strong surge in 2017, or steeper declines on the way, remains to be seen. However, rising bond yields, particularly junk bonds, should keep investors worried.
The British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association regularly monitors the trends in the UK and Irish market and has released the combined Q3 2017 results showing the unit sales of its member companies. The most significant development to report is the improved growth in the number of units distributed through the private market in both the UK and Ireland. The private market in the UK has grown by 7% on Q2 2017, up from 74,428 to 79627 units sold. This results in year-to-date growth of 3.3% for 2017 Q3 YTD compared to the same quarter in 2016. At the end of last year, BIHIMA reported the rapid growth in the Irish market following the economic downturn, but the figures dipped unexpectedly in the first half of this year. We are now pleased to report renewed momentum in the Irish market with the number of units sold up at 14,539. Meanwhile, the number of units distributed through the NHS in Q3 was down 1.1% on Q2 of this year, but the figure increased by 0.6% in 2017 Q3 YTD compared to 2016 Q3 YTD.
U.S. stocks and dollar awaiting tax reforms Expectations of tax reforms, in my opinion, have kept Wall Street optimistic throughout the year and stocks at record highs. It’s time for U.S. policymakers to deliver, or the long-awaited correction will likely occur soon. The Senate is back from recess and President Trump will meet senators on Tuesday. At this stage, neither economic data nor monetary policy will be given a lot of attention. It’s all about fiscal policies, and without meaningful progress it’s likely to be painful for stocks and the dollar.
NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN
Bitcoin continued to gather pace over the weekend rising to above $9,000, despite warnings of bubble being created in this relatively new asset class. From a fundamental perspective it is still almost impossible to give the cryptocurrency a fair value, however, there has been a strong correlation between the price of Bitcoin and number of users opening new wallets. It is not just retail investors showing interest in the cryptocurrency, but many hedge funds have decided to join the party recently by including Bitcoins in their portfolios. Given that number of users haven’t exceeded 0.1% of the global population, there’s still more potential for this momentum trade to continue. Whether the price will be justified in the foreseeable future, depends on the adoption and the application of the new currency, but so far it still looks unstoppable.
Babcock’s Media Services business has appointed Scott Rose as its new Director of Multi-Platform and Technology. Scott has held numerous leadership roles in the broadcast communications industry for companies such as Kingston Communications and Arqiva. Most recently, Scott was the senior director of product management for Grass Valley with responsibility for the content delivery product line, including VOD, playout and master control. “We are delighted to have Scott join Babcock’s Media Services team. Scott’s in-depth industry knowledge combined with his track record for delivering innovative products and services will ensure Babcock’s continued growth in the media services market,” said Nick Thompson, interim Director, and Babcock’s Media Services.
HUSSEIN SAYED CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST GULF & MENA
SCOTT ROSE DIRECTOR OF MULTI-PLATFORM AND TECHNOLOGY
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VERVE RALLY CHARITY GALA
Entrepreneur, Businesswoman and Speaker Darshana Ubl, the co-founder of Verve Rally is available for interview. Darshana believes in the principles of hard work, commitment to a cause and making the world a better place. Verve Rally, the luxurious adventure travel experience, will host their inaugural fundraising Gala Ball at The Bloomsbury Ballroom in London on Wednesday 29th November. The Verve Gala Ball raises funds for established charities based in England and Wales. This year’s Charity Gala is in aid of Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants magical wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.
WHAT IS VERVE RALLY?
PRINCESS OF LUXEMBOURG
MAKE A WISH
Verve Rally is a luxurious adventure travel experience with like-minded people, GT / Exotic / Supercars, beautiful roads and majestic locations
“No effort towards others remains unrewarded- we are all in it together! Get involved!” Tessy Antony, former princess of Luxembourg and philanthropist
“We are thrilled that Verve Rally have chosen to support Make-AWish through their Charity Gala this November, to help grant more magical wishes for children with threatening conditions.”
ADRIVENTIME FOR PEOPLE TO GIVE BACK The Gala and Verve’s other charitable activities are the initiative of Darshana Ubl, the co-founder of Verve Rally. Darshana is a spokesperson for business on BBC News, an investor, and has been the driving force behind several businesses. She believes in the principles of hard work, commitment to a cause and making the world a better place. Guests attending the Verve Gala Ball include the former princess of Luxembourg, Tessy Antony, along with other dignitaries and influencers in business who will enjoy a top-notch tahree-course meal, wine, fundraising and live entertainment in a private ballroom in Central London.
Running an experience-led company brings me immense joy and fulfilment, because what is life if not a sum of all our key experiences? It is an honour to fundraise via Verve Charity Gala for Make-A-Wish Foundation, who is committed to adding magical moments in the lives of terminally ill children. We are delighted to have the support of driven individuals who are committed to making this world a better place
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Make-A-Wish Foundation grant terminally-ill children their One True Wish, providing hope for the future, strength to cope and resilience to fight their condition. They’re given quality time away from the daily realities of living with their condition and have the chance to make magical memories they can treasure forever – whatever their future may hold. Darshana says of the event: “Running an experienceled company brings me immense joy and fulfilment, because what is life if not a sum of all our key experiences? It is an honour to fundraise via Verve Charity Gala for Make-AWish Foundation, who is committed to adding magical moments in the lives of terminally ill children. We are delighted to have the support of driven individuals who are committed to making this world a better place.”
RSM urges wise spending on technology to ensure competitive edge
he release of ESOMAR’s Global Market Research Report shows the data and insights industry is an invisible but significant contributor to UK’s GDP, and it continues to grow. The turnover for the UK research and data analytics industry in 2016, exceeded that of the UK publishing industry (£4.4 bn) as well as the games market (£4.33 bn), toy sales (£3.3 bn), and the £4.1bn which the music industry contributed in 2015 (UK Music Measuring 2016 Report). In the UK, the second largest individual global market, the turnover was (£4.91 bn).
ESOMAR To put its contribution to the UK economy in context with other industries, market research fares well and provides a significant boost to the UK economy. The Global Market Research report also found that turnover amount in research spend in the UK, the second largest market in the world, dwarfs that of economic power houses Germany, France and Japan. Bringing in almost as much each year than those three markets combined.
According to the latest Global Market Research Report from ESOMAR, the international organisation for the research and insights community, prepared in association with BDO accountants, the overall market research industry continued to grow last year. The global turnover of the research and data analytics market was £52.91 bn in 2016, an increase of 3.7% (before taking inflation into account), on the previous year’s turnover, the biggest growth in the global industry since 2010.
How did market research fare in different regions? For Europe, the net growth was 1.6% and just under 1% in the US. Looking at the future Two of the fastest growing areas have been social media monitoring and online analytics, with spending among social media networks up by 5%, and spending on online analytics up by 8%. In the future there will be even more of a need for instant streaming snippets of observations and of insights for business decision-making.
Some will question the timing of this report given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Brexit bill. Ultimately though, the opportunity is too great. A wait and see approach would present dire consequences, especially for the UK’s technology sector which needs momentum to support its growing strength and stay ahead of its continental competitors. ‘The Government’s £500m commitment to fund Britain’s “technological revolution” isn’t a drop in the ocean – it’s a good start considering its wider commitments. The question remains over how it will get used. This is critical. As the Treasury’s purse strings tighten, effective deployment is imperative.
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ing, combined with existing appetite from private equity and venture capitalism, shows that the Government is serious about its commitment to technology such as AI, augmented reality and virtual reality.’
MARKET RESEARCH A BREXIT PROOF INDUSTRY
‘today’s strategy, together with the Chancellors fund-
Commenting on the publication of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, David Blacher, partner and head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications at RSM comments: “The publication of the Government’s Industrial Strategy is welcome news. It illustrates a willingness to get on with what needs to get done.
BUSINESS 1. You wake up, go to work, go to the gym, eat, sleep, repeat. The constant weekly monotony gets you down. You’re questioning your decisions: whether you did the right degree, where you’re choosing to live, who you’re spending time with, what
SIGNS OF QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS
your career should be.
2. You’re looking at your friends and work colleagues, contemplating why everything in your life is different from theirs. From comparing salaries to their #relationshipgoals, you scrutinise everything they do and wonder how you could ever measure up to them.
3. You wake up, check all of your social media profiles, see how many people liked your posts. You check them again five minutes later and again 200 times throughout the day. If you could cut yourself off from social media altogether you would, but you’re addicted to checking on the glamorous lives of your favourite bloggers.
HOW TO DEAL 86% of millennials feel under immense pressure. Faced with Instagram and Facebook feeds of happy, successful people every time they open their phones - building a career and developing personal relationships have never been so stressful. There’s a growing feeling of pretend-adulthood, which is manifesting as a ‘quarter-life crisis’ (QLC). Although a modern term, research conducted by Oliver Robinson found that over a period of years the QLC goes through several key phases
locked-in The feeling of being stuck within a relationship or a dissatisfying career path.
separation and time out Distancing and ending their physical and mental ties with either their relationships of jobs. During the ‘Time-out’ people often reflect on and reassess what their goals are.
4. There’s a constant stand-off between “I’m quitting my job and traveling the world”, “I’m going to climb the career ladder” and “Is this even what I want to be doing?”. Disillusion with your job is common in the early years but you need to think whether it’s the job itself getting you down or if you’re after a fresh
WITH A QUARTER LIFE CRISIS How to Overcome
First of all, stop the comparisons. Obsessive Comparison Disorder is amplifying your anxieties and adding to the crisis. Being able to take the step back and focus on your own successes (rather than seeing everyone else as more successful than you), will help put your mind at ease.
EXPLORATION Finding new motivation through new social circles, interests and hobbies.
DAVID FOSTER WALLACE
“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realise how seldom they do.”
Rebuilding Renewed positive outlook on commitments and long-term plans.
Take some time to build support networks. Whether these be your friends, co-workers or family, you need to talk to people about how you’re feeling through these moments. The likelihood is that they’ve gone through something similar, or have the same doubts that you are. It helps to know that you aren’t alone. Figure out your values. Remembering what makes you tick can help you stay on track when you’re feeling at your worst. If you’re not quite sure about your personal values, start with 10 that you identify with, then narrow it down to five (but ideally three).
quarter life crises become more common, the key is noticing the things that add to the stress and anxiety of everyday life and managing them. Sticking to your plans and not comparing your successes to everyone else’s will keep you focussed on the end goal and, most importantly, keep you happy.
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BEIJING AND GUERNSEY in captive insurance joint venture
why gdpr can drive trust in financial services As businesses worldwide gear up for
Beijing Airport Captive Management Consulting has established a joint venture with the Guernsey-based independent insurance manager Alternative Risk Management. The partnership will see ARM assist and work alongside BACM in the creation of captive structures and the provision of captive management services for Chinese businesses. BACM is the only captive insurance consulting group in China and is backed by the Beijing Airport Economic Core Zone – a key hub for China’s business, industrial and creative sectors. Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for the island’s finance sector, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the BAECZ on behalf of Guernsey’s finance sector in March this year. News of the partnership follows last week’s announcement that Brilliant Reinsurance Limited had become the island’s first Chinese insurance company. Managed and established by ARM, Brilliant Reinsurance will focus on business being retroceded from the Lloyd’s of London market.
ARM MANAGING DIRECTOR
GDPR, the financial services industry is in prime position to take the lead. So could GDPR be a driver that strengthens
JIM TOTTY AND NICK CURTIS NEW RULES
customer confidence in financial
Chinese companies with international operations and those looking at expanding overseas are considering ways to use captive vehicles for their risk management needs rather than having to insure through the commercial market.
services? Andrew Walsh, CEO of IRESS,
In recognition of how much of our personal data is now held
explains. There’s no greater asset in
online, the GDPR regime will impose stricter requirements on
a digital world than trust. It’s a vital
the use of data when it comes into effect on 25 May 2018. All
currency in the global digital economy.
businesses that interact with EU customer data will be affected
People give their personal information
and must conform to the new rules.
to companies they trust; and those
The penalties for non-compliance are eye watering. But perhaps
companies that have more data, have
even more significant is the potential for reputational damage.
GDPR will make it mandatory for firms to disclose personal data
It’s why improving information security
breaches meaning hard-earned trust could quickly be lost. On the
and restoring customer trust back to its
flipside, with its focus on improving transparency and customer
pre-2008 level are ongoing priorities for
confidence, GDPR could in fact be just what the financial
financial services CEO’s worldwide.
services industry needs to restore trust.
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There’s also a real opportunity for financial services to take the lead where others are lagging behind.
MILLION POUND INVESTMENT
Pick ups are booked via the website or via the app – available to download for iOS or Android. Here the customer enters their full postcode, chooses an available time slot for pick-up/delivery and follows the simple onscreen instructions. LAUNDRYHEAP pick up and deliver at convenient times for the customer - that includes late evenings and weekends.
JIM TOTTY AND NICK CURTIS
A Laundryheap scout will collect the laundry, bringing personalised bags for the customer to put all their clothes in for washing, ironing and dry cleaning – all free of charge. The scout will ask a few questions and take note of the customer’s preferences.
MANAGING PARTNERS AT STIL “We are delighted to launch the Nobel Sustainability Growth Fund, in partnership with the Nobel Sustainability Trust®, and SET3. Having invested with four previous funds together and with a 30 year sustainable investment track record, we can offer institutional investors exposure to sustainable themes through an active, hands-on growth capital strategy.”
The managers of the Fund evaluate sustainability using the Earth DividendTM, a proprietary measure of sustainability in private equity, which is a clear assessment of sustainable development across five themes: Natural Resources, Ecosystem Services, Pollution, Social & Economic Contribution, Society & Governance.
Laundryheap’s expert cleaners will work their magic to make the clothes look great and feel fresh. The clothes will be separated by colour or washed mixed, depending on the customer’s request. Once done, the washing will be folded and packed neatly ready to return. If the customer asked for ironing or dry cleaning, the clothes come conveniently hanged in a LAUNDRYHEAP custom-made bag, or folded if preferred.
A Laundryheap scout will deliver the laundry fresh and ready for action within 24 hours, guaranteed. As a bonus, the customer is welcome to keep the LAUNDRYHEAP bags for an even quicker service next time.
CEO DEYAN DIMITROV
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of raising the standard of on-demand laundry services. With this investment, we look to become the market leader in Europe within the next 12 months”.
SCHEDULE PICK UP
launched to drive institutional investment into UK businesses
Sustainable Technology Investors Ltd has announced the UK launch of the £100 million Nobel Sustainability Growth Fund, in partnership with the Nobel Sustainability Trust®, founded by members of the Nobel Family, and SET3, the global investment group founded by Gordon Power and Stephen Lansdown, co-founder of Hargreaves Lansdown. The Fund is backed by the Nobel Sustainability Fund® global group of funds which was launched in 2016, with backing from the Constitutional Reserve Fund of Monaco and the family office of Stephen Lansdown.
as a company we have seen incredible growth off the back
Nobel Sustainability Growth Fund
LAUNDRYHEAP, an on-demand laundry company has raised £2m in their first funding round, valuing the three-year-old company at £17m. The bootstrapped company is the only major on-demand laundry company that offers same-day collection and delivery within 24 hours as a standard service. Without external funding, the company has seen a 300% growth year on year and now operates in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Dublin and Dubai.
M&A WATCH: TBC
M&A WATCH: TBC
CENTURYLINK COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF LEVEL 3
ALTEN CALSOFT LABS ACQUIRES PREMIER LOGIC
his acquisition brings deep experience in digital innovation to scale and transform businesses through technology and creates a ‘Digital’ division to focus on lean digital transformation solutions. ALTEN Calsoft Labs, an ALTEN Group Company - a leader in engineering and technology consulting - today announced that it has acquired Premier Logic, a global provider of digital transformation and technology solutions. This strategic acquisition combines ALTEN Calsoft Labs’ scale and technology diversity with the digital innovation and nimble execution of Premier Logic to focus on leveraging technology to accelerate the transformation of clients’ business.
CEO OF ALTEN CALSOFT LABS
Premier Logic is the go-to digital transformation company for enterprises that need to fast track their new product ideas. The company has an impressive track record of helping enterprises quickly envision, prototype and launch digital solutions with the end user in mind to accomplish the desired business outcome.
With this acquisition, ALTEN Calsoft Labs has also created a separate ‘Digital’ division that will exclusively focus on cost effective and lean digital transformation solutions for enterprises and product companies. “Inorganic growth is a part of our strategy and this acquisition strengthens our digital story in US markets. The team at Premier Logic is passionate about helping clients impartially assess the true business problem and need, in order to deploy the right solution for each project,” said Gerald Attia, Deputy CEO of ALTEN Group. “We are proud to welcome the Premier Logic team to the ALTEN Calsoft Labs family,” added Ramandeep Singh, CEO of ALTEN Calsoft Labs. “I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand the innovative thinking they apply to solving business problems and am excited by what we can accomplish together for our customers. They are experts in aligning business objectives with digital innovation and technology execution to achieve transformation. They will fuel our growth in digital transformation by helping companies quickly envision, prototype and launch digital solutions.” “Being part of this international firm known for pioneering advancements in engineering across technologies and industries is an exciting opportunity for us to help even more businesses grow through innovative technology execution,” explained Chad Osgood, CEO of Premier Logic. He added, “Businesses need to redefine how they approach identifying and solving business problems with technology. They require quick wins, innovative ideas and great execution. With access to even more emerging technologies through ALTEN Calsoft Labs, we can help our customers go deeper into the lifecycle of innovation to execute across a broad transformation roadmap with increasing scale.”
HAS COMPLETED ITS ACQUISITION OF LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
The combination of CenturyLink and Level 3 creates a leading global network services company capable of providing customers a wide range of high-quality technology solutions over a secure and reliable fiber-rich network. The combined company, with estimated pro forma revenue of $24 billion for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2017 (excluding revenue related to CenturyLink’s May 1, 2017, colocation business sale and including estimated intercompany eliminations and purchase accounting adjustments), anticipates that approximately 75 percent of its core revenue will come from business customers and nearly two-thirds of its core revenue will come from strategic services. CenturyLink’s network now connects more than 350 metropolitan areas with more than 100,000 fiber-enabled, on-net buildings, including 10,000 buildings in EMEA and Latin America. “CenturyLink is now poised to offer an expanded, robust portfolio of communications solutions focused on our customers’ networking and IT service’s needs,” said Glen F. Post III, CenturyLink’s chief executive officer. “Our customers, from individual consumers to global enterprises, will benefit from our expanded, innovative network solutions, our complementary managed services and our highly talented workforce.” CenturyLink is now even better positioned to: • Offer a broader, innovative product portfolio of network solutions and advanced IT services designed to meet complex technology and threat protection needs. • Deliver these solutions and services to enterprise, government, wholesale and consumer customers over a large-scale, fiber-rich global network. • Continue to invest in the reach and speeds of its broadband infrastructure for small businesses and consumers. “Our goal is to be the world’s best networking provider and we have the ability to achieve this as one company,” said Jeff Storey, CenturyLink’s president and chief operating officer. “CenturyLink is focused on providing a differentiated experience for our customers, while driving profitable growth and increasing free cash flow per share. Our scale and experience will enable us to deliver on behalf of our customers, employees and our shareholders.” Transaction Details Holders of Level 3 common stock as of immediately prior to closing are entitled to receive $26.50 per share in cash (without interest) and 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share they owned. CenturyLink shareholders now own approximately 51 percent and former Level 3 stockholders now own approximately 49 percent of the combined company. CenturyLink remains headquartered in Monroe, La., with a key operational presence in Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area.
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M&A WATCH: TBC
GENUINE PARTS COMPANY COMPLETES acquisition of europe’s alliance automotive group
Headquartered in London, AAG has approximately 8,000 employees and 2,100 company-owned stores and affiliated outlets across France, the U.K., Germany and Poland. AAG has a consistent track record of organic revenue and earnings growth supported by strategic investments based on a proven M&A strategy to gain scale, efficiencies and geographic coverage.
Genuine Parts Company announced today that it has completed the purchase of Alliance Automotive Group for a total purchase price of approximately $2 billion USD, including the repayment of AAG’s outstanding debt. AAG is the second largest parts distribution platform in Europe, with a focus on light vehicle and commercial vehicle replacement parts.
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The Company financed the purchase, including the pay-off of AAG’s existing debt arrangements, with approximately $2 billion of debt financing. Additional details related to the new debt financing can be found in the Company’s Form 8-K filed today.
M&A WATCH: TBC
M&A WATCH: TBC
IMPRIMA STREAMLINES ACCESS AND UPLOAD FOR LENGHTY M&A DEALS
link mobility group asa acquires netmessage in france Ensuring that technology is a time saver, rather than a hindrance, in high-stakes M&A deals, Imprima has announced a bulk upload feature that doesn’t require any plug-ins or additional software. Mergers and acquisitions are a drawn-out, complicated process. From a virtual data room perspective, the sheer scale of a complicated deal involves an enormous number of files and folders, so bulk upload is a basic requirement. The true frustration comes when deal managers attempt to upload large folder and document structures of more than 5GB at one time and the software is not compatible. Imprima’s new bulk upload tool does not require administrative rights for installation. Users are also not required to run Java, .NET or ActiveX to function, allowing them to bypass any security issues faced when operating a bulk upload. M&A deals inevitably involve reams of confidential documents. Taking into account the pressure points of some of Imprima’s most high-profile customers, the bulk upload tool is built with security in mind, no matter which Internet browser your business chooses to use for uploads.
HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY
TOM HORSMAN Imprima understands that time is of the essence during a crucial deal. The new and improved bulk upload functionality is OS and Browser agnostic, another important step towards making modern mergers and acquisitions as painless and streamlined as possible.
Reference is made to the stock exchange announcement from LINK Mobility Group ASA on 26 October 2017 about signing of the definitive agreement for acquisition of French mobile messaging company Netmessage SAS. Netmessage was established in 2006, and is located in Paris, France. Netmessage has a strong position in the French market and is one of the leading mobile messaging and marketing providers in France and has launched many new services within this space over the last years. Netmessage had in 2016 a revenue of EUR 9.8 million and a normalized EBITDA of EUR 1.65 million. LINK has today completed the acquisition of Netmessage by acquisition of all shares. The acquisition was completed on an agreed enterprise value of EUR 9.9 million on a cash -free and debt-free basis and assuming a normalized level of working capital. The enterprise value is based on a normalized EBITDA of EUR 1.65 million multiplied by a factor of 6. Aabø-Evensen & Co has acted as legal advisors to LINK Mobility Group ASA in connection with the transaction.
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M&A WATCH: TBC
M&A WATCH: TBC
ORTHOEXECUTIVE AND CROWTHER BALLANTYNE ASSOCIATES MERGE TO PROVIDE ENHANCED SPECIALIST EXECUTIVE SEARCH AND RECRUITMENT SERVICE
MARS FOOD ANNOUNCES
SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED ACQUISITION OF PREFERRED BRANDS INTERNATIONAL AND TASTY BITE
MARS FOOD Has today finalized the acquisition of Preferred Brands International, a Stamford, Connecticut-based, fully integrated manufacturer and marketer of all-natural, ready-to-heat Indian and Asian food products sold primarily under the Tasty Bite® brand. Preferred Brands International has an Indian subsidiary in which it holds a majority stake, which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India. This subsidiary will continue to be listed after the acquisition. Tasty Bite’s® portfolio includes a wide range of vegetarian offerings, including Indian/Asian entrees, spice and simmer meal kits, and organic rice and lentils. While the majority of sales are generated in the United States, Preferred Brands International and its subsidiaries also manufacture products that are sold through retailers in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and through foodservice in India. This deal brings together two strong food businesses focused on delivering healthy, tasty, and convenient foods that bring inspiration and enjoyment to the world’s dinner table. Mars Food, a segment of Mars, Incorporated, has a broad portfolio of brands loved by consumers around the world, including ready-to-eat and dry rice’s and grains, sauces, meal kits, meal helpers, and spices under the brands Uncle Bens, Masterfoods, Dolmio, Seeds of Change, and others. Tasty Bite products are manufactured out of a facility in Pune, India, and the majority of its products are exported to the US. Preferred Brands International also enjoys a significant foodservice business under which it supplies food products to other leading Indian food manufacturers and quick service restaurants through its subsidiary in India.
GAVIN CROWTHER DIRECTOR OF ORTHOEXECUTIVE From 1st November 2017, Matt Woods and Gavin Crowther will be merging their well-established executive search businesses resulting in an enhanced executive search and recruitment solution for their clients. The collaboration brings together 33 years’ experience in executive search, and 18 years’ experience in the medical device industry in sales and marketing functions. “This collaboration makes sense for our clients as it will immediately add resource and experience to search projects, due to our extensive collective networks in orthopaedics and spine. This will mean more efficient candidate identification and placement - with obvious benefits for our clients,” commented Matt Woods.
Orthoexecutive and Crowther Ballantyne share a similar business ethos and stand out from other recruitment companies because of this; this is a logical step in providing our clients with an even better service than they have come to expect.
Both companies are highly regarded with an outstanding industry reputation. Gavin Crowther will continue to be based out of his office in the North of England, with Matt Woods and Fiona Walters continuing to work in the South. Over the last few months, Matt and Gavin have been working together to ensure that this business transition is seamless.
Fiona Dawson, Global President, Mars Food, Drinks and Multisales said: “I’m delighted that we have completed the acquisition of Preferred Brands International and Tasty Bite®. From our first meeting with the company we were impressed by the strength of their portfolio, capabilities and the strong values which run through the business, allowing us to deliver against our Purpose: Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow.” Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor to Mars Food through the Preferred Brands International acquisition. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to Mars Food, and AZB & Partners served as India legal advisor. Preferred Brands International was represented by Goldman Sachs, The Giannuzzi Group, and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas.
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M&A WATCH: TBC
M&A WATCH: TBC
STARWOOD CAPITAL GROUP ACQUIRES ST. VINCENT PLAZA OFFICE DEVELOPMENT IN GLASGOW
nline women’s fashion brand Sosandar has been acquired by Orogen plc, which has been renamed Sosandar plc and has been admitted to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Orogen acquired Thread 35 Limited (Sosandar’s holding company) by way of a reverse takeover. Sosandar’s co-founders, award-winning former Editor of LOOK magazine Ali Hall and Publishing Director Julie Lavington, have become joint Chief Executive Officers of Sosandar plc, which raised £5.3m through a placing of new ordinary shares that will be used to finance the development and growth of Sosandar.
Christopher McPherson, Development Director added:”We have been working on this project for a number of years and it is great to see the stewardship of the property move to the next stage. The remaining floors in the building are the best new office space left in Glasgow and with no new development likely to come on stream for at least 2 or 3 years we are confident that it will fully let up soon.’’
Sosandar has been widely featured across fashion press, newspapers and TV as well as having extensive celebrity and fashion influencer endorsement. It has fast established a loyal and growing customer database, along with a rapidly increasing social media following. Brand engagement is enhanced by the use of magazine style content, providing customers with style and outfit inspiration. This combination of quality product and content has resulted in consistent growth in sales. The business is supported by an established supplier base and a first in class logistics operation ensuring scalable growth whilst maintaining the best possible customer experience.
Since launching in September 2016, Sosandar has created excitement in the fashion industry amongst female celebrities and social media influencers, by quickly establishing itself as a one-stop online destination for a generation of style conscious women who have graduated from younger price-led online and high street brands. Co-founders Ali Halland Julie Lavington identified a growing gap in the market, now worth an estimated £3.7 billion per year, of under-served women looking for affordable fashionforward clothing with a premium, trend-led aesthetic.With its headquarters and studios in Wilmslow, Cheshire, the business sells entirely own label exclusive product created by an in-house design team.
• Ali Hall Co-Founder and CEO commented: “Sosandar has truly resonated with a new generation of fashion conscious women looking for chic, trend led, quality but affordable clothes. The Sosandar team are very excited by the opportunities ahead to bring the Sosandar brand to women, both in the UK and internationally.” • Julie Lavington Co-Founder and CEO added: “Today’s announcement coupled with this significant investment heralds a very exciting time for the brand. Sosandar PLC intends to expand its market share in the already large and successful, yet still growing online fashion market. Investment will be used to further extend the product range and develop brand awareness amongst potential customers in both the UK and overseas.” • Adam Reynolds, Chairman of Orogen PLC, said: “I am delighted about this transaction. Sosandar is operating in a market that is showing growth and it has a highly motivated and experienced management team. With added balance sheet strength I believe we will be able to accelerate this growth opportunity, benefiting all shareholders in the company.”
The 12 storey BREEAM excellent EPC office building which comprises 172,307 square feet is multi let to a range of occupiers including KPMG, Whyte and Mackay, Scottish Ministers, Mott Macdonald, Wood Group and Zurich Insurance.The building was completed in late 2015 and is located in a prominent position on St Vincent Street opposite the new HQ for Scottish Power. There are strong levels of interest in the two remaining floors. Mark Glatman, Chief Executive of Abstract commented: “St Vincent Plaza is the third of our ‘Uncompromising Value’ series of office buildings and it is always satisfying to see the outcome of a good project. We are delighted that Starwood has recognised the quality of this building and the strong and diverse income stream we have created from the fantastic range of tenants who have been attracted to the property.’’
Bill Murray, the current chairman of Thread 35 Limited, will become Non-executive Chairman of Sosandar plc.
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advisors to Starwood Capital Group. Pinsent Masons acted for the shareholders of Abstract (Glasgow) Limited.
SOSANDAR IPOS 12 MONTHS AFTER LAUNCH
In one of the largest investment transactions in Scotland in recent years, a vehicle associated with Starwood Capital Group, a private investment firm, has acquired the entire share capital of Abstract (Glasgow) Limited, the company which developed and owns the St Vincent Plaza office development in Glasgow. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
lambert Smith Hampton and CMS acted as financial
James Fogarty, Vice President for Starwood Capital Group said: “We are excited about the acquisition of St Vincent Plaza which is the first European acquisition for our recently established vehicle focussed on Value Add opportunities. St Vincent Plaza is a well-designed, high quality asset in a strong location with good transportation links – all of which has helped to deliver the very strong tenant roster. Glasgow has very limited Grade A vacancy, almost no new supply, and will continue to be a strong occupational market for the right asset.”
M&A WATCH: TBC
M&A WATCH: TBC
SWING JOINS MICROSOFT
It has recently been announced that Swing Technologies, makers of the acclaimed ‘living photo’ app SWNG, will bring its talent and technology to Microsoft. Swing employees will join the Skype team at Microsoft. The Swing team will bring industry leading expertise in imaging technology and customer experiences to deliver on key innovations for Skype messaging and calling experiences. “This is a unique opportunity for the team to bring our ideas to a global audience,” said Tommy Stadlen, Co-Founder of Swing Technologies. “It’s an exciting time to join Microsoft, which is thriving under the leadership of Satya Nadella. We believe in the power of brands and technology, so the Skype mission and values resonate strongly with us.” “The Swing team’s deep expertise in imaging technology will help us deliver great new features and capabilities for Skype,” said Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Skype, Amritansh Raghav. “They have an impressive track record of delivering great user experiences and brand design around the technology they develop. I welcome the new team members and am excited about how Swing will deliver innovation to our customers.”
TRAVEL SPECIALIST HOLIDAY EXTRAS ACQUIRES PURPLE PARKING BRAND AND WEBSITE
Holiday Extras, the UK’s market leader of travel extras for the last 35 years, today announced the acquisition of Purple Parking’s brand and website. The deal has been successfully completed via a pre-packaged administration sale. It follows Purple Parking’s inability to secure a buyer for the whole business. Duff and Phelps are now the appointed administrators. Matthew Pack, Holiday Extras, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our acquisition of Purple Parking’s online assets is focused on providing continuity of service for Purple Parking’s customers, suppliers and distributors. The 36 existing Purple Parking booking agency staff will transfer immediately to Holiday Extras under TUPE regulations. Whilst the pre-pack purchase sees us responsible for new bookings made from 3rd November via the brand, we are also focussed on ensuring that every customer that had an existing booking with Purple Parking, has their parking arrangements honoured. We are in discussion with all car parks and are very pleased with the response so far.” Matthew Pack concluded, “We intend to use our proven expertise to make the Purple Parking booking experience faster, easier to use, and an integral part of the Holiday Extras suite of services.”
XELLO AND CASCAID
JOIN FORCES TO STRENGTHEN IMPACT ON FUTURE READINESS
FLOWTRONEX AND WET MCI, a leader in the design and manufacturing of industrial control products, electrical enclosures, turf, and municipal pump stations, today announced that it has acquired the FLOWTRONEX and Water Equipment Technologies (WET) product brands from XYLEM, INC., formerly part of ITT Industries. The Flowtronex and WET brands have been serving golf, landscape, agriculture, and water treatment packages worldwide for over 40 years. “The FLOWTRONEX/WET team is world class, and shares the same passions as MCI—creating the most technologically advanced products for our customers and the industries we serve,” stated James Carter CEO of MCI. By combining the two companies, MCI strengthens their industry strategy to bolster domestic markets and expand international market by taking advantage of FLOWTRONEX/ WET’s past 40 years of development. The FLOWTRONEX and WET brands will benefit from the additional products, capabilities, and technologies developed and manufactured by MCI over its 37 year history. This is a terrific synergy and strengthens the market. Issue 1 | 30
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Global career development leaders Xello (formerly Career Cruising) and CASCAID have formally joined forces to strengthen their collective impact on future readiness. Xello purchased CASCAID from Loughborough University after a 15+ year partnership to enable both organizations to expand their reach and help more people create successful futures.Both organizations offer highly-respected technology solutions that help people achieve the best possible future for themselves through self-knowledge, exploration, and planning. They also share a similar client base comprised of educational institutions, libraries, employment centers, and other organizations focused on delivering career development programs and services. “Combining the two companies is a natural evolution of our long-standing partnership,” said Xello CEO Matt McQuillen. “Our organizations are mission-focused technology companies committed to improving people’s lives. Combined, we are an even stronger force for our clients and the students and adult learners we serve.” CASCAID CEO Jim Burtonadded, “Our two companies have helped over 60 million people understand the world of work and make the best possible learning and working plans for their future. Collectively, our experience and knowledge will drive continued innovation and allow us to reach even more people.”
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president and managing partner of linden
senior partner at tjc
M&A WATCH: TBC
YOUNG INNOVATIONS ANNOUNCES SALE TO THE JORDAN COMPANY
DAVE SPROAT CEO OF YOUNG INNOVATIONS Y
oung Innovations Inc., a leading global manufacturer and distributor of consumable dental supplies and equipment, today announced that it is selling a majority interest to The Jordan Company, LP (“TJC”), who is investing in partnership with the existing Young management team.
We are incredibly excited to partner with TJC for the next phase of Young’s growth, This transaction enhances our ability to continue to grow our business organically and through acquisitions in our core categories across the globe.
In addition, Linden Capital Partners, a healthcare-focused investment firm which has owned a controlling interest in Young since 2013, will be reinvesting in this transaction. TJC is a leading investment firm with a long history of partnering with management teams to help them build their businesses through a combination of strategic investments to drive organic growth and acquisitions “Young consistently delivers a diverse and innovative portfolio of highly-recognized, proprietary brands to dental professionals,” added Dave Butler, Senior Partner at TJC. “Dave Sproat and the broader team of Young employees have been instrumental to Young’s track record and are well positioned to lead the business going forward.” “We have been proud to partner with Young during the past five years and support the Company in its pursuit of multiple value creation initiatives, including investments in new product development, infrastructure, international expansion, and acquisitions,” said Tony Davis, President and Managing Partner of Linden. “We are excited to invest alongside TJC and continue to support Young throughout its next phase of growth.”
Jefferies and William Blair served as financial advisors to Linden and Young in this transaction and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel in connection with this transaction.
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M&A WATCH: TBC
M&A WATCH: TBC
INDIGRID’S UNITHOLDERS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVE ACQUISITION
STRATEGIC PLANS TO GROW RISK & COMPLIANCE DIVISION
IndiGrid, India’s first Infrastructure Investment Trust in the power sector, held its first Extraordinary General Meeting on November 20, 2017 in Mumbai. The unitholders voted for the acquisition of RAPP Transmission Company Limited, Purulia and Kharagpur Transmission Company Limited and Maheshwaram Transmission Limited from Sterlite Power Grid Ventures Limited. The applicable SEBI regulations on InvITs require the resolution to be approved by a majority of unitholders excluding the Sponsor. The resolution for the acquisition was unanimously approved by all the participating unitholders. Commenting on the results of the EGM, Mr. Pratik Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer of IndiGrid, said, “This is an overwhelming response from the unitholders for the first set of acquisitions by IndiGrid. We are humbled with the outcome and will continue to pursue value accretive acquisitions in line with our vision.”
HAMILTON MATTHEWS CEO OF ACURIS Acuris, a BC Partners portfolio company, announced today that it has acquired C6 Intelligence. Headquartered in the UK, C6 is a highly effective provider of global risk intelligence and data.
IndiGrid receives 100% approval for acquisition of assets in EGM Annual DPU to increase from INR 11.00/unit to INR 11.44/unit
Against a challenging economic and regulatory backdrop, financial institutions continue to increase their investment in risk services and technology to meet the ever-growing demands of the global regulatory landscape. C6 data and intelligence identifies risks associated with entities and individuals in the context of sanctions, politically exposed persons, adverse media, enhanced due diligence, employee screening, identity theft and global ID verification and authentication.
We’ve identified the risk and compliance market as a critical strategic growth area for our business. Through the acquisition of C6, we will bring in regulatory and compliance expertise from an accomplished and experienced management team and a risk intelligence database dating back more than 10 years. Combined with our existing portfolio, our subscribers will have access to a comprehensive suite of risk and regulatory intelligence and data.
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The acquisition represents a complementary addition to the Acuris risk and regulatory portfolio that includes The FCPA Report, The Hedge Fund Law Report, Policy & Regulatory Report Capital Profile, Wealth monitor and Perfect Information. With a global presence in 67 countries, Acuris provides finance and industry intelligence, analysis and data to investment banks, advisory professionals, fund managers, private equity firms, industry and corporate professionals. “We are delighted to have the chance to work with Acuris and help develop what promises to be a formidable provision of risk and compliance services,” commented Darren Ines, CEO of C6 Intelligence. “The marriage of C6 intelligence and data with the Acuris proprietary and aggregated global content creates an exceptionally powerful service.”
SECTOR WATCH: TECHNOLOGY
defining AI start-up secures initial £1.3m to create selflearning machines. A Manchester start-up which is pioneering the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) systems has raised a £1.3m investment from Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV) and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, through NPIF - Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers.
INDUSTRY DEFINING AI TECHNOLOGY MINDTRACE MindTrace brings together Professor Michael Denham and Dr Kameliya Dimova, who are developing novel software algorithms mimicking the way the human brain works, with Professor Steve Furber, the University of Manchester academic who designed the BBC Microcomputer and the processors for the chip giant ARM Holdings. They have been joined by Sir Hossein Yassaie, the former CEO of chipmaker Imagination Technologies plc, as the company’s chair.
MindTrace is one of the few companies worldwide developing intelligent machines capable of ‘unsupervised learning’ or teaching themselves independently, which is regarVded as the next step in the development of AI. Its systems could have a wide range of applications including data management, cyber security and the internet of focus will be on systems for autonomous vehicles. The company is developing an advanced collision avoidance system which will offer faster response times than current systems, perform better in poor lighting conditions and require less power and bandwidth.
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The funding will allow the company to recruit a research and development team and a CEO, develop a prototype in collaboration with a major car manufacturer and raise Series A investment to bring the product to market. Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: “It is good to see ADV, a platform backed by British Business Bank (BBB), and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund through Mercia working together to back high tech businesses like MindTrace.”
SECTOR WATCH: TECHNOLOGY
Despite 35mm cameras and phones with aerials now being referred to as vintage, I can still remember my very first brick-like phone, not to mention the pager, and how innovative it was when first released
MANAGING DIRECTOR AT TSI
“We’re now on release eight of the iPhone, and the rise of the ‘connected culture’ means we value wider connectivity, super-fast WiFi and instant access to information at our fingertips over work tools such as Microsoft Office and Windows XP.”
smartphone voted as most
The survey results revealed robots, artificial intelligence and driverless cars were predicted to become the norm over the next 25 years, but nobody voted for underwater cities, despite reports about them becoming commonplace as populations are squeezed out of towns. Driverless cars, robots and artificial intelligence set to become the norm by 2050.
life-changing technology of the past 25 years
61 DAYS SPENT 60% SAID THE
HAS HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT Telecommunications company TSI asked people to share their views on what tech has made the biggest impact since the 1990s, how it is used, and what the future holds. An overwhelming 60% said the smartphone – which debuted in 1992 as the “Simon Personal Communicator” – has had the biggest impact. And a staggering 90% use the internet in all its forms for more than four hours every day, which equates to 1,460 hours or 61 days every year.
EACH YEAR ON “THE NET” The most common piece of old technology that we still have in the UK, hoarded away in a cupboard or “Monica closet” as the hit ‘90s sitcom Friends portrayed, is a corded mouse with a track ball, with one in four saying they still had, or used, one. The humble floppy disc and fax machine still make an appearance with nine per cent and three per cent representation, but the pager – once seen on the hip of many a yuppie – appears to be extinct.
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SECTOR WATCH: TECHNOLOGY
research intriguingly revealed that 66% of Americans have heard of bitcoin but just 13% of them have used it. Etherium, the next biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, was far less known -with only 24% of Americans having heard of it. Out of those aware of Etherium, 21% said they had used it before, 29% of Americans did think people used cryptocurrencies mainly for “purchasing illegal goods/ services through the dark web”. Looking into the future, 35% of Americans do believe there will be a wider acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a mean of transaction in the next 10 years.
in cryptocurrencies and the technology which underpins its success has grown tremendously, signified by the astronomical rise of the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which has seen its value rocket from a mere $0.08 in 2010 to above $6,000 over the course of this year. When assessing the core competencies behind cryptocurrencies, it’s easy to understand why they have become a real disruptive innovation in the face of the structured and established financial system we have all come to know. Cryptocurrencies have the pioneering potential to act as a global payment system which everyone can access any time and place without being restricted by traditional barriers such as having a credit history or bank
their prospective capabilities, cryptocurrencies have been associated with numerous controversies. Most recently, statistics by anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab showed that they had so far detected 1.65 million computers in 2017 infected by malware which has installed mining software (the process by which a given cryptocurrency is generated to create new funds and accumulate favourable a profit) without the permission or knowledge of the users/owners. Even in all their glory, cryptocurrencies have also closely been aligned to unscrupulous individuals and groups looking to avoid detection from engaging in criminal/illegal activities.
66% of americans have heard of bitcoin
51% of Americans firmly believe cryptocurrencies in the next ten years won’t replace traditional currency
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Kirkwood, a Financial Analyst commented: “The emergence of cryptocurrencies has been nothing short of extraordinary. With the current value of established cryptocurrencies surging and with many more emerging, they are certainly here to stay. What’s truly going to be interesting is how cryptocurrencies evolve as they become more and more prominent. Looking ahead, if they have greater transparency and do not become subject to aggressive regulations, they have the characteristics and desirability to be adopted by a wider array of stakeholders including wellknown merchants and mass consumers”.
SECTOR WATCH: TECHNOLOGY
GAINS SUBSTANTIAL TRACTION IN NFV
BATM ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS
CPU - Telco is the only worldwide software vendor to provide NFV functionality to Arm architecture and all Intel platforms. White box - NexCom, Advantech, AAEON and Lanner. Software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) - Silverpeak.
smarket ubstantial traction achieved in NFV with formation of key partnerships
Management believes its total addressable market for network function virtualisation based on these partnerships to be worth c. US$200m over the next three years.
BATM Advanced Communications Limited, a leading provider of real-time technologies for networking solutions and medical laboratory systems, announces that Telco Systems, a high-end software development and design business within the Group’s Networking & Cyber division, has established partnerships with a number of leading telecoms organisations with the respective partners offering joint solutions for network virtualisation. This represents a significant advancement of BATM’s strategy to leverage the telecom industry transition from hardware to Network Function Virtualisation and Software-Defined Networking. The partnerships, which have been estalished in recent months, include leading providers of central processing unit ) technology, white box hardware and across a range of virtual network functions, such as:
Firewall - TrendMicro. vRouter - Cisco, Riverbed and 6WIND. Network performance monitoringCertes and Netrounds. Network orchestration Netcracker The latest milestone is the launch, together with 6WIND, a high-performance networking software company and leader in the vRouter market, of the industry’s first vRouter for software-based remote
FOUNDER & CEO ZVI MARON Dr. Zvi Marom is the founder and CEO of BATM. He started BATM in 1992 as a bootstrap and brought it to a world-class company. He holds degrees in Engineering and Medicine. He was awarded the Techmark “Technology Man of the Year” award from the London Stock Exchange in 2000.
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SECTOR WATCH: PHARMA
UK PHARMA CONTINUES TO
FLOURISH POST BREXIT
Are we now seeing the evidence that Brexit promises to give a major boost to the UK’s pharma sector? Despite concern expressed by the pharmaceutical industry that the UK would suffer as a result of Brexit, Catalyst Corporate Finance (“Catalyst”), the UK business of Alantra, a leading adviser to the industry, argues that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in fact represents a major opportunity for the country’s dynamic and world-leading pharmaceutical sector. This confidence was borne out by yesterday’s announcement that
two large pharmaceutical companies will invest more than £1bn into UK research hubs, creating nearly 1,000 high-skilled jobs. This investment by Germanbased Qiagen and MSD, the company known as Merck in North America, comes as the Government prepares to publish its industrial strategy to reassure UK business ahead of departure from the EU.
THE UK IS A GLOBAL CENTRE OF ACADEMIC PHARMACEUTICALS RESEARCH Pharmaceuticals companies depend on high quality research facilities to develop the drugs and treatments on which their future sales will depend. The UK is an international hub for such facilities, boasting three of the 17 most important clusters of life sciences research facilities in Europe.
THESE FACILITIES HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE TRACK RECORD OF COLLABORATION WITH PHARMA These life sciences clusters have a long and impressive track record of working with commercial businesses to develop drugs that make it to market. Examples include Humira, co-developed in Cambridge, and now the best-selling drug worldwide.
The EU will in any case be anxious to agree a mutual authorisation deal for UK
R&D SPENDING ON PHARMA IN THE UK R&D spending is the lifeblood of the pharma sector and is a top business spend in the UK. Almost half (47%) of all R&D spending in the UK is in the pharmaceutical sector, with charitable endeavours supplementing the R&D firepower of commercial businesses. The Wellcome Trust awarded £600m of new research grants in the UK last year alone.
BREXIT AND PHARMA REGULATION The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is among the world’s most highly-respected and authoritative regulators, second only to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US. Currently, however, its focus has been on operating as part of the EU, where the European Medicines Agency is the primary regulator. The MHRA currently undertakes more cross-border authorisation work in Europe than any other country-based institution and will flourish outside of the EMA system.
Given the strong track record of UK companies in developing life-saving and improving drugs and treatments – as well as the attractiveness of the UK marketplace and the need to prioritise patient safety - the EU is likely to prioritise a mutual authorisation deal with the UK post-Brexit. This would mean UK companies do not lose out on sales to the EU. The UK Government has promised to reduce Corporation Tax to 17% by 2020, one of the lowest rates in any Western economy. Moreover, through tax efficient schemes such as the Patent Box and R&D credits, many UK pharmaceuticals companies will pay an effective rate of between
The UK will be better placed to target the world’s most lucrative pharma markets. Supremacy for the MHRA will be a major boost for the UK as it seeks to develop individual trade agreements and authorisation arrangements with the US – the biggest market for pharmaceutical companies and the highest spender – and the Middle East and Asia – where the market is growing most rapidly. Regulatory harmonisation is key to trade agreements in the pharmaceutical industry and this will be simpler and quicker to agree on a oneto-one basis. Some of the mid-market CEOs featured in the current Catalyst Pharma Fast 50 view this as the key to success. Chris Watt, CEO of the winning company Qualasept Pharmaxo said: “The key to success post Brexit will be the speed at which the MHRA can achieve the fullest regulatory harmonisation, supported by the government agreeing trade agreements with other territories. This will provide an exciting opportunity for UK pharma which has a comparative advantage globally.”
11% and 13%.
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SECTOR WATCH: ENERGY
QICGRE AND CLEAN ENERGY FINANCE CORPORATION PARTNER IN AN AUSTRALIAN FIRST
UK’s third largest wind farm owner-operator launches today as Ventient Energy
QIC GRE In an Australian retail property first, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will invest $200 million into QICGRE’s flagship Shopping Centre Fund (QSCF) to undertake improvements in energy performance across the QSCF shopping centre portfolio. The senior debt facility is the CEFC’s largest property investment commitment to date and will support improvements in its Australian shopping centres located in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT. Australian shopping centres, which account for 36 per cent of commercial building energy consumption, are a relatively untapped opportunity to transform energy use and reduce carbon emissions. They also provide the opportunity to make local communities “greener” by engaging with customers with initiatives to improve sustainability and reduce energy use. There more than 1,750 shopping centres in Australia, and yet less than 10 per cent of them have attained National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) ratings that measure how well they perform in terms of energy use. That represents enormous potential for improvement. Shopping centres have substantial energy needs with large enclosed malls and retail areas necessitating ‘year-round’ heating and air-conditioning supply. There is a range of environmental initiatives that can be implemented to deliver energy efficiencies in shopping centre operations. QSCF’s retail footprint encompasses over 1 million square metres of floor space and, each year, accommodates more than 130 million visitations, generating more than $5 billion in retail transactions.
Ventient Energy Ltd, the UK’s third largest generator of onshore wind energy, and the largest non-utility owner of onshore wind, was officially launched today. With 34 wind farms located from Caithness to Cornwall, comprising 507 turbines and 690MW of installed capacity, Ventient Energy supplies the equivalent of 420,000 homes annually, offsetting 0.75 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year. The company was formed by combining the Zephyr portfolio of 15 wind farms with 19 wind farms that were formerly owned by Infinis, with the entire portfolio of wind farms now owned by institutional investors advised by JP Morgan Asset Management. Today’s announcement follows completion of a restructuring which moved Zephyr Investments Ltd and associated wind farms to the newly formed Ventient Energy. As a result of these changes, asset management services previously undertaken by Innogy Renewable UK Ltd from their base in Swindon on behalf of Zephyr Investments are now performed by Ventient Energy’s team from its new headquarters in Edinburgh.
CEO SCOTT MACKENZIE We are excited to introduce Ventient Energy, now a major player in onshore wind energy. We are the largest non-utility owner of onshore wind in Britain. We are ambitious - committed to creating prosperity through safe and sustainable generation of renewable sourced electricity, through quality job creation and supporting the communities in which we operate
Steve Leigh, Managing Director of QICGRE said the agreement reached with CEFC was an important milestone in the history of the organisation. “All of the funds in our portfolio are guided by a firm commitment to driving improvements in ESGrelated initiatives, and in particular focusing on energy reduction and security across the portfolio. “QSCF is also commencing work with the CEFC to understand potential pathways to achieving net zero carbon emissions across its portfolio, building on QICGRE’s recently announced target of generating 30 per cent of all base load power for retail asset common areas from renewable energy by 2025.”
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SECTOR WATCH: CONSTRUCTION
POST-BREXIT PROPERTY Property consultant remains positive for post-Brexit UK construction sector
One of the UK’s leading construction and property consultancies, Thomas & Adamson, believes despite the negative outlook among many for the construction sector in 2018, plenty of opportunities remain in a post-Brexit UK. “The outcome of Brexit for the construction industry will ultimately depend on the terms of any Brexit deal and the industry’s ability to adapt to its new situation and capitalise upon that,” said Chris Narrowmore, Partner at Thomas & Adamson. He added: “We expected a downtown on the back of Brexit, but it hasn’t kicked in fully across the UK yet. There are still real opportunities out there. The main concern is how UK-based major funds will be looking to place investment. This could initially mean more outward investment rather than into the UK. That said, we have seen a fair amount of foreign investment in 2017 - especially into the UK student accommodation market.”
e added, “It must clearly define what a prosperous postBrexit construction sector looks like. We cannot wait on politicians to determine the sector’s success. The construction sector’s players need to take the market by the horns and push ahead. Economists are talking about a decline in construction, but this really is more attributed to big infrastructure projects. There are still a lot of opportunities outside of government-funded projects and that’s what we as a company are focusing on.” Mr Wallace points to Thomas & Adamson’s internal growth as a positive sign for the industry in 2018. “We continue to invest in the development of our staff and focus on our existing clients, with 93 per cent of our business coming from repeat clients and referrals. We saw an increase in the number of new hires in
While forecasters at trade body Construction Products Association believe the sector will expand just 0.7 per cent in 2018, the slowest rate in six years, it remains positive about the overall construction output growth for 2017, which they expect to be 0.3 per cent higher than previously thought, at 1.6 per cent, beating the CPA’s previous estimate of 1.3 per cent. Senior Partner at Thomas & Adamson, Alastair Wallace, said: “Although uncertainty has the potential to derail the industry in the short term, the construction sector has a unique opportunity in a post-Brexit world to market itself.”
2017 compared to the previous year and our London team in particular has grown substantially.” Thomas & Adamson has a strong pipeline going into 2018, building on some current key projects, including: Jaguar Land Rover, Cityheart, Greenwich Millennium Village, Tesco, Pears Property, Muse Developments and British Land. We continue to focus on our key sectors: commercial, retail, hospitality and residential as they are the strongest sectors in the UK right now.” said Wallace.
CONSTRUCTION PAY TRENDS REFLECT CONFIDENCE IN SECTOR Hudson Contract has revealed that self-employed builders in England and Wales have seen a year-on-year increase* in average weekly earnings of 3.8% - with the biggest uplift experienced by those working in the East of England (3.8%). Across the construction trades, plumbers experienced the highest increase in earnings (9.4%) followed by those working in demolition and wrecking (8.3%), and insulation (8.2%). Electrical (-0.1%) and steel and timber frame erection (-4.5%) saw the biggest decreases in pay, year-on-year.
CONSTRUCTION PAY TRENDS
The biggest drop in average weekly pay was experienced in Wales which saw a 4.1% decrease in earnings, followed by a 0.3% decrease in London. Earnings for those in the West Midlands and South West remained the same year-onyear according to the figures.
+ 3.8% east of england
sFor the second year running, freelance builders in Yorkshire and the Humber,the East of England, North West, East Midlands and South East experienced an uplift in earnings.
+ 3.3% east midlands
+ 2.1 % yorkshire and the humber
+ 1.3% north west
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SECTOR WATCH: CONSTRUCTION
VBA LOOKING FOR CONTRACTORS For flood defence scheme in West Yorkshire
VBA is set to host a supplier engagement day on 28th November at Mytholmroyd Community Centre. The event is designed to give contractors and the community the chance to meet face-to-face with representatives of the VBA group to discuss upcoming work for a flood defence scheme in West Yorkshire.
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and the community are also welcome to attend. The ÂŁ20m project follows a detailed investigation carried out by the Environment Agency and is aimed at preventing a repeat of the devastating floods that struck the Mytholmroyd area in 2015, causing damage to houses and businesses. Hosted in partnership with leading procurement provider Constructionline, the event is being held to discuss opportunities to secure work on the scheme with local construction material suppliers and subcontractors. Hoteliers and accommodation providers are also encouraged to attend. Work for the scheme is expected to include improvements to flood walls, the relocation of the Caldene Bridge, widening of the river channel at key locations and the strengthening and waterproofing of buildings next to the river.
SECTOR WATCH: OIL
FALLING CRUDE OIL IMPORTS
hile Venezuela boasts the world’s largest proven oil reserves, much of it is heavy crude that PDVSA must dilute before it’s sold to customers. In recent months, the country’s imports of dilutants like light crude have tanked, according to figures from ClipperData, a firm that tracks commodity shipments.
vplummeted enezuela’s crude oil exports have during the last few weeks
Venezuela’s crude imports typically average about 100,000 barrels a day, but have fallen to about 40,000 barrels per day in recent months, according to the firm..
as the country struggles to maintain uninterrupted operations in all sectors of its oil industry. Exports averaged at 1.32 million bpd in october, down from 1.66 million bod in september
The cumulative volume of crude oil that left the country stood at 40.8 million bbls last month, almost 8 million bbls below September levels, or the equivalent of four VLCCs cargoes. The decline in exports comes primarily on the back of lower US and Chinese liftings. The two countries trimmed volumes in October and continue to reduce intake in November as well. The US, which imported more than 500,000 bpd in September, lifted only 390,000 bpd in October and to date has only picked up 280,000 bpd of Venezuelan crude during November. Similarly, China trimmed its allocation from 350,000 in September, to 250,000 bpd in October, while November has only seen a single shipment of 1.7 million bbls so far.
PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolas Maduro announced this month the country would aim to restructure its debt. Venezuela and PDVSA have recently defaulted on hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments and turned in key principal payments late.
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Published on Nov 30, 2017