Financial Times reported that UK-based fund manager RWC Partners, which holds a 2.5% stake in Sotheby's, raised several concerns over Patrick Drahi's acquisition of the company. The intervention from RWC follows disclosures about the sale process that Sotheby's filed earlier this summer, including its decision not to contact its largest investor — China's Taikang Life Insurance — for a counter bid as negotiations with Mr. Drahi and several other parties advanced.
In a letter, RWC said it believed "the intrinsic value of Sotheby's is significantly higher than the proposed $57 per share". Central to its complaint is a change to the company's financial forecasts that Sotheby's management made earlier this year.
LionTree Advisors, Luther, and Sullivan & Cromwell are advising Sotheby's. BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, and Ropes & Gray are advising Patrick Drahi.
Vistra Energy, a premier, integrated energy company based in Irving, Texas, agreed to acquire Ambit Energy, an international multi-level marketing company that provides electricity and natural gas services in energy markets, for $475m in cash.
"Ambit is a very attractive standalone retail company and a great match for Vistra's retail business, given its leading direct selling capability and its proprietary technology platform. Importantly, Ambit's retail load is nearly two-thirds in the ERCOT market, followed by PJM and the northeast, and this load is 90% comprised of residential and small business customers," said Curt Morgan, Vistra's president and chief executive officer.
Scotiabank and Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr are advising Ambit Energy. Latham & Watkins is advising Vistra Energy.
Grain Management, a leading Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm, agreed to acquire Hunter Communications, an owner and operator of one of the largest private fiber-optic networks in Oregon. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Through this investment, Grain is committed to supporting the strategic development of Hunter and its high quality, 2,011-mile fiber network," said Michael McKenzie, Managing Director at Grain. "Our value creation strategy will focus on partnering with Hunter's highly-skilled management team to densify and expand Hunter's footprint and advance its position as a leading regional connectivity provider."
Bank Street Group and Perkins Coie are advising Hunter Communications. CoBank ACB and Alston & Bird are advising Grain Management.
Private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners invested in Inside Real Estate, a leading end-to-end SaaS platform serving the residential real estate market. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Inside Real Estate is a highly trusted partner for its differentiated and end-to-end SaaS platform that enables residential realtors, teams and agents across North America to compete more effectively and deliver positive results for their clients,” said John Cochran, a Partner at Lovell Minnick Partners. “We are excited to support CEO Ned Stringham and his team, who have built a robust platform delivering an incredibly innovative and complete technology solution to serve today’s top-performing real estate professionals.”
GCA Altium and Parr Brown Gee & Loveless advised Inside Real Estate. Morgan Lewis & Bockius advised Lovell Minnick Partners.
Quebec businessman and former politician Pierre Karl Peladeau said he would vote against Air Canada's offer to buy tour operator Transat and would consider making a separate offer with partners if the deal fails. AirCanada recently raised its bid to $544m. The agreement still requires regulatory approval.
In a statement, Peladeau said he would vote against Air Canada's offer because it goes against the "best interests" of Transat, "Quebec consumers," and poses regulatory concerns.
Arsenal Capital-backed Polytek, a manufacturer of specialty polymers for mold making and casting applications, acquired Stone Coat Countertops, a supplier of high-quality epoxy coating systems, casting systems, and related accessories. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Jonathan Kane, CEO of Polytek, commented: "The acquisition of Stone Coat has completed the assembly of our 'dream team' in this marketplace and we are excited to get out on the court together."
Sony Interactive Entertainment acquired Insomniac Games, a leading game developer and long-time partner of SIE, in its entirety. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Insomniac Games is the developer of PS4 top-selling Marvel’s Spider-Man and the hugely popular Ratchet & Clank franchise. Upon completion of the acquisition, Insomniac Games will join the global development operation of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios. Insomniac Games is the 14th studio to join the SIE WWS family.
“Insomniac Games is one of the most highly-acclaimed development studios in the industry, and their legacy of best-in-class storytelling and gameplay is unparalleled. We have enjoyed a strong collaborative partnership with the studio for many years, and are thrilled to officially welcome them to the Worldwide Studios family. The addition of Insomniac Games to SIE WWS reiterates our commitment to developing world-class gaming experiences that can only be found on the PlayStation platform.” Shawn Layden, SIE WWS Chairman.
IMI, a British-based engineering company headquartered in Birmingham, agreed to acquire specialty valve manufacturer PBM for $85m. Closing is expected to take place within the next two months, subject to ordinary merger filings.
Commenting on the acquisition, Roy Twite, Chief Executive of IMI, said: "Our strategy at IMI is all about delivering tremendous value by solving industry problems - and putting customers at the heart of our decisions and processes. We are delighted to know that PBM has values and ambitions very similar to our own and I am excited to welcome the company to IMI."
OpenGate Capital acquired InRule Technology, a market-leading decision management platform, and a business rules management system. Financial terms were not disclosed.
OpenGate is pleased to partner with the co-founders of InRule to continue innovation and leadership in the decision management market. InRule software powers mission-critical decisions for enterprise and government customers. InRule provides an end-to-end, fully auditable platform that acts as a “single source of truth” for enterprises processing complex business rules and decision workflows.
“InRule is an exciting investment for OpenGate when we consider the essential nature of decision automation in today’s increasingly complex world. InRule’s unique ability to process complex logic and vast amounts of data is critical at a time when governance, compliance, and digital transformation are vital to any organization’s success. OpenGate’s investment in InRule is a tremendous point of pride, and we welcome the business into our portfolio.” Andrew Nikou, OpenGate Capital’s founder and CEO.
Casino Group made a tender offer to acquire a 55.3% Exito stake in GPA. The amended offer includes an improved price per GPA share of 113BRL ($28), resulting in $1.4bn deal value.
This agreement has been reached in the context of the project that would lead to the simplification of Casino Group's structure in Latin America.
Latin America, and particularly Brazil, has been a critical contributor to Casino’s sales and profits, helping offset a weaker performance in France where price wars among supermarket companies have hit margins.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec invested $500m in Sanfer, one of Mexico’s leading independent pharmaceutical companies. The investment, one of the most significant minority private equity transactions in Mexico, will enable Sanfer to execute on its continued expansion plans across Mexico and the broader Latin American region.
“The addition of CDPQ as a strategic partner marks an important moment for Sanfer as we look to strengthen our position across Mexico and Latin America further. CDPQ, together with our existing partner General Atlantic, will contribute invaluable expertise as we pursue strategic growth opportunities that will allow Sanfer to scale the business and deepen our reach with customers meaningfully." Ricardo Amtmann A., Sanfer Chairman, and CEO.
Publicis Groupe, a French multinational advertising and public relations company, acquired US-based full-service marketing agency Rauxa. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Arthur Sadoun, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said: "With the acquisition of Rauxa, Publicis Groupe is reinforcing its expertise in driving one-to-one consumer engagement for clients, through data-driven creativity offerings and scaled capabilities. The addition of Rauxa's data, tech, media, creative and production expertise will accelerate Publicis Media's and the Groupe's ability to deliver across all parts of the consumer journey."
Acquired Sales Corp offered to acquire 100% of CBD LION, a provider of various CBD products, for a total consideration of $34m.
Closing of the acquisition is subject to a number of conditions, including completion of the audit of CBD LION, receipt of a tax opinion on the transaction, obtaining all necessary approvals, providing required stockholder information and notice, and the completion of all necessary securities filings. Following the closing of the transaction, Acquired Sales plans to change its name to CBD LION to emphasize its vision to become the leader in the CBD products industry.
The Hilb Group, a leading middle-market insurance agency, acquired Tennessee-based Mackie Financial Group, a full-service agency primarily providing insurance for employee benefits. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"MFG will be a valuable asset to THG's Abingdon-based business as it grows throughout the region," said Ricky Spiro, The Hilb Group CEO. "We are excited to welcome them to our team."
REQ, a leader in digital marketing and brand reputation, acquired performance marketing agency IMI with offices in San Diego and Las Vegas. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With expanded resources and coast-to-coast footprint, the combined company will bring a new level of innovation, scale and creativity to our clients, giving us global reach with regional expertise,” said REQ CEO & founder Tripp Donnelly. “We know the IMI team, platform, and experience will be a great complement to our suite of services and our culture.”
Blue Point Capital Partners acquired its fifth Blue Point IV platform investment, VRC Holdings, a value-added manufacturer of custom molded rubber, plastic and sealing components. Financial terms were not disclosed.
VRC designs and manufactures a variety of products including mission-critical seals, wiring grommets, tubing and molded thermoplastics primarily for the aerospace & defense, automotive, industrial, oil & gas, marine and medical end markets.
“Over the last five decades, VRC has continually looked for ways to expand their platform and add value for their customers. Blue Point has partnered with over 25 custom material manufacturers over the years and is positioned to support management in identifying the most attractive paths for growth and building additional internal capabilities to execute against the core growth strategies,” Jonathan Pressnell, a Principal with Blue Point.
Viacom and Lions Gate are "toe-to-toe" in the bidding race for Miramax.
According to a Bloomberg report, Lions Gate Entertainment and the soon-to-be-merged ViacomCBS are going toe-to-toe in the bidding race to acquire a stake in Miramax, the once-groundbreaking studio behind films such as “Good Will Hunting” and “Pulp Fiction.” Lantern Entertainment, the company formed through the acquisition of Weinstein assets, is no longer in the running.
Miramax is looking to sell a stake of up to 50%, which would fetch about $650m.
Natural Products Association filed for bankruptcy.
Natural Products Association, the largest and oldest nonprofit organization representing the interests of manufacturers and retailers of the natural products industry, filed for bankruptcy protection. The decision was caused by losses the firm was making for the past six years.
Chief Executive Daniel Fabricant said in a filing with the US bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware that the Chapter 11 case will provide a "breathing spell" for the trade group to focus on advocacy and adding members.
Apollo Global looking to buy Hilton Grand Vacations. (FS)
Apollo Global Management has told time-share operator Hilton Grand Vacations it wants to buy the $2.4bn outfit. The private equity firm could bid as much as $36 a share, a 28% premium over the company’s closing price Monday of $28.21 a share. Blackstone is also reportedly interested in bidding for the company.
Pilot Flying J is looking to buy NGL Energy's TransMontaigne assets.
Pilot Flying J, a North American chain of truck stops in the United States and Canada, is looking to buy NGL Energy's TransMontaigne assets. Those assets include terminal agreements and line space on the Colonial and Plantation pipelines, two of the most significant fuel pipelines in the country that connect the Gulf Coast refining hub to the Southeast and crowded East Coast markets. The companies have reportedly agreed on the terms of the deal.
Avaya is looking for a proposal from Mitel Networks.
Avaya Holdings is considering a bid from rival Mitel Networks that could create a telecommunications equipment vendor worth more than $5bn including debt, Bloomberg reported.
Closely held Mitel submitted an offer for Avaya that it believes would value the combined business at more than $20 per share. The companies have held on-and-off discussions about a potential deal since April.
Auto-insurance startup Root reaches $3.65bn valuation in the last funding round. (FS)
Auto-insurance startup Root Insurance is completing a new round of capital raising that would value the company at $3.65bn, WSJ reported.
New investors DST Global and Coatue Management are leading the round with an investment of $350m, with all the company’s existing backers also planning to participate. The deal is expected to be completed this month.
Juul raises $325m in equity and debt financing.
E-cigarette maker Juul Labs raised $325m in an equity and debt offering, a regulatory filing showed, as the company looks to speed up its global expansion at a time it is facing growing US regulatory scrutiny.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filing from the company, which is 35% owned by Marlboro maker Altria Group, also showed that the funds were not intended to be used for transactions, such as a merger, acquisition or exchange offer, or to pay executives, promoters or directors.
H2Oai raised $72m in Series D financing round. (FS)
H2Oai, the creator of H2O, the leading open-source machine learning and artificial intelligence platform, raised $72m in Series D financing round led by Goldman Sachs and the Ping An Global Voyager Fund. The funds will be used to expand the firm's footprint in China and other Asian markets.
"Businesses around the world grapple with the challenge of applying machine learning in what are often resource-constrained situations. We've been deeply impressed with the combination of technical sophistication and ease of use present in all of H2Oai's offerings, and we look forward to helping expand the H2Oai footprint in China and across Asia," Donald Lacey, Managing Director and COO of the Ping An Global Voyager Fund.
Elanco Animal Health, a global animal health company that develops products and knowledge services to prevent and treat disease in food animals and pets, agreed to acquire the Animal Health Business of Bayer, a German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company, for $7.6bn. Bayer will receive $5.3bn in cash, subject to customary purchase price adjustments, and $2.3bn or approximately 68m Elanco Animal Health common shares.
"In our first four quarters as an independent company, we have validated the significant value creation potential from a dedicated focus on animal health and a targeted strategy," Jeffrey N. Simmons, president, and chief executive officer of Elanco. "Joining Elanco and Bayer Animal Health strengthens and accelerates our IPP strategy, transforms our portfolio with the addition of well-known pet brands, brings an increased presence in key emerging markets, expands innovation, and accelerates our margin expansion journey. The move combines our long-standing focus on the veterinarian while meeting pet owners' changing expectation of pet care and access to products."
Duff & Phelps, Goldman Sachs, Hengeler Mueller, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison are advising Elanco. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Linklaters, and Sullivan & Cromwell are advising Bayer.
Private equity firms Bain Capital and Carlyle Group are looking to raise their offer to acquire Osram, a multinational lighting manufacturer headquartered in Munich. The buyout firms were recently outbid by Austria-based AMS, which offered to buy Osram for $4.8bn.
To move ahead with its offer, AMS still requires the consent of Osram's management board as well as German financial watchdog Bafin. German trade union IG Metall on Monday rejected AMS's bid, saying it was not convinced.
Lazard, Perella Weinberg Partners, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Gleiss Lutz are advising Osram. PwC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, UBS, Herbst Kinsky, Linklaters, Schellenberg Wittmer, and Brunswick Group are advising AMS. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Macquarie Group, Kirkland & Ellis, Camarco and FTI are advising Bain and Carlyle.
Jacobs Engineering, an American international technical professional services firm, agreed to acquire the Nuclear Business of John Wood Group, a multinational energy services company, for $305m.
"This acquisition further strengthens Jacobs' position in highly profitable and complementary sectors within nuclear and defense, enhancing our recognized program management skills with deep, technical expertise," said Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou. "We are excited to welcome these talented employees to the Jacobs' team. Given the compelling and synergistic fit of our two organizations, we believe this transaction will translate into significant value for Jacobs' shareholders, diverse opportunities for our employees and new, differentiated nuclear and defense solutions for our clients."
Rothschild & Co and Paul Hastings are advising Jacobs. PwC and Slaughter & May are advising John Wood.
EMERAM Capital Partners, a Munich-based private equity company focused on medium-sized companies, invested in ]init[, a leading German provider of digital transformation services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Kai Obring, Senior Partner at EMERAM, commented:"]init[ is a rapidly growing company with an outstanding positioning in an attractive growth market. In the areas of software technology and digital services, we already have extensive expertise through existing investments and can therefore support ]init[ in its further development."
Drake Star Partners and Taylor Wessing advised ]init[. strategy&, PwC, Willis Capital Markets & Advisory, Quarton and Noerr advised EMERAM.
Solvay, a Belgian chemical company, sold its Polyamide assets to Domo Chemicals, a leading producer of high-quality engineering materials for a diverse range of markets, for €300m ($332m). The assets needed to be divested to a third party as part of the European Commission's merger control clearance process of BASF's acquisition of Solvay's polyamide business.
Speaking for DOMO Chemicals, Alex Segers, CEO called the acquisition "a major step forward." "By integrating the complementary strengths of the diverse teams and talents of both companies, we will enhance our excellence towards our customers by building a unique and competitive integrated Nylon solution provider driven by a strong innovation platform to push future sustainable growth. The strong reputation of the Technyl® brand will perfectly complement DOMO's wide DOMAMID® range of engineered and virgin polyamide resin grades and ECONAMID® range of recycled polyamides. We are looking forward to offering employees from both companies with great opportunities for personal and career development."
Inflexion agreed to acquire Marley, a leading UK-based roofing specialist, from Etex, a building materials firm based in Belgium which has owned Marley since 1999. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The team at Marley have done a phenomenal job in creating not only a truly market-leading product, but also a resilient and differentiated business model in an industry with very attractive dynamics. The brand is exceptionally well regarded, and we look forward to drawing upon our industry experience as we partner with management to build on Marley's strong market position and product range." Simon Turner, Managing Partner, Inflexion.
Rothschild & Co advised Inflexion. Lazard advised Etex.
Bellevue Group, a Swiss asset management company, sold Bank am Bellevue, its wealth management business, to KBL European Private Bankers, the pan-European private banking group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Commenting on KBL’s acquisition, KBL CEO Jürg Zeltner “With talented staff, strong client relationships and scalable infrastructure, Bank am Bellevue is an ideal fit for us. Together with that team and under the future leadership of Dagmar, we look forward to putting down roots and growing a robust Swiss business that meets the needs of both domestic and international clients."
AF Gruppen, through Betonmast Holding, a company of which is 66% owned by AF Gruppen and 34% by the management and former shareholders of Betonmast, acquired 100% of the shares in Betonmast. As a result of the transaction, BetonmastHæhre will change its name to Hæhre & Isachsen Gruppen. It is expected that the sale will be concluded in October 2019. The deal value is NOK2.1bn ($230m).
The Betonmast group has approximately 1k employees and comprises a total of 16 companies in the Betonmast Norway, Betonmast Property and Betonmast Sweden segments.
“Betonmast has seen impressive growth since starting up in 2006 and is a well-run company with competent employees and management, interesting projects, strong growth, and good profitability and a healthy order backlog. AF Gruppen has a long term and industrial goal with ownership, and we intend to be an active owner. The transaction will strengthen our position in the Norwegian and Swedish construction markets,” Morten Grongstad, AF Gruppen CEO.
LiqTech International, a clean technology company that manufactures and markets highly specialized filtration technologies, agreed to acquire BS Plastic, a specialized plastics manufacturer based in Denmark. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Sune Mathiesen, CEO of LiqTech International, commented, "We are excited to advance one of the key components of our margin optimization program — the in-sourcing of certain core manufacturing activities. Upon closing of the acquisition, LiqTech will immediately in-source the manufacturing of plastic tanks and machined plastic products for its water filtration systems. We expect the payback to shareholders to be relatively short on this investment, based on cost savings and profit from BS Plastic´s existing operations. We are excited to integrate the BS Plastic team into the LiqTech Group and look forward to further leveraging their capabilities in the years to come."
Itello, a leading software company in the Nordic region, acquired Norway-based Eikos, which provides services and systems solutions for the life insurance and pensions sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The acquisition is in line with our strategy and will accelerate our international expansion. The life insurance and pensions industry in Norway will be facing a number of challenges in the coming years, which means there is a high demand for the ability to combine a highly efficient business with good innovation potential. With Eikos' expertise we will be strengthening our competitiveness on the Norwegian market and expanding Itello's opportunities." Mats Lillienberg, CEO, Itello.
Accenture, a leading global professional services company, agreed to acquire London-based Parker Fitzgerald, a strategic advisor and consulting partner to leading global financial institutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Scott Vincent, founder and CEO of Parker Fitzgerald said, “Helping clients optimize their performance in a rapidly evolving risk environment remains our utmost priority. Accenture’s tremendous scale and scope, coupled with their data- and technology-focused expertise in finance and risk, will enable us to expand our geographic reach and provide high-quality services to an even broader client base.”
Knight Vinke, an American privately owned investment management firm, wants Alpiq to stop its delisting and the squeezeout of minority shareholders following a takeover by a pension-backed Swiss investment fund. In May, the Credit Suisse-managed CSA Energy Infrastructure Switzerland fund announced its takeover bid.
While Knight Vinke does not seek to stop CSA's public tender offer, it said: "What we do oppose is being deprived of the opportunity to continue participating as long-term investors in the upside that we see in Alpiq's unique portfolio of hydro assets in Switzerland."
Protan, a Norwegian owned industry group, acquired the Turkish roof and membrane producer Multiplan. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are making this acquisition of Multiplan's assets and production machinery and knowhow and have established a new company Protan Multiplan to gain access to new markets and increased production capacity for further growth. As a result of strong growth and increased demand for our environmentally friendly products, this acquisition is a natural step. We will continue production in Norway with unabated strength, and further production capacity is necessary to be able to continue growth and ensure our delivery capability in international markets," says CEO Erik Øyno of Protan Group.
Climate change could threaten Saudi Aramco's IPO.
Reuters reported that the rising tide of environmental activism and shift away from fossil fuels could threaten the stock market listing of Saudi Aramco. In the three years since Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman first proposed a stock market listing, climate change and new green technologies are putting some investors, particularly in Europe and the United States, off the oil and gas sector.
"Saudi Aramco is a really interesting test as to whether the market is getting serious about pricing in energy transition risk," said Natasha Landell-Mills, in charge of integrating environmental, social and governance considerations into investing at London-based asset manager Sarasin & Partners.
Saudi Aramco recently hired Moelis & Co and Lazard to lead the IPO.
ISS recommends Mediaset shareholders vote against merger plan.
Reuters reported that ISS recommended Mediaset and Mediaset Espana shareholders vote against a plan to merge the Italian broadcaster and its Spanish unit under a Dutch holding company. Both Mediaset and Mediaset Espana will hold extraordinary shareholder meetings on Sept. 4 to vote on the transaction, which is part of a pan-European growth strategy pursued by Italy's top commercial broadcaster.
ISS said the deal would limit minority shareholders' rights. The opinion of the leading proxy adviser contrasts with that of influential rival Glass Lewis, which recommended backing the plan.
Saxo chief sees more fintech takeovers after BinckBank deal.
Saxo Bank, the Danish broker, majority-owned by Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely, expects more acquisitions in the fintech industry as established banks come under growing pressure from newer rivals.
“The sector has to consolidate. The cost of providing a full, regulated service for clients — that’s a big job. The next three to five years are going to be super exciting. Many things will have to happen — banks losing clients, fintechs will become bigger.” Kim Fournais, Saxo’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.
Casino looking to raise €2bn in asset sales.
Reuters reported that Casino, a French mass-retail company, is targeting a further €2bn ($2.2bn) of asset sales as it steps up plans to cut debt and improve its financial performance. Casino has been struggling against a harsh business climate in France, where the impact of a price war among supermarket operators has dented retailers' profit margins.
"The board of directors has validated the arbitration of assets whose disposal would be a source of value creation," Casino said in a statement.
Skyrizon Aircraft and Xinwei Technology Group looking to buy Motor Sich.
Chinese companies Skyrizon Aircraft and Xinwei Technology Group are looking to buy a stake of up to 50% in Motor Sich, a Ukrainian airline based in Zaporizhia. The stake is valued at approximately $100m. The investors are negotiating the deal with the Ukrainian Antimonopoly Committee.
Ichigo Asset Management, an independent investment manager, specializing in Japanese equities, disclosed a 5.56% stake in hotel chain Unizo soon after SoftBank Group swooped in with a $1.3bn white knight bid for the company. Unizo said last week that it had received the generous buyout offer from Fortress Investment Group, a move that would help it fight off a hostile bid from travel agency H.I.S.
Benedi Consulting, KPMG, ZECOO Partners, Daiwa Securities, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Nishimura & Asahi, TMI Associates, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific, Hospitality Capital Management, and Ernst & Young are advising Unizo.
Vietnam-based marketplace operator Tiki acquired event and cinema ticket portal Ticketbox in a move to become an ‘all-in-one’ e-commerce platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal also marks Tiki’s next step in the entertainment business it has recently ventured into. It has set up a fund to support 100 music videos by local artists in 2019, and Ticketbox will be the platform to help artists and event organizers more easily approach their audience.
“Along with the financial investment, Tiki also utilizes our existing assets (to support) Ticketbox to not only better serve Vietnamese audience but also promote the national entertainment industry,” Tran Ngoc Thai Son, Tiki founder-cum-chairman.
Line and Nomura launch zero-commission online brokerage venture. (FS)
Line, a Tokyo-based subsidiary of the South Korean internet search giant Naver, and Nomura, a Japanese financial holding company, launched a zero-commission online brokerage venture which will charge zero commissions for trading in Japanese shares.
Line, Japan’s most popular messaging platform, is betting that backing from Nomura will help it diversify into the online brokerage business and monetize its 81m domestic subscribers, as well as reduce reliance on advertising. Nomura is looking to the venture to attract younger, digital-savvy clients.
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