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Scotland chronicles a path-breaking renewable energy world record, maximizes its overall green energy production through wind turbines

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:33:40 +0530

Scotland has been immensely successful in developing an ample amount of energy through wind turbines in the first half of 2017. As per analysts, 1,039,001 MWh of electricity had been delivered to the National Grid in June, and this entire supply has been produced through wind turbines. Figures depict that the power generated in June was sufficient to fulfill the electrical needs of almost 118% of Scottish households, which amounts to nearly three million homes. Scotlands overall power usage for the first half of this year was nearly 11,689,385 MWh with wind energy accounting for approximately 57% of the overall power consumption of the country. These figures, affirm experts, are evidence enough to state that Scotland has indeed set a magnificent world record when it comes to renewable energy utilization. Scotlands massive energy generation via wind turbines has attracted large-scale investments in the wind energy sector across the globe, which in turn, has provided a positive impetus to the employment framework. According to one of the senior officials of WWF, Scotland is one of those few countries that is proactive in implementing renewable energy initiatives, and in effect, is making it clear to the world that the country is completely focused on curbing the greenhouse effects caused due to fossil fuel emissions. Most of the industry experts have predicted that the use of sustainable energy is likely to benefit the heating and transportation sectors across the world, which demands the government of Scotland to be forerunner on the execution of energy conservation policies. Scotland has thus, set an example of being a low carbon emitting nation across the globe. Estimates from January to June 2017 has demonstrated a rise of 24% in comparison to 2015 during which the wind turbines had generated 53,59,995 MWh of power across the region. According to authentic reports, the energy generation from the wind turbines in Scotland was more than 13% in the first quarter of 2017 as compared to the power generation during the first quarter of 2016. Today however, the country has been catapulted to a position when it can produce renewable energy of nearly 9.3 GW four times that of the energy production during last 10 years, which will undoubtedly drive the global renewable energy market. Undeniably, the country is confident of establishing itself as a green energy powerhouse, driven by the favorable green energy initiatives put in practice by the regime.



Merck, Pfizer, & Corning team up on a new packaging glass vial project, venture likely to bring about 4,000 high-tech jobs for Americans

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:21:36 +0530

The United States recently witnessed one of the biggest pacts in the pharmaceutical and glass market with the announcement of the strategic collaboration between pharmaceutical giants Merck and Pfizer with New York based glass manufacturer, Corning Inc. Reportedly, the agreement would focus on manufacturing a new kind glass called valor glass for storing injectable drugs. With an initial investment of USD 500 million, Corning is set to create 1,000 new job opportunities for the Americans, cite reliable sources. As per the estimates, the deal would eventually result in an overall investment of USD 4 billion, creating 4,000 jobs for the American populace. The innovatory glass packaging solution, Valor glass, is profoundly considered a breakthrough in the pharmaceutical packaging sector, as claimed by the company. Apparently, this packaging enables superior strength, chemical durability, and is highly damage resistant, which undeniably ensures a high level of quality assurance to the pharmaceutical companies. Merck, the pharmaceutical behemoth, is joining hands with Corning Inc. in the project right from its inception to advance this glass vial for its manufactured medicines that are critical to store. As per experts, the pharmaceutical space is, of late, experiencing an era of scientific innovation. Valor Glass is the manifestation of a similar advancement in material science, being a glass material that is highly customized and purpose-based for the storage of vaccines and medicines. Merck is planning to design several injectable products which will be a good fit to this advanced glass packaging. One of Pfizers high officials affirmed that the companys previous experiments with this new Valor glass technology has depicted amazing outcomes, and via this partnership with Corning, Pfizer will completely exploit the full potential of this new glass packaging solution by using it for every one of its manufactured products. The American administration seems to be highly optimistic toward this cross-technology market alliance and economic investment. Around 98% of the pharmaceutical glass packaging was previously made overseas, however, this strategic move will redirect the packaging process back to the United States, making it an important landmark in Americas technological advancements and employment opportunity forum. Getting a next generation packaging solution on board requires an advanced manufacturing platform, financial backing, and a strong consumer base. As per sources, the project will be requiring FDAs approval and the Federal governments support at multiple levels as it progresses. However, with the loyal consumer base of Merck and Pfizer and the strong backing of Trumps administration, it may very well be possible that this collaboration between Merck, Pfizer, Corning for Valor glass technology as well as other projected technologies in the pharma pipeline may revolutionize the pharmaceutical packaging industry.



China’s Cosco Shipping to get hold of Orient Overseas International for a staggering USD 6.3 billion

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:05:57 +0530

The latest quantum leap witnessed by the competitive arena of the shipping industry is that of Chinas Cosco Shipping taking over container carrier, Orient Overseas. According to experts, the acquisition is a part of Chinas ambition to strengthen its hold over global shipping containers industry. Cosco, Chinas shipping major, has long since been wanting to grab the drivers seat in the global shipping business space. Having made an offer to buy out its rival, Orient Overseas International of Hong Kong, in an all cash acquisition, Cosco is likely to conquer the third position among major container liners in the world. The acquisition is also likely to make the combined entity a potentially stronger Asian competitor against 2M formed by Switzerlands Mediterranean Shipping Company and Denmarks Maersk Line, which are amongst the two largest container fleets. Denmarks AP Moeller-Maersk, for the record, is a no.1 shipper with 643 ships, contributing to more than 16.4% of container traffic. On other hand, Cosco itself ranks no. 4 with 8.4% of container traffic and 317 ships. Acquiring Orient Overseas will add 11.7% to its market share, owing to which it will be subsequently positioned ahead of CMA CGM Group, headquartered in Marseilles, France, with a market share of 11.2%. Cosco believes that this takeover will enable both the companies to realize synergies and enhance their profitability as the worldwide shipping industry is already struggling in the wake of sluggish international trade and plunging freight rates. Analysts vouch for the fact that the shipping industry being quite fragmented in nature, some consolidation may help the business to transform and garner profit. Similar moves are being witnessed across the globe to increase shipping sales, reduce costs, and improve the overall efficiency. The combined entity of Cosco and Orient Overseas is likely to operate more than 400 vessels with a capacity of over 2.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units. As per reports, Cosco will pay a premium of around 37.8% on the closing price of HKD 57.10 on the last trading date, which comes to around HKD 78.67 for each Orient Overseas share. If this deal obtains approval, Cosco will hold a share of 90.1 % of the combined entity, while its partner Shanghai International Port will hold the remaining 9.9%. This acquisition is set to strengthen Coscos market position, and the company is also likely to pursue lucrative targets in the future. This is evident from Coscos strategic planning the firm has recently signed a deal with the Wuhan government for a series of logistics and shipping activities. Under the agreement, Cosco will use Wuhans strategic location to create a logistic hub by means of which it can facilitate a wide range of cooperation around the region of the Yangtze River.



Cargill has initiated a partnership extension with FareShare to advocate its commitment to sustainable nutrition

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:57:39 +0530

The acclaimed American food nutrition company, Cargill, Inc., has decided to expand its partnership with FareShare, the UK-based food redistribution firm, with a view to help the latter address food wastage in an economical, environment-friendly methodology. On these grounds, the food beverage firm has reportedly extended its relationship with FareShare, inked in 2009, and has commenced the new alliance with a deal to supply fresh chicken, free of charge, every week, to the charity firm. As per a reliable source, Cargill, as per the terms of its initial partnership with FareShare, has already provided more than EUR 600,000 in funding to the social organization that converts an environmentally hazardous issue into a social cause. One of the top officials of Cargill was quoted stating that through this agreement, Cargill aims to contribute its bit toward environmental concerns by supplying affordable, nutritious, and safe food to deserving communities, through Fareshares initiatives. For the uninitiated, FareShares numerous drives include providing breakfast for kids, lunch clubs for aged people, homeless hostels, and domestic violence refuges. With the escalating development of the food processing market across the globe, FareShare is focusing on relationship building with various manufacturers, producers, retailers, and manufacturers to address them regarding food wastage control. This goal of the organization is concentrated on supporting local communities, since the firm works toward converting wasted food into nutritious meals for the deserving masses. One of the management-level employees of FareShare has stated that there is always a huge requirement for fresh meat in all food categories of FareShare, and that a significant gap perpetually exists between supply and demand. On these grounds, he has also affirmed that the companys partnership with food and nutrition company Cargill is likely to help FareShare overcome the scarcity of meat supply, now that Cargill has pledged to supply fresh chicken from middle of June 2017 to the FareShare Regional Centre in Bristol. According to the estimates provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, approximately 8.4 million people in UK found difficulties to procure edible food. Also, it has been projected that the UK food and drink industry is equipped sufficiently, to provide around 270,000 tons of extra food to the needy crowds. Keeping these statistics in mind, Cargill has come forward to extend its alliance with FareShare and be a part of the sustainable nutrition trend. This agreement has been predicted to prove highly beneficial for FareShare in terms of capacity expansion. Under this newly-inked deal, FareShare is anticipated to redistribute ample quantities of food to homeless communities, especially across the South West of England, thereby in a way, contributing toward environmental safety.



Global automotive giant Ford to shift its Focus car manufacturing base to China by the year 2019

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:58:39 +0530

Ford Motors, an established automobile manufacturer based in the U.S, has declared that it will import Focus vehicles from two of its production units based in China from the onset of 2019. Experts claim this move as an effective measure taken by one of the worlds largest car manufacturers to reduce the operational costs pertaining to the declining car sales in the U.S. In addition, experts also assert that this strategic move will help the firm save capital investment costs close to USD 1 billion. This valuation also includes the costs incurred by the firm due to the cancellation of its proposed Focus car production plant construction in Mexico. The costs, for the record, amount to nearly USD 500 million. This major change of plan by Ford has been viewed by the companys top officials as the best step toward cost reduction. It is also a perfect alternative that can help the firm fulfill its business objectives through enhanced vehicle production supported by the large supply of the manpower at reasonable costs. The automotive market player has already ensured that the jobs of its workforce based in the U.S. will not be affected as a result of the shift in the car production base. In fact, the manufacturing of Focus cars at the Michigan assembly unit in the U.S. will continue only until the first half of 2018. However, the Fords U.S. plant will begin the production of Bronco mid-sized SUV cars and Ford Ranger mid-sized pickup trucks in 2020. As per reliable reports, Ford has also announced its decision to increase its car production in China other than its two Focus car manufacturing units. In future, Ford is expected to invest nearly USD 900 million in its Kentucky unit to augment the production of its Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition automobiles. This investment, as per analysts, is likely to generate more than 1,000 jobs, which would join Fords current workforce of close to 7,600. With the advent of innovative technologies in the car manufacturing sector along with the introduction of new designs fitting consumer requirements, a rise in the demand for SUVs and trucks has been observed in the U.S., which has subsequently led to lowered sales of small cars in the nation. Again, the preference for compact vehicles in the U.S. have been diminishing with a drop of 20% in the vehicle sales due to escalating SUV trends and declining fuel costs. On these grounds, it is yet to be seen whether the production of the Focus automobiles abroad will be able to reap rich dividends for the firm in the future.



EPSRC’s sizable endowment for an electric vehicle venture leads WMG to join hands with Jaguar Land Rover

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 13:42:16 +0530

Perpetually upholding its emblematic reputation of providing generous grants for research in sciences and engineering programs, the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) has committed itself to yet another benefaction by providing an initial funding of GBP 5.7 million to WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick. EPSRCs game plan behind offering this grant involves its preferential stand toward improving the research and development programs at WMG in the disciplines of engineering, electronics, power, and physical sciences. With this grant, EPSRC expects the Coventry-based academic institution to form a Prosperity Partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, the renowned British automotive firm headquartered in Coventry, United Kingdom. This collaboration is apparently a testimony of the automotive market players measure of commitment toward Coventry. Jaguars Chief Executive, in addition, has pledged to put Warwickshire and Coventry on the Britain map as far as vehicle electrification is concerned. For the record, Jaguar had announced earlier this year, that it intends to construct its first EV, named the Jaguar I-Pace. Apparently, reports have already surfaced regarding the cars possible sales, which may go on floors by 2018. The testing of the car has already commenced in Warwickshire and Coventry. With EPSRCs grant, Warwickshire and Coventry have embarked upon a progressive path toward the development of electric vehicles. The University also intends to provide additional funding besides the initial grant. Furthermore, it has been revealed that post joining forces with WMG, Jaguar Land Rover will also provide the necessary capitalization for the electric car project to propel forward. EPSRCs grant will be utilized by both these powerful organizations to undertake research focused on batteries, bearing gear surfaces, electric machines, energy systems, power electronics, and advanced propulsion. As per sources, WMG is apparently overwrought with gratification upon receiving the grant and collaborating with the Coventry-based car maker. One of WMGs chief faculty members was quoted stating that this alliance will help to get a handle on vehicle electrification. Experts claim that this interspersed proposition is intended at bringing UK at the forefront of industrial and scientific growth over the years to come. For the record, Jaguar Land Rover has not washed its hands off fuel-powered vehicles, the automaker is working toward building clean diesel petrol engines. Nonetheless, recognizing the potential of the growth of electrification in the United Kingdom, the automotive giant has assured its customers that more than 50% of its cars will be electrified by 2020. The company in fact, aims that every vehicle in the UK will be a low emission vehicle by the year 2050. Jaguars pilot partnership with WMG marks the beginning of a profound journey for both the firms to bring UK at the forefront of technology, engineering, automation, and manufacturing.



Volkswagen to discontinue the sale of its Touareg car brand in the U.S. from the year 2018

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 21:33:45 +0530

Volkswagen, a reputed German car manufacturer, has decided to stop the sale of Touareg cars, a mid-sized luxury crossover SUV in the U.S. after a long spell of declining revenue from the sales of these cars. The firm could sell only 386 Touareg SUVs in the month of June 2017 and just 1,630 in the first half of 2017. The sale of the firms brand SUV cars displayed a deficit of nearly 26% during the first six months of 2017 as compared to its sales during the same period in 2016. Reportedly, the reason for this loss has been attributed to the firm targeting the car requirements of only the premium audience while completely ignoring the masses. Again, the three-row and seven-seat Atlas SUV model of the firm, priced at nearly USD 30,500 and less than nearly USD 20,000 as compared to the cost of the Touareg SUV, had affected its summer sales in 2017. A new car model, Touareg premium, was launched by the German automotive market player way back in 2004, which has, since then, undergone huge alterations. It had received many awards, including Motor Trends SUV of the year since its inception in the car market in 2004. Its effective driving ability, sufficient storage cabin space, and off-roading capability had made it highly competitive and a popular brand during this thirteen-year span. But the automotive giant has introduced Tiguan and new Atlas SUV in the U.S. car market this year and has finally steeled itself to completely wind up the sales of its decade-old Touareg SUV in the U.S. from onset of the year 2018. Experts have also forecast that the firm will make heavy investments in the production of new Atlas SUV premium cars and increase its sales in the U.S., thereby largely covering the losses it will apparently incur due to the sales of Touareg SUVs in 2017. Volkswagen is making drastic changes in its car model and is designing its cars as per the ever-changing consumer requirements. Its production of smaller crossover new generation cars is thus justified as it matches the requirements of the modern-day consumer. Industry analysts claim that these technological innovations will not only assist the firm in enhancing its vehicle efficiency but also in expanding its sales volume improving the brand equity of its products.



Alibaba launches the Taobao Global U.S. Merchants Network and connect the US SMEs to 500 million costumers

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 22:50:49 +0530

The Chinese mega e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has announced the launch of an online network to provide easier access to the small-scale US manufacturers for tapping into the Chinese market. The Taobao Global U.S. Merchants Network will provide small medium-sized businesses the required access to over 500 million consumers who are on Alibabas platform. The pairing of this network will enable the 300 Taobao global merchants to work and identify the number of U.S. small scale businesses that can be brought via an online medium to Chinese consumers. Taobao is a consumer-to-consumer website, which includes social engagement, shopping, product discovery, and content. This announcement comes just after the Gateway 17 conference held in Detroit, which featured a segment on how to capitalize on the fastest-growing Chinese consumer market. As this conference brought over 3000 entrepreneurs under one roof, it was expected to draw the attention of many small businesses who were interested in entering the Chinese market. Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba, the renowned China retail market player, while speaking in Detroit, revealed the companys sales to cross USD 1 trillion in coming three years along with getting qualified as the fifth-largest economy of the world by 2036. According to a recent announcement, Alibaba targets to have more than 2 billion buying customers on its platform over a time span of 20 years and has thus welcomed more than thousands of U.S. SMEs join its network. Adding to its pledged commitment, Alibaba is also aiming to generate 40% of its revenue in the next five years from its international transactions. This announcement is also in favor of boosting the employment levels in the U.S., as it will allow Americas small businesses to sell their goods to the Chinese and Asian consumers via Alibabas platform. The meeting regarding the same has already taken place between the President-elect, Donald Trump and Alibabas Executive Chairman Jack Ma, focused on creating 1 million new jobs for the Americans. Alibaba has taken significant efforts to solve many operational challenges to connect U.S. SMEs with Chinese consumers, as earlier, there was much ambiguity regarding the supply chain, tax, marketing strategy, regulations, and execution of the operations. In a bid to resolve these claims, Alibaba, in all probability, will organize seminars and trainings on logistics and other e-commerce issues on a regular basis. This will help the merchants in the network to better understand the industry trends and improve the consumer experience. Presently, Alibabas site has over 7000 U.S. businesses, which majorly includes the names of huge brands. However, over the next five years, Alibaba hopes to raise that number to more than 1 million.



Shire obtains preliminary injunction against Roche over emicizumab

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 16:34:52 +0530

Renowned specialty biopharma giant Shire Plc, has been granted legal rights by the Hamburg court to injunct Swiss drug maker and arch rival Roche, regarding emicizumab, also called ACE910, the reputed hemophilia treatment drug. Headquartered in Dublin, Shire has watched its shares plummet over the course of last year as Roche surged ahead in the battle over emicizumab. Shire has fought back, making alleged claims against Roche, with regards to the effectiveness and safety factor of emicizumab. In fact, as per an official statement released by the massive pharmaceutical market player, the company has sought this injunction to avoid any further propagation of incorrect depiction regarding the adverse events that took place in the HAVEN 1 emicizumab Phase 3 trial. Reliable sources cite that Shire accused Roche of misleading patients and making false statements regarding the hazardous effects of emicizumab recorded in its clinical trials. In defense, Roche has specified that the company is committed to taking decisions in favor of patients. Disregarding the claims made against it by Shire, Roche has stood firm regarding the clinical trial protocol of emicizumab. Certain reports state that Shire has taken this stand as an interim measure to circulate accurate and sufficient information regarding the phase 3 clinical trials of emicizumab conducted by Roche. In all likelihood, this action undertaken by Shire is likely to generate awareness among patients and physicians regarding the efficacy of the drug. Shires claims against Roche may have stemmed from analysts findings regarding adverse events in Roches studies, including thrombotic microangiopathy - which essentially signifies blood vessel damage in vital organs. A report from an unclaimed source had even stated that a patient had lost his life due to rectal hemorrhage, after being treated with emicizumab. Roche rubbished the reports and took an unyielding stand with regards to the effectiveness of emicizumab. This has been proved by the companys statement recorded last month, wherein it has been claiming that emicizumab has cut down the bleed rate by 87% in patients who resist standard therapies as opposed to those who were treated with other drugs. The reputed Swiss drug maker has been looking forward to amassing a chunk of the 11-billion-dollar hemophilia drug market with massive sales of emicizumab. To compete with the traditional treatments offered by Novo Nordisk and Shire, it has been reported that Roche will also involve itself in developing new drugs with a successful clinical trial rate.



Volvo Cars to phase out conventional engines as it embraces electrification

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:15:16 +0530

Volvo Cars has proclaimed that from 2019 onwards, every Volvo it launches will be either hybrid or solely battery-powered. This premium car maker company became the first mainstream automaker to mark the historic end of car models that are otherwise powered by internal combustion engine. As electrification is paving the way for a new phase in the automotive business sphere, Volvo has significantly placed battery operated and electric models at the core of its business. Even though Volvo Cars currently represent a small share of the entire automotive market, this decision of going completely electric is one of the boldest commitments the automaker has given till date. The company will introduce its portfolio of new electrified models ranging from plug in hybrid cars, mild hybrid cars, and fully electric cars. During the period between 2019-2021, Volvo will present five 100% electric powered car models. All through its 90-year lifespan, Volvo has always been at the forefront of novel automobile technologies by pioneering innovations such as the 3-point seat belt and other safety structures. Moreover, in recent years, it has focused on auto-cars and self-driving technology. Driven by its commitment to innovation and safety, this Sweden-based company is taking bigger steps toward Vision 2020 of providing death proof cars soon on the road. Despite being headquartered in Sweden, Volvo is owned by a Chinese company named Geely Automobile Holdings, which even manufactures battery-powered cars for the regional market. Geely bought Volvo for USD 1.8 billion in 2010 from Ford and has poured considerable investments in facilities, new models, and technology. Under Geelys ownership, Volvo has experienced a renewed traction, and recorded sales over 6.2% in 2016s annual results. Volvos battery-powered vehicles will be manufactured initially in China, and eventually at its new factory near Charleston, S.C. Currently, Volvo is committed to bringing over 1 million electrified cars on the road by 2050 and thereby meeting its sustainability goals by partaking in the climate-neutral production process. Meanwhile, Volvo isnt the only company thats making big bets on electric vehicles. Tesla has also announced its ambitious aim of bringing electric cars to the mass market with its Model 3 series. Volkswagen has also launched its electric car concept and plans to sell more than 3 million EVs by 2025. Mercedes has also introduced the EQ brand, and is planning to launch this first crossover EV by 2019. The landmark announcements by Volvo and other carmakers about EV launches have sent clear signals to other market players regarding the benefits of embracing the electric revolution that is set to turn the global automotive industry upside down.



European Union’s regulatory body EC puts a red signal on the Qualcomm-NXP semiconductors merger deal

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 19:08:19 +0530

In what seems to be one of the major breakthroughs of recent times, the European Commission has decided to halt the merger deal between NXP semiconductors and Qualcomm after the latter failed to furnish the necessary details to the EU regarding the deal. The decision was based on ECs concerns over the business monopolization by the merging firms as well as the price hikes. Also, Qualcomm has a long history of charging copious amounts of currency in terms of royalty charges for making use of its technology copyrights. Reportedly, the European Commission fears that NXP can repeat the same by selling its intellectual property rights at higher costs after its merger with Qualcomm. For the record, the global semiconductor equipment market player had planned to acquire NXP, a semiconductor manufacturer based in Holland, for USD 38 billion last year in the month of October. In April 2017, the U.S. antitrust authorities had given the green signal to the supposed merger. However, the deal could not be closed this year, as the EC has decided to stop its antitrust merger review on June 28, 2017 following its inquiry into the business practices of Qualcomm. On the grounds of lack of relevant information regarding the merger, the European Commission undertook a full-scale investigation of the case in the month of June. The hearing deadline on this merger issue is scheduled in the month of October 2017. But this date has been further extended until the firms provide the Commission with the complete information. Meanwhile, The European Unions regulatory authority has provided sufficient time to both the firms for supplying the necessary documents required for the merger. This is not the first time the European Unions regulatory body has gridlocked the merger of two big companies. In the past, it had stopped the closure of many such mergers and partnerships, which eventually had to be scrapped off. For instance, on 9th September 2016, the European Commission halted the merger agreement between The Dow Chemical Company and DuPont, but granted conditional approval to the deal in March 2017. On July 2016, this regulation enforcement agency of Europe had raised concerns over the Faiveley Transport Company and Wabtec Corporation merger. The deal was completely finalized on December 1, 2016 after receiving the EC approval on October 1, 2016. The merger between Biomet Incorporation and Zimmer Holdings was also suspended three times by the EU in 2014 but was given the conditional approval on March 30, 2015. Experts predict that in a similar fashion, the EU is likely to grant approval to the Qualcomm-NXP deal after the said conditions are met by both the companies.



Broadcom-Brocade deal conditionally sanctioned by the FTC, commission draws up regulatory compliance to prevent potential breaches of competitive laws

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 15:20:53 +0530

Broadcoms acquisition of Brocade, a deal professed in November 2016 has finally won the U.S. antitrust approval post addressing FTCs concerns claiming the USD 5.9 billion deal to be anticompetitive. The apprehensions are grounded on the fact the deal would sabotage the competitive landscape of the fiber channel switches market altogether, creating a biased rivalry between the only two players in this space- Cisco Systems, Inc., and Brocade Communications Systems. Reportedly, the deal has already received a go-ahead from the European and Japanese regulators. San Jose, California based Broadcom manufactures fiber channel application specific integrated circuits or ASICs, which it supplies to both Brocade and Cisco. With this merger, Cisco would face a potential threat to its contendership in the fiber channel switch industry as Broadcom has access to Ciscos competitively sensitive critical data. Post the acquisition of Brocade, Ciscos only competitor, Broadcom might use this confidential information to exercise market control for Brocade, which would intimidate the industrys competitive hierarchy. The consent to this deal by FTC carries terms and conditions pertaining to the materialization of this pact. This includes creating of a firewall which would restrict Broadcom to use Ciscos critical data for any intent other than manufacturing, design, and sale of ASICs for the renowned communications hardware market player, Cisco. Reportedly, Broadcoms operational unit assigned for Cisco would also have different facilities and a separate and secured information technology system, which would grant access only to authorized individuals. Cisco breathed a sigh of relief with FTCs move to protect it from the potential competitive threat which might have come as a token of this merger. As per reliable sources, the commission would also appoint a monitor for a tenure of five years to assure the compliance of the terms. This appointment might further be extended to an additional five years, as required. Reportedly, the consent will soon be published in the Federal Register by the FTC, and will be subject to public comment for 30 days- through August 2, 2017, following which the consent will receive the final verdict. In the event of this procurement getting through, Broadcom would vend off California based Ruckus Wireless, which was purchased by Brocade in 2016 for a valuation of USD 1.5 billion.



Germany breaks sustainability records, generates 35% electricity from renewables

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 16:07:28 +0530

Germany has raised the percentage of its overall electricity generation from renewable sources to 35% this year. As per the BEE renewable energy association, Germany had produced 33% of its electricity from renewables in 2016, and has increased this proportion by 2% in the first half of the ongoing year. Earlier reports state that Germanys evolution to renewable energy commenced in 2010, as an aftermath of the Fukishima nuclear accident. The country aims to phase out its nuclear power plants by 2022. Germany, one of pioneers of sustainability, has always been a lucrative business ground for global renewable energy market. The utilization of renewable energy in this country has been surpassing commendable heights since the last two decades, partly due to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) that was introduced in 2014. The current year witnessed a reformation in the Act with a view to curtail renewable energy costs for customers. Experts state that it is therefore no surprise, that Germanys power generation from renewable energy has increased by 2% from that in 2016. As per reliable sources, so far, in 2017, Germany has been sourcing its electricity needs from renewable energy in effect, almost 85% of electricity has been generated from sustainable sources in sunny and windy days. Germanys voracious preoccupation with renewable energy is not restricted within the country. Recently, toward the end of June, the German government had initiated the Marshall Plan for Africa to set up around 100 partnerships, using German energy cooperatives as role models. Africas energy demand is slated to increase by 80% until 2040, on the grounds of which the German Development Ministry will create similar energy cooperative groups in Africa to increase their energy production from renewables. The German government has also declared that they will allocate EUR 31 million for the implementation of Zambias Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff program to increase the nations power generation capacity from sustainable resources. As per reports, one of Germanys key goals, was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a humongous 40%, until the year 2020, from what the value was in 1990. The BEE states that this goal seems to be slightly far-fetched, however, the nations aggressive efforts to promote sustainability are likely to give this goal the impetus it requires. As per the BEE, the reduction of carbon emissions will reach up to 30%, for most parts. The German government has also planned to transition into a decarbonized economy over the next 33 years, and has set a rather ambitious target of achieving 80% of electricity consumption in the country through renewable sources by 2050. It remains to be seen whether this zealous plan thrives the winds of pollution and GHG emissions.



UPS strengthens commitment to sustainability, declares target of 25% renewable energy by 2025

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 16:26:35 +0530

United Parcel Service, the largest package delivery service company across the globe, has sworn to source almost 25% of its power consumption from renewable energy, by the year 2025. The supply chain management market giant has released its most recent corporate sustainability report that extensively elucidates the companys numerous efforts to produce electricity from sustainable sources and achieve a target of 25% clean energy by 2025. In addition, the report also entails the initiative of the firm to lower carbon emissions from all its ground operations worldwide by 12%. These goals apparently, were formulated on the basis of the methodologies developed by firms that are a part of the Science Based Targets global initiative. The Atlanta-headquartered package delivery behemoth has been hoping to achieve its GHG emission lowering target by ensuring that one in four new vehicles bought on an annual basis will be designed to run on alternative fuel energy. Another goal by UPS is to source 40% of all its ground fuel requirements from renewable sources of energy by 2025. As per estimates, this figure was 19.6% in 2016. Currently, UPSs fleet comprises over 8,000 vehicles that are designed to run on sustainable fuels sources and are equipped with advanced technology. As per the experts in UPS, the company will plan to achieve its goal solely through e-mobility. The firm has invested more than USD 750 million in alternative fuels since the year 2009, and plans to invest more over the years to achieve its clean energy target. As per a press release announced by the company, this new vision necessitates a smart logistics network that comprises highly advanced facilities and technologically powered vehicles endowed by offshore wind power plants, on-site solar power plants, and renewable natural gas diesel provided by means of advanced energy infrastructure. For the record, UPS has recently invested USD 18 million in an on-site solar plant in eight of its facilities, which has generated a PV capacity of 10 MW to the sites. The company had installed its first solar plant 12 years ago. The recent solar investment represents the companys five-fold funding in solar power. With a plethora of renewable energy related projects already in its kitty, UPS has already proved its capacity to undertake operations sourced from sustainable sources. It should come as no surprise therefore, when the companys recent commitment toward sustainability will bear fruit over the coming eight years. UPS Chairman and CEO, David Abney, was quoted stating that UPS is well aware that its high-profile commitments can mold advanced technologies and catalyze infrastructural investments owing to its huge scale of operations. In addition, he mentioned that the company can completely rely on its technology partners, employees, and suppliers to achieve the target commitment of 25% clean energy by 2025 and transform the overall dynamics of global shipping industry.



BMW plans to consolidate vehicle equipment to make heavy investments in its R&D operations

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 18:30:24 +0530

BMW, one of the oldest and most popular German automakers, has been undertaking crucial steps with a view to increase their research and development spending by 2019. The latest scoop points toward the direction of BMW venturing into the manufacturing of autonomous and electric cars. In all probability, BMW is heavily trending toward the extensive production of connected vehicles. In addition, it has been reported that Chinese automakers have been defying all odds to dominate the electric vehicle market. Experts have stated that this is certainly a red alert to the European carmakers to accelerate themselves into the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. Electric hybrid vehicles are seemingly less profitable than petrol diesel vehicles. BMW has apparently recognized this theory and in consequence, has been brainstorming strategies to save costs by reducing the complexity of its equipment portfolio. One of the chief executives of the automotive giant was quoted stating that the targeted investments in RD are equipped to modernize their manufacturing process. Sources affirm that in a bid to convert its theory into action, BMW has dropped the manual gear shifting facility from various car series such as the BMW 2 series cars. This has taken place particularly across the United States. In addition, in the new emerging 5 series diesel based cars, the manual gear shifting option has been conveniently removed. As per the statement released by one of BMWs top officials, this kind of revolutionary step in the manufacturing process will lead to the lowering of the overall costs of auto parts. In addition, the number of engine variants is also expected to be reduced. Despite the slight slump in the Europe market, BMW has witnessed significant demand for its vehicles across the region. The company has some vital innovations in the pipeline, which is likely to generate disruptive trends in the global automotive market. Furthermore, it has also been reported that the chief managerial authorities of BMW are planning to cut down the vehicle inventory, with the reduced order intake and residual values. As per statistics, BMW has, in 2016, spent about 5.5% of the total revenue on RD activities. The forthcoming three years will witness an increase in the investments from 5.5% up to 6% of the total revenue generation. BMW 5 series is one of the new inventions by the RD wing at BMW. It has been reported that the launch of the BMW 5 series limousine has exceeded the market expectation and is slated to collect significant profits. Moreover, even across China, BMW has observed a double-digit growth in the vehicle sales, possibly due to the launch of BMW X1 and series 5 automobiles. BMWs revolutionary step is likely to set the stage for the full-scale manufacturing of electric vehicles over the years ahead.



Medtronic PLC signs outcome based diabetes deal with Aetna for offering enhanced value based services

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:39:46 +0530

Medtronic Plc., the Dublin based medical device manufacturer, has recently announced an outcome based agreement with Aetna, the healthcare insurer, for patients suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes, who are currently using Medtronic insulin injections. This is undoubtedly one of those deals that manifests the escalating growth of value-based healthcare contracts across the global pharmaceutical market. The program reportedly is designed only for those patients who choose to opt for Medtronic insulin pump therapy that is highly customized in terms of insulin dosage as per the individual requirements. The agreement sheds a positive light on Medtronics commitment toward their customers that majorly includes uplifting patient experience, improving the clinical outcomes, and overall lowering the total cost of care. Working hand in hand with Aetna, this U.S. medical device market player is ready to align diabetes treatment to a more outcome based cost effective care that would benefit the patients to live with better health and greater freedom. It also depicts Medtronics strong confidence in their product that is featured with SmartGuard (TM) technology. Growing clinical evidence is further strengthening its market valuation. This strategic partnership with Aetna will offer lucrative incentives for the deployment of the aforementioned technology that would spread awareness among the increasing obese population base. Though the financial detailing surrounding the agreement has not yet been disclosed, as per experts, Medtronic has established reimbursement policies with Aetna in order to achieve the clinical improvement thresholds. Aetna, on the other hand, will have access to the companys comprehensive support services and advanced diabetes technologies. This appreciable move by both these leading giants in the medical space, marks the footstep of a dynamic healthcare value-based model that not only ensures better outcomes, but also better cost targets. With this joint venture, patients will have uninterrupted access to advanced diabetes management solutions. Over the years, the healthcare system has observed a paradigm shift from the conventional fee-for-service model to a value care arrangement that rewards providers considering the efficiency and quality of their services. Medtronic, being one of the leading concerns in the medical field proactively has always taken up consequential challenges pertaining to the ever-changing business landscape. Prior to its deal with Aetna, the firm had also signed an agreement with the United Health Group with the sole purpose of elevating patients experiences. Now, with its partnership with Aetna, it has once again proved its commitment toward its consumers despite the uncertainty dwelling in the healthcare market.



Bekaert joins forces with ArcelorMittal, agreement aims to seal a 62.4 million-dollar steel wire deal in Brazil

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:51:09 +0530

According to the latest buzz on the grapevine, esteemed steel magnate, ArcelorMittal, has collaborated with Bakaert, the accomplished technology leader in steel wire coatings and transformation, with regards to a steel wire deal. The transaction currently stands at USD 62.4 million and is deemed to extend the partnership of both companies in the country of Brazil. ArcelorMittal, one of major companies partaking in the global revenue share of ferroalloy market, had recently been in the news for more reasons than one. As per reliable reports, the multinational steel manufacturing corporation based in Luxembourg had recently led a consortium that will purchase the steel plant Ilva. Discussions regarding the deal had been on board since a while, however, the deal has now gained fruition. As per the official press release, AM Investco Italy Srl has won the Ilva deal. The consortium has closed the negotiations and has signed binding contract with the Italian government to buy Ilva along with its subsidiaries. The official documentation will be closed by the end of this month. Post this noteworthy partnership, ArcelorMittal has reportedly added another feather in its cap of achievements with the Bekaert steel agreement. As per reports, this transaction incorporates Bekaerts wholly-owned steel cord subsidiary in Sumare, Brazil, into the Belgo Mineira Bekaert Artefatos de Arame partnership. Through this alliance, both the steel conglomerates plan to expand their collaboration in Brazil with an aim to gain supremacy on the technological advancements and operations of the steel cord business in the nation. The joint venture has, until now, been titled ArcelorMittal Bekaert Sumare Ltda. The official statements from Bekaert affirm that the proceeds of the alliance are around EUR 56 million (USD 62.4 million), which has led to a profitable gain of EUR 38 million, that will be considered as a part of Bekaerts financial statements for Q1 2017 and Q2 2017. It has been revealed by ArcelorMittals top officials that the steel giant, through this alliance, stands to accrue enormous financial benefits, by means of expanding its assets and operations on the tire cord industry that is reputed to manufacture bead wires and steel cords for vehicle tire. Furthermore, the deal guarantees that ArcelorMittal will supply quality wire rods from its Joao Monlevade unit, that will help augment the overall revenue of the company. Reports affirm that ArcelorMittal is the major shareholder of Sumares steel cord segment, through this deal, with a share of 55.5%, while Bekaert hold the minor share, with 44.5%. For the record, ArcelorMittal S.A. was formed in the year 2006 post the merger of Arcelor by Indian steel giant Mittal Steel. The headquarters of ArcelorMittal S.A. are located at Boulevard dAvranches, Luxembourg.



The aftereffects of the Amazon-Whole Foods multi-billion-dollar deal - France’s Carrefour likely to be Amazon’s European target

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 01:21:28 +0530

Amazon, the super-imposing online retail market player, has signed an agreement to acquire Whole Foods Market Inc., the American supermarket chain that stocks foodstuffs that are completely devoid of colors, sweeteners, artificial preservatives, flavors, and hydrogenated fats. The deal sent shock waves across the retail and e-commerce industry, leading to supermarket stock prices taking a massive hit across Europe and the United States. As speculations are rife regarding the precision and timing of Amazons decision to purchase Whole Foods Market and its possible repercussions, experts have been focusing on the companies that are likely to benefit from this colossal deal. As per reports, one of the major firms that is likely to face the limelight is Carrefour S.A., a reputed France-based multinational retail store and one of the largest hypermarket chains across the globe, with headquarters in Boulogne Billancourt, France. Reliable reports state that Amazons acquisition of Whole Foods was valued for around USD 13.7 billion. The deal has come forth at a crucial time, as Walmarts discounting strategy and subsequent growth in the online shopping sphere has already led to huge food brands facing intense pressures in the global market. The aforementioned deal is likely to raise the prices for packaged goods cross brick-and-mortar and online stores. Experts say that conventional food brands, such as Kelloggs and General Mills will occupy the centre aisle space across grocery stores, with Amazons foray into natural and organic food industry. Carrefour, like most supermarket chains, has been struggling in the race against Amazon for a long time. The company is at the helm of the e-commerce industry in France. Like most French retailers, Carrefour has been very successful in e-commerce, especially with regards to its click-and-collect services, that have been prominent across its stores in the U.S., long before Walmart had introduced the service. Carrefour has recently appointed Alexandre Bompard as their Chief Executive Officer, who has, since the year 2011, been the leading electronics retailer for Fnac Darty SA, the omni-channel retailer operating in major European countries. As per estimates, Bompard had brought several investors on board and has led the firm to achieve great heights during his tenure. In fact, as per a reliable study, Fnac Dartys shares have increased three times since its 2013 IPO. Analysts claim that the appointment of such a digital-savvy CEO will ensure that Carrefour will be Amazons first choice in Europe. For the record, Carrefour has acquired more than 50 firms since 2000. Its online sales valuation surpassed USD 1.34 billion (EUR 1.2 billion) in 2016. Analysts predict that considering Bompards record so far, it is quite likely that Amazon will choose Carrefour as its first target in Europe.



Nestlé Waters to pour in USD 6 million investment to support the Closed Loop Fund

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:20:25 +0530

In an effort to find a national solution to the recycling gap across the American sub-continent, Nestl Waters North America has announced an investment of USD 6 million in the Closed Loop Fund. Closed Loop Fund is a social impact investment fund that finances recycling infrastructure and sustainable technology programs in the cities of United states. Colgate-Palmolive, 3M, Coca-Cola, Procter Gamble, Goldman Sachs, Johnson Johnson, Unilever, Walmart, and PepsiCo are the other well-known brands that are a part of the prestigious Closed Loop Fund. The Closed Loop Fund, till date has diverted over 100,000 tons of recyclables from landfills. Moreover, it is also working toward eliminating around 40 million tons of greenhouse gas. These initiatives are likely to provide an economic benefit of more than USD 40 million to the municipalities and will also help unlock some further investments in recycling. The so-called recycling gap refers to the wastage of resources that can be possibly recycled, but in reality, are not. In the U.S. about 75% of the waste stream is recyclable, however just 30% actually gets recycled. In 2015, municipalities and businesses in the U.S. have spent more than USD 5 billion in waste disposals in landfills. The industry experts claim that the problem lies in the infrastructure, as most of the recycling units are unable to collect, sort and process the plastics to make a profit. Landfill waste is in high demand as a raw material among the textiles and packaging manufactures. Bottled water giant Nestl Waters commitment of USD 6 million is a significant investment in creating a shared value in the recycling supply chain. The investment is likely to enable people to recycle more and boost the development of recycled products, providing a substantial impetus to Global biodegradable paper packaging materials market. Nelson Switzer, the chief sustainability officer at Nestl Waters, in a statement, publicized the U.S. as a country with potential to lead the way in recycling while scaling the economic growth, creating jobs, and securing a sustainable future. The company also aims to achieve zero landfill waste in their products and operations. The investment has proved to be an effective opportunity for Nestl Waters to work collectively with the Closed Loop Fund in transforming garbage to valuable resources. In a bid to help shape the products and systems that will contribute toward sustainable consumption in future, Nestl Waters now uses 50% recycled content in 9 out of 10 plastic bottles. These bottles are used under the brand name of Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water made in California. Being the pioneer in introducing lightweight bottles, Nestl Waters has also reduced plastic content by more than 60% in last 23 years. As per statistics, around 69660 tons of carbon emissions were prevented by the use of 86 million pound of recycled plastics.



Clinical collaboration between Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb to target the emergence of new cancer therapies

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:56:04 +0530

Novartis, a notable giant in the pharmaceutical market, has declared a strategic collaboration with the reputed American pharmaceutical firm, Bristol-Myers Squibb to carry out research activities on cancer treatment outcomes. To improve the effectiveness and tolerability of cancer drugs such as Mekinist (trametinib) and Opdivo (nivolumab), both the firms are willing to develop new potential treatment options. As per reliable statistics, colorectal cancer claimed the lives of nearly 694,000 patients in 2012. In the same year, the prevalence of colorectal cancer patients across the globe was nearly 1.4 billion. Considering this death rate, Novartis has taken initiations to enhance the efficacy of the drugs to increase the survival rate of cancer patients. Both the pharma giants, viz., Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb are planning to implement the combined effect of Mekinist (trametinib) and Opdivo (nivolumab) drugs on cancer cells. As per reports, Opdivo (nivolumab) is gaining popularity across the globe owing to its capability to fight against multiple types of cancer tumors. This drug has been accepted across more than 60 countries in the world, out of which the most prominent regions include Europe, Japan, and the United States. This research based collaboration will generate a new effective way to overcome the drawbacks of Mekinist (trametinib) drug, since Bristol-Myers Squibbs expertise is reportedly targeted toward immuno-oncology therapies. One of the top officials of Novartis stated that this clinical collaboration will prove to be beneficial for the field of scientific and medical research as well as the patients suffering from terminal cancer, owing to the ongoing efforts taken to enhance internal immune-oncology. The legacy of Novartis in the combination of medicines will contribute significantly to this collaboration and will lead to the development of innovative and effective treatment options, state experts. Official authorities have also announced that based on the collaboration agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will invest considerably in numerous research and development activities that will result in effective combination therapies and dosage scheduling. This deal will provide an effective way for Novartis to gain the topmost business position with its oncology portfolio that is on the verge of attaining commercial success. According to an official report, in 2015, Opdivo and Yervoy received approval for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, which is the first ever immune oncology combination formed by Bristol-Myers Squibb. This combination has been accepted in more than 50 countries across the globe. Novartis has expanded its reach across 155 countries in the globe. This leading position of Novartis in the pharmaceutical business is likely to help Bristol-Myers Squibb expand its regional presence as well, as per industry analysts.



Roquette expands its business horizon in pharmaceutical excipients market

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:58:04 +0530

Roquette, a global supplier of plant based innovative pharmaceutical ingredients has recently announced its strategic acquisition of the renowned Brazilian tablet maker, Itacel, which is essentially a subdivision of the well-known excipients manufacturer, Blanver. This strategic investment will extend Roquettes penetration in the regional landscape of Latin America, since Itacel, in the present scenario is a front runner in Latin Americas food excipients and pharmaceutical markets. With this acquisition, Roquette will have the opportunity to establish a strong customer base across this belt, state industry analysts. Founded in 1933, Roquette, the France rooted firm, presently supplies a range of plant-based natural food supplements and reportedly has a yearly turnover of more than USD 2 billion. Itacel, on the other hand, headquartered in Brazil, has already gained an international popularity in the pharmaceutical industry with its novel product offering that is used for drug formulations. Indeed, the acquisition is not only slated to mark the entry of a new competitor in the pharmaceutical excipients market, but is also forecast to allow Roquette enhance its contribution toward the food, health, and nutrition sectors. As per reliable reports, Itacels parent company Blanver is now interested in establishing two other business forums - active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines, which seems to be the sole cause of divesting its excipients business. Subject to the customary conditions in terms of commercial support, industrial assets, technical know-how, and product portfolio enrichment, the union of these two well-established firms is expected to simultaneously profit one another. As stated by a higher official, through this strategic alliance, Roquette will introduce its expertise in the business that would further enrich Itacels long held cellulose based infrastructure and assets. The newly joint business model is expected to establish a better customer reach in the excipients market, addressing the future needs through more innovative solutions. This collaborative approach also marks a milestone in the global pharmaceutical industry. Blanvers domination in the excipients market across Latin America and Brazil will add a significant benefit to Roquettes innovative product manufacturing capabilities, infrastructural asset, and commercial network. In a way, Roquette is on its way to expand its business in other emerging markets as well. Experts state that a robust growth forecast in global pharmaceutical excipients market in the coming few years will further push the business development. In addition, this strategic investment is expected to address the needs of the rapidly emerging nutraceutical and pharmaceutical sectors.



Novartis achieves positive Phase III results for AMD, Eylea to face stiff competition ahead

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:51:22 +0530

Novartis, the renowned Switzerland-based pharmaceutical market player, has received data from two Phase III trials, namely, HAWK and HARRIER, that depict the optimum performance of its new VEGF-A inhibitor RTH258 (brolucizumab). As per news reports, this inhibitor, dosed four times on an annual basis, matches the results depicted by Eylea. The inhibitor is expected to go ahead with the regulatory compliance by the beginning of 2018. Novartis had been facing a period of slump post the launch of Eylea by Regeneron and Bayer, that was priced at a low amount, and the dosing schedule of which is less frequent. Eylea introduction had slowed down the sale of the VEGF-A inhibitor Lucentis, which was reportedly a joint venture between Novartis and Roche. Post the lukewarm performance of Lucentis, despite its first-to-market advantage position, the business position of Novartis in global age related macular degeneration drug market had been lowered by several notches. The pharma giant however, is all set to reclaim its lost position with the launch of RTH258. For the record, RTH258 (brolucizumab) is a single chain antibody component that enables better tissue penetration and robust clearance from the system circulation. Novartis took this drug under their wing in the first quarter of 2016, when the firm revamped its Alcon eye care business. According to the experiments conducted, the 3 mg and 6 mg dosages of this new drug match the 2-mg dosage of Eylea, in the average change in BCVA (best-corrected visual acuity). The two drugs were even found to have comparable after-effect profiles. More than 57% of the patients in the HAWK trial and more than 52% of the patients in the HARRIER trial received RTH258 every 3 months, as opposed to the Eylea dosage schedule of 2 months, thereby reducing the number of injections to four times on an annual basis, with comparable results. If everything goes as per what Novartis has planned, RTH258 will catapult Novartiss position in global AMD market. This would be a welcome change for the pharma company post its disappointment of 2016, when its anti-PDGF aptamer pegpleranib failed the Phase III trials. In addition, 2016 also witnessed Lucentis sales dropping by 11%, in addition to the threat of its biosimilar counterpart. While Novartis has reclaimed its position in the global AMD industry, competition is still rampant in the market. Rival pharma giant, New Jersey-based Allergan has also been running Phase III trials with its new VEGF inhibitor, the results of which are likely to be released in 2018. Experts are of the opinion that Novartis needs to commercialize its product ASAP, in order to skim the cream off the market prior to the launch of competitor products.



Nestle holds a major stake in the purchase of Freshly, the US-based ready meal delivery startup

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:25:56 +0530

Nestle is ready to hone its distribution network in the fast changing U.S. retail market with its announcement of acquiring a minority stake in the New York based ready meal start up, Freshly. The announcement of the deal has come just after few days post Amazons declaration of purchasing Whole Foods Market for an estimated value of USD 13.7 billion. In this transformative scenario, where high-end organic supermarket chain could turn into a mass retailer market, the Swiss food giant, Nestle, via this strategic move, is trying to regain its lost position in the American belt. Nestle has undoubtedly, always been a big name in the global retail market. Of late, however, the company has been facing few challenges in the U.S. ready meal market. Estimates depict that the regional share had fallen from 18% to 17.4% over the past five years (2011-2026). It had also been reported last week that Nestle is about to release its U.S. confectionery business, which generated sales of almost USD 923 million in 2016. Acquiring a portion of Freshly would not only provide Nestle with an access to the growth prospect of the retail market, but it will also bring about reciprocal benefits for Freshly. Nestle, with this strategic alliance will exploit Freshlys advanced analytics and highly effective distributive network which in turn would strengthen its position in the online retail market. Headquartered in New York, founded in 2015, Freshly, has a subscription based model that offers consumers diversified meal plans via a rotating menu on their website. The company also has nearly 400 employees. This close partnership with Nestle will enable Freshly to continue its expansion in the market by allowing them to access a broad customer base. Though Nestle hasnt yet disclosed its exact investment amount in Freshly, as per expert analytics, the Swiss firm would help the startup construct a new East Coast kitchen and distribution center in the U.S. The conventional food business model is observing a paradigm shift, with consumer inclining toward more health-conscious food that is a good fit for their healthy lifestyle. Although most food choices are still made in supermarkets, it is no more a supposition that consumers across the world are depicting a spontaneous acceptance to DTC (direct -to - consumers) options. It now remains to be seen how Nestles investment in Freshly benefits the former in terms of experiencing an effective distributive retail channel.



Google’s Alphabet Incorporation to sell robot-manufacturing firms Schaft and Boston Dynamics to Japan’ Softbank Group

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:15:40 +0530

Softbank Group, a multinational telecommunications internet firm based in Japan, has decided to purchase robot maker Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Incorporation, a U.S. based multinational firm and a parent company of Google, to be a forerunner in the smart robotics business. The transaction is also expected to support the growth of Japan robotics industry and offer bright future prospects for the overall robotics industry. As per the deal, SoftBank will also purchase Schaft, a reputed Japanese robotics company, from Alphabet Inc. The former had already developed Pepper, the worlds first robot that is reputed to have the ability to understand human emotions. Boston Dynamics, a spin off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the first developer of robots that were designed to exhibit animal-like traits, has always remained at the forefront of the news columns, having had the reputation of being mentioned in myriad news snippets on a daily basis. It had already created the robots that can jump, climb staircase, and run. The firm had constantly displayed its ability to manufacture new robots resembling animal prototypes which could trek across all kinds of landscape. It had also posted online videos more often on the web and social networking sites. The robot maker claims that it has already developed two robots, one of which runs as fast as 20 miles/hour, and the other that is designed to accompany marines on job and help them by carrying 500 kilos of load. Analysts have predicted that the robotics industry has tremendous growth potential. Consequently, firms such as Softbank are expected to make notable contributions towards the expansion of this industry. Last year, Softbank had set a vision to enter artificial intelligence, smart robotics, and IoT (Internet of Things) business. The firm is the key merger acquisition participant in the tech fraternity and had already acquired ARM, a UK based chip designer. A few days back, Saudi Arabia and Softbank also launched a wealth fund worth USD 100 billion, termed as a vision fund which will make investments in artificial intelligence and robotics. Experts state the world has been facing critical issues since the last few years that human beings, in all probability, may be unable to resolve. These issues are likely to be solved to an extent only with the help of advanced technologies such as smart robotics. Softbanks mission borders on producing technologically dynamic robots that will form a vital component of the new technological revolution with their ability to benefit mankind through their extensive utilization across the globe.



Volvo promises to bring sustainability in its new business models

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:10:55 +0530

Volvo, a Swedish multinational manufacturing company, is now committed to roll out more safe, sustainable, and convenient cars on the road. In this regard, the company is upgrading its business model to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and be a force for change. Volvo CEO Hkan Samuelsson is encouraging the entire automotive industry to adapt to exclusive customer demands and follow Volvos lead to purse sustainability. With the changing preferences of the buyer regarding car ownerships, Samuelsson believes that sustainability of the product will draw immense success. Moreover, the CEO also displayed complete confidence in the companys next-gen, fully electrified, autonomous, and connected vehicles which will enable the future of the cities to be safer, smarter, and cleaner. The UN Global Compact Nordic Network meeting for 2017 had taken place in Gothenburg recently. Samuelsson used the two-day event to bring Volvos commitment to the sustainability business in the limelight. He also addressed the delegates by speaking about the limitations with the internal combustion engine as far as the sustainability mission is considered. Furthermore, he added that the company has a truly ambitious target when it comes to electrification. Presently, Volvo has committed to bring 1 million electrified vehicles on the road by 2050, and intends to help meet their sustainability goals by having entirely climate-neutral manufacturing operations. Volvo acknowledges their ambitious mission but also sees this as a necessity for the future of environment and safety. Speaking of safety, the company is taking even bigger steps with an aim to reduce the number of deaths or fatalities people encounter. Volvo with the introduction of its new sustainable model intends to reduce the number of road accidents to zero by 2020. This Sweden company, which has built its reputation on safety, says that Vision 2020 is about providing death proof cars soon on the road. The paradigm shift toward sustainable transport will present great opportunities for the automotive industry. Renowned leaders from the Public Development Sustainability have stated that auto carmakers that will establish a reputation for environmental stewardship, are more impressionable to attract the dynamic young customers of today build trust among the Millennials. So far, Volvos progress accounts for a 70% reduction in carbon emissions between 2004-2016 from its European manufacturing units. The companys work with the Belgian government at the Ghent manufacturing facility has led to a 40% reduction in carbon emissions. This company also has six plug-in hybrids and plans to deliver an electric variant to every new model in the line.



Walmart to accelerate its growth in e-commerce to compete with Amazon

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:02:44 +0530

Wal-Mart has been pushing hard to catch up with Amazon to sustain its position in the e-commerce battle among leading retailers. This American multinational retail corporation, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, has already been taking baby steps to combat with the e-commerce market giant, Amazon. Walmart, a retail outlet that operates a chain of hypermarkets, grocery stores, and discount department stores, was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton and has now gotten aggressive in its battle with many e-commerce behemoths, Amazon being on the top of the list. Keeping up with the latest trends in the digital world, Amazon has been swiftly improving its delivery options and online portfolios. However, Walmart and other top notch retailers are still tackling problems to catch up with the online leader. Nevertheless, though Amazon has long dominated e-commerce, Walmart, in an equivalent way, has ruled the brick-and-mortar retail. Amazon was not the first online company, but has been the most innovative amongst others. A part of Amazons success can be attributed to its wide range of product offerings. As per reports, its first steps to success can be credited to a meager product category - books. With the introduction of Kindle, the company achieved popularity and maintained its position by coming up with several new innovative products and services. Now, the firm has been doing great by penetrating its services into their consumers everyday lives. As per the bank Macquarie, more than half of the funds spent online in the U.S. are being credited to Amazon. Offerings such as Prime service and Kindle have paved the path for this companys success, according to a leading report focusing on the success of e-commerce. On the other hand, Walmart being worlds largest company by revenue and the largest private employer in the world, with over 2.2 million employees, is somehow struggling to connect with its consumers and woo them over exclusive deals. In the meantime, this company has been signing agreements to enhance its business. The firm bought Jet.com for USD 3.3 billion and marked it as its strongest bid to compete with e-commerce leader Amazon. Walmart has also invested billions in expanding its online operation and has established two offices in Silicon Valley to strengthen its distribution networks. The company has also started a similar subscription service like Amazon Prime, at half of the price. The acquisition of Jet.com has been touted as Walmarts largest ever deal in U.S. and is deemed as its biggest attempt till date to chase down Amazon. It is yet to be seen from the Walmarts quarterly reports in 2017, whether these numerous efforts will pay off for the retail giant.



Dow Chemical Company to invest in Saudi Arabia for setting up a coatings and silicones unit

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:21:59 +0530

Supporting Saudis Vision 2030, Dow Chemical Company has signed an agreement to develop a manufacturing unit in Saudi Arabia. This agreement is likely to provide the region with water-treatment applications and a wide range of polymers for coatings. The proposed agreement also includes a memorandum of understanding for a feasibility study on Dows Performance Silicones franchise. The deal signed in the presence of U.S. President Donald Trump and the Crowned Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is set to bring state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This move will further serve to integrate the former Dow Corning silicones business into Dow. The proposed silicones investment comprises a construction of fully integrated high performance silicones and integrated siloxanes complex. Situated in PlasChem Park, Jubail, the coating facility will provide Saudi with a wide range of acrylic-based polymers for architectural and industrial coatings and detergent and water-treatment applications. The products manufactured from this coating facility are intended to witness heavy demand from solar energy, high performance building and construction, personal and home care, medical devices, oil and gas, and automotive sectors. The development of new hybrid materials that serve as unique and technology rich products will complement Dows existing coating market in Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and other provinces of the Middle East. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia proclaimed a series of deals worth more than USD 55 billion with the U.S. companies to make progress in their Vision 2030 plan that aims at a monetary diversification in the countrys economy. The region concurrently reached the initial stages of agreements with US oil and gas companies, industrial manufacturers, and defense companies. Boasting of a long-term strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia of about 4 decades, Dow, renowned oil and gas market player, has earned the tag of being the largest foreign investor in the kingdom. The Government of Saudi Arabia permitted Dow Chemicals with a 100% ownership in the trading sector. Dows long term partnership have resulted into several joint ventures in the kingdom. Sadara Chemical Company is one of the worlds largest integrated chemical units, which is a joint venture with Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabian Oil Company). This company comprises 26 manufacturing units. The Saudi oil and gas industry grabbed a revenue of USD 22 billion in a partnership with the US companies. The completion of Dows project in the country is expected to create a rough figure of 350 full-time technology jobs. During the construction season, the project is set to open around 1000 employment opportunities including 100 high-skilled full time jobs for the Saudis. Thus, the move will tend to ramp up the domestic manufacturing and support sustainable economic growth of Saudi Arabia.



McClarin Plastics expands its business in Oklahoma, firm plans to increase the workforce base in Oklahoma City

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:32:07 +0530

McClarin Plastics, a pioneer of fiberglass reinforced, composite, and thermoformed plastics is all set to expand its business base in central and southwest region of U.S., with its recent investment in Oklahoma-based Custom Composites. Though the financial details have not yet been disclosed by the company, the news has come to the fore subject to the fact that McClarin Plastics has joined hands with a high stature private equity firm in Oklahoma named MetaFund, that owns Custom Composites. McClarin Plastics, one of the foremost manufacturers of chemical composite products, plastics, and complex assemblies has always experienced a rigorous demand for its engineered products in the U.S. Through this alliance, the company seems to have taken a step further in improving the production capabilities in customer composites, thereby delivering a better customer experience. It is also expected that this acquisition will help McClarin Plastics to establish a strong ground on custom composites with the influx of expert employees. An additional capital investment plan by McClarin in Custom Composites recent 83000 square ft. production will be a new add-on gain from this deal, as it indicates that the company intends to expand its footprint in the state. Custom Composites and McClarin together will continue to supply novel composite products to varied end use industries including construction, transport, agriculture, railways, as well as the medical sector. For more than sixty years, McClarin Plastics has been a forerunner in custom modeling and fabrication of composites and thermoformed plastics. With Custom Compositess involvement, the company has garnered an even stronger foothold in Central and South Western U.S composite market. McClarin plans to primarily serve Custom Composites existing customers and later, spread its wings in additional businesses in the Oklahoma City. The acquisition represents the next level of evolution for McClarin Plastics, as the firm will experience significant growth down the line through this move. It also adds strategic market value to the concern as it is expected to offer lucrative employment opportunities (around 50 additional jobs) accounting for a considerable number at the facility. In this context, Oklahoma City Council s economic support in the form of incentives will cater the business expansion. With the gigantic geographic coverage of the entire country, diversified custom designed innovative products, and composite manufacturing processes, McClarin Plastics is anticipated to stand out as a leader in thermoformed based complex composite industry, according to industry experts.



Sinopec aims to bifold foreign investment, sets a target exceeding USD 30 billion

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:18:40 +0530

Sinopec Limited, renowned Chinese oil and gas company headquartered in Beijing, China, plans to increase invest more than USD 30 billion to expand its market overseas. The company, which is reportedly owned by the Chinese government, had already invested around USD 16 billion between 2010 to 2015, for the expansion of its operations abroad. This investment was targeted for business expansion in 30 countries, where Sinopec Ltd., also called China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, already has more than 50 projects in continuum. Sinopecs move - a government sanctioned line of expenditure, has been received with accolades from state-owned and private companies. Trade analysts are of the opinion that this policy could help Chinese companies evade stringent finance controls that have been the cause of investment curtailing abroad. In addition, it is also expected that this initiative will help China look for growth opportunities abroad and access energy resources, on the grounds that the countrys resources seem insufficient. Reliable statistics prove that Sinopec, one of the key players operating in global oil gas market, has a sufficient finance pool to double its investment and strengthen its business base abroad. The firms balance sheet depicts more than USD 19 billion in cash, which amounts to more than 130 billion yuan. The year 2016 also witnessed Sinopec take over Chevrons key assets in South Africa, for an estimated amount of USD 1 billion. A leading report states that the 2013 foreign investment of Apache Corp, leading petroleum and natural gas company based in Houston, Texas, was one of Sinopecs largest acquisition. For the uninitiated, Sinopec, in 2013, bought around 33% of the business operations of Apache Corporation in Egypt, for a valuation of approximately USD 3.1 billion. Back then, a regional protest involving the then President had threatened the successful turnaround of Sinopecs newly signed deal, however, the company had apparently gone ahead with and acquired a stake in the countrys valuable oil gas assets. This deal, back then, had been touted as Sinopecs biggest acquisition in the Middle East. Trade analysts had reported that this deal would bring about an increase of 9% in the companys annual production, subject to their strategic decision of buying up the operations of the Western Desert, which was far away from the centers witnessing political anarchy. Today, more than three years hence, the company proudly declares the Egypt venture to be a resounding success, for despite the drastic fall in oil prices worldwide, Sinopec has continued to maintain its growth pace, manufacturing around 350,000 barrels of oil in Egypt per day, churning out a business of more than USD 620 million. The company has reinvested around USD 1 billion in the last three years in the country of Egypt, aiming to achieve long-term growth in the region, and is currently planning to construct a petrochemical refinery to the south of the Suez Canal. Riding high on the success of its earlier ventures, Sinopec is confident that its plan to double the investment for its foreign expansion will bring in fruitful results. However, it is likely that there will be risks to be dealt with, in the event that the countries are not able to pay back China. Experts suggest that the settlem[...]



Unilever launches its sustainable packaging technology, commences by recycling used sachets to biodegradable ones

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:20:04 +0530

Unilever, the consumer goods tycoon, has announced its latest technological move toward sustainable packaging. The technology will basically focus on the recycling of billions of sachets the company sells annually and aims to avert their outflow in the waterbodies. This will help the company to brainstorm a complete circular economy approach, letting it extract the maximum out of its resources. This move is in compliance with the companys claim earlier this year to ensure that all its plastics will be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Unilever has built this recycling technology - CreaSolv Process with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Germany. The technology functions on the idea of separating the plastic polymers from the used sachets and then recycling them to create fresh sachets for the new Unilever products. This technology will aid Unilever to take a leap from its traditional economy approach, by recycling post-consumer sachets into highly valuable polymers. The company plans to open a pilot plant in Indonesia to assess the long-term feasibility of the technology. The country has drawn the attention of Unilever on account of the enormous amounts of waste it produces annually. Reports state that out of 64 million tons of waste Indonesia produces yearly, 1.3 million tons culminates in the ocean. Upon the successful viability assessment of the approach, the company plans to leverage the technology as an open-source for other industry partners, including its competitors. Reliable sources cite that this technology innovation by Unilever, the owner of renowned brands such as Dove, Sure, Marmite, etc., will create a massive impact on the emerging and developing economies, where the larger share of the population comprises low-income consumers preferring single use sachets over the expensively packaged products. Unilever also perceives the recycling approach to usher in huge economic opportunities for the company, the testimony of this fact being, the massive financial loss of nearly USD 80 billion to USD 120 billion globally, incurred due to the inefficient recycling of plastics. Not only Unilever, but other manufacturing companies are also making tremendous shifts in their packaging techniques as a step toward environmental and economic sustainability. In November 2016, Co-Op, the largest retail company based out of Switzerland, claimed to make 80% of its personal brand packaging recyclable by 2020. In response to this claim, the company recently announced a novel recyclable packaging for its pizzas. Another consumer goods manufacturing magnate, Johnson Johnson, took a strong measure toward curtailing marine pollution by stopping the sales of plastic cotton buds in almost half of the world economies.



Volkswagen refuses to let its final investigation report go public

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:57:24 +0530

The German automotive giant, Volkswagen (VW) which has acquired 70% of the U.S. light-weight diesel car market, is now simmering in its own toxic juices for cheating on diesel emission tests. The Volkswagen Group authorities revealed at the companys annual shareholder meeting that they will no longer release the final report about the investigation into its diesel emission cheating scandals, conducted by U.S. law firm Jones Day. Heres an overview of what has happened so far: Volkswagens special emissions software that allowed cars to sense the testing parameters set by the Environmental Protection Agency have been touted as a violation of the Clean Air Act. The so-called defeat devices were programmed to switch between two operating modes as per the parameters so that the cars would easily pass the test. Moreover, backed by a huge marketing campaign and the promotion of Clean Diesel as a strong alternative to electric and hybrid cars, VW accounted for a major surge in its sales. Some time back, the company confessed that around 11 million cars across the globe and 8 million in Europe were installed with the so called defeat devices. According to EPAs findings, the fraud covered 482,000 cars in the U.S., comprising VW models Beetle, Golf, Jetta, and Passat and also the VW-manufactured Audi A3. The Management and the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen have however recognized that a disclosure of the results of the investigation at this moment would invite heavy fines and more lawsuits for the company. The companys top executives addressed its 3000 investors that there has been be no written concluding report by Jones Day and for some legal reasons, the company will avoid the publishing of their final report. However, the shareholders at the meeting were not satisfied with the explanation and demanded a further clarification from the company to move on from their biggest-ever business crisis. Furthermore, a shareholder rights advocate argued that if the Justice Department approved their demand, VW management will have to place all their cards on the table, as per the sources. Over time, VW got into a tentative agreement with the court to buy back all the affected diesel vehicles in the United States, which amounts to around 500,000 and would also generate funds to clean up the environment. This agreement has cost the carmaker more than USD 25 billion. Despite the damage control measures and the never-ending calls from the investors, Volkswagen, as of now, holds strong in its resolution of not publishing the findings.



BASF to serve as a Silver sponsor for FFA in 2017, chemical magnate’s alliance with FFA gets stronger

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:21:47 +0530

BASF SE, the largest chemical producer in the world, based in Germany, will reportedly serve as a Silver sponsor for FFA in 2017, thereby strengthening the 60-year-old partnership of BASF with the National FFA Organization. BASF has been working with the National FFA Organization for more than six decades regarding agricultural education and the future of farming. The company has been providing donations and opportunities to the members of the FFA to build communities, strengthen the base of agriculture, and become established world leaders in their own right. Working as a Silver sponsor for FFA, BASF is likely to increase the number of sponsorships for FFA. As of now, it has been reported that BASF funds delegate programs, Teach Ag program, state officer programs, and grain production placement proficiency programs. BASF officials state that preparing the youth for their future responsibilities and making students and teachers understand the curriculum design and its relevance with the agricultural sector is a part of their responsibility. The BASF team also intends to continue financing FFA to help students better understand what skills and expertise they need for their careers and how best it can be achieved in the current industry scenario. For the uninitiated, the National FFA Organization is an American 501 youth organization established in the year 1925, specializing in technical growth and career counseling. Involving students from the middle and high schools, FFA aims to support and promote agricultural education, make the youth understand the agricultural discipline and the future of farming, and provide them opportunities for personal growth, career training, and leadership. Reliable statistics state that the National FFA Organization provides career training and growth opportunities to more than 640,000 students (who are members of the FFA) belonging to any of the 7,859 local FFA chapters in 52 State Associations across the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In addition, the organization is financially supported by more than 225,000 alumni members from the 1,934 alumni chapter across the country. BASFs collaboration with FFA has frequently brought out the best results. Recently, the firm awarded scholarships to 12 agricultural students, all of whom were members of the FFA. Last year, the North Carolina FFA Association awarded three members of the Midway FFA Chapter with the first place in Agriscience Fair Projects at the 88th North Carolina FFA State Convention. These awards were funded by the BASF as well. FFA officials have expressed their gratitude and appreciation to BASF for their immense financial support and contribution, in addition to enunciating that the goals and mission of BASF is in tandem with the FFA, as far as the growth and development of the agricultural sector is concerned. BASFs decision to become a Silver sponsor has only served to intensify the alliance between the two organizations. In addition to contributing significantly toward the growth of agriculture market worldwide, BASF has also established its footprint in the renewable energy sector. The company has been deploying sustainable energy sources for its operations and has[...]



BASF and PI industries enter into a strategic collaboration that aims to change overall agrochemical market dynamics

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:02:04 +0530

BASF, a renowned name in the global chemical and agriculture market and PI Industries, a notable agrochemical company, have recently signed an agreement to create a strategic model that will offer effective crop protection solutions to farmers. This strategic alliance between PI industries and BASF is expected to strengthen the business position of both the aforementioned firms and also benefit the global agro-based economy. As per the agreement, PI industries will promote BASFs new herbicide for maize and will also market the latters advanced fungicides technologies for rice, wheat, as well as fruit and vegetables. These two companies, well-established in their respective domains, have been working hand in hand on crop protection solutions for the past two decades. Through this collaboration, both the agro-based firms are aiming to bring forth the best possible protection mechanisms to agriculturists, the deployment of which will not hamper the crop productivity. PI industries has already established a strong foothold in the crop protection industry with their unique business model that revolves around a superior agrochemical value chain. Right from making heavy investments in RD activities, technological integration in chemical and engineering related services, to partnering with the best leading farms, PI industries has always come up with the best innovative crop protection solutions. With its advanced technological sphere, this well reputed agrochemical company, since the last six decades, has partnered with leading brands and has established liaisons with nearly fifty thousand retail points across the Indian sub-continent. BASF, on the other hand, is a global player in the chemical market and boasts of an impressive case of innovative products. Its partnership with PI Industries will bring forth more innovative solutions for the agronomists that will help enhance value contribution and farm productivity. BASF has always been associated with Indias successful footsteps in the business landscape for more than 100 years. As per a recent record, BASF approximately registered a profit of around GBP 1.1 billion from regional customers. It is also estimated to have more than 2000 employees in the region, covering almost 10 production sites and 2 research centers in two leading cities. This strategic partnership will bring about renewed business opportunities for both the firms. Experts state that the overall agrochemical industry is likely to be hit by a wave of contemporary trends that will showcase high growth prospects for this market in the future. Concurrently, this alliance will also strengthen this long-term relationship between both these companies and elevate it to a more strategic level.



ExxonMobil to purchase one of the world’s biggest petrochemical-refining plant of the Jurong Aromatics Corporation

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:12:14 +0530

Jurong Aromatics Corporation, based in Singapore has signed an agreement with ExxonMobil that enables the latter to purchase Jurongs petrochemical-refining plant by the second half of 2017. The acquisition of this plant will raise the annual aromatic production of ExxonMobil in Singapore to over 3.5 million tons, out of which paraxylene production would amount to 1.8 million tons. This strategic move is expected to help ExxonMobil acquire a competitive edge in terms of revenue gains and increased brand presence. ExxonMobils decision to acquire the firm was based on the benefits provided by the plant location for the petrochemical and refining sectors and the strong position that Singapore holds in world trade subject to its robust economic development. The largest crude oil manufacturing plant of ExxonMobil, possessing a manufacturing capacity of 592,000 barrels of crude oil per day, is based in Singapore and comprises of world-class steam crackers. The integration of Jurong aromatics plant operations, producing 1.4 million tons of aromatics per year with the existing manufacturing unit production activities of ExxonMobil in Singapore will help the latter increase its overall production, fulfill global demand, and expand its business in the Asian continent. ExxonMobil is also willing to provide employment to the qualified staff of JAC (Jurong Aromatics Corporation) to ensure the safe and effective functioning of the newly acquired plant. This move, state experts, will not only support employee retention, but will also enhance the plant production by utilizing the knowhow experience of the staff acquired by the firm. By the end of 2017, this integrated unit is projected to produce performance resins and halobutyl rubber for adhesive applications with the help of its specialty polymers facilities with an annual capacity of 230,000 tons. It has a high production capacity and can process a large variety of feedstocks ranging from crude oil to lighter gases. According to reliable reports, the global demand for chemical products is expected to rise by about 45% over the coming years, which is faster than the worldwide demand for energy. Asia Pacific is expected to contribute approximately 75% of the overall chemical products demand, owing to its high economic growth and rise in the middle-class population base. In 2015, Jurong aromatics corporation (JAC) went into receivership on account of debt crises. The company failed to detect and resolve a major technical problem at its Jurong plant, which forced the firm to completely curtail its operations for one and half years commencing from 22nd December 2014, resulting in a heavy loss.



Germany produces more than 85% of energy from renewables, breaks global energy records

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:22:02 +0530

In what seems to be one of most spectacular, eye-popping scoops of recent times, Germany has produced more than 85% of its energy via renewable sources. While the countrys contribution to global renewable energy market is not unheard of, the fact that it has efficiently managed to utilize sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower to generate more than three-fourth of its energy is a news to reckon with. Subject to the fact that the weather had been sunny all along with a slight hint of mild winds, Germanys alternative energy generation facilities were able to harness energy from the sun, wind, and biomass. Apparently, during the weekend when the country made this path-breaking record, the coal-firing stations were relieved from operation and the output from nuclear power stations were drastically low. In March, more than 40% of the countrys energy utilization was obtained from alternative sources. This number is now more than double (85%), which is monumental, say industry leaders. Comparatively, in 2015, the U.S. registered a little over 16% of the total energy generation from renewable sources, which is far lesser number than what Germany has achieved. Germanys sustainability program leaders affirm that this number will become the norm by the year 2030, and achieving more than 80% of the overall energy generation from renewables will no longer be a something that is likely to gain a jaw-dropping reaction. Reportedly, the government of Germany has been making substantial investments in renewable energy industry since the year 2010. The country produces energy from the solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass sources and has a remarkable contribution in biomass fuel industry. Reliable studies also depict that Germany houses numerous giants such as Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group, Drax Biomass, and Protocol Energy, that accumulate a major share in Germany biomass briquette market. The nation has been on the receiving end of flak and criticism owing to its aggressive approach toward deploying renewable energy sources. Apparently, Germany plans to phase out the usage of nuclear power completely by the next five years, by 2022, and aims to achieve 100% energy generation from renewable sources by the year 2050. Germanys smashing statistics are a testament to the fact that equipped with a strategic plan and sufficient investments, most countries across the globe can satisfy their energy needs from renewable energy sources. Many developed countries such as the United States, UK, and France and emerging economies such as India and China have made substantial developments in tapping renewable sources to fulfill their energy requirement. However, it has been observed that they still lag far behind Germany, which seems to have reached an all-time high with its record-breaking figure of 85% energy utilization from sustainable sources, in terms of government private investments, technological advancements, and flawless planning.



Flipkart’s acquisition of Snapdeal awaits the final green signal from Nexus Venture Partners

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 09:58:14 +0530

Snapdeals sale to Flipkart - the sensational acquisition which is still not through, has taken another interesting turn with Kalaaris affirmation to the deal value set by Softbank. Softbank, the largest shareholder in Snapdeal has been emphasizing since long on the sale of its portfolio company to online retail giant Flipkart at approximately USD 1 billion. However, the deal was stuck with a strong resistance from the other two investors, namely Nexus Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital, on grounds of the extensive depreciation from its peak value USD 6.5 billion during its last funding in February 2016 to USD 1 billion, the proposed value by Softbank for the merger. Recently, the deal has shown some movement with Kalaari coming to terms with Softbank deal set up. Softbank, as per the shareholder agreement, requires the consent of at least two stock holders in Jasper Infotech, a company which owns Snapdeal, to go ahead with the sale. After the green signal from one of the Snapdeals early investors - Kalaari Capital, Softbank is now in discussions with Nexus Venture Capital to push the deal through. Reportedly, Softbank already holds a prominent share in Indian startups such as Ola, Oyo, and Grofer. Post the acquisition of Snapdeal by Flipkart, the Japan based investment firm will also be one of the major stakeholders in Flipkart with an investment ranging between USD 1 billion USD 1.5 billion. Flipkart has also pitched in for its purchase of Snapdeals online wallet - Freecharge, at an estimated sale value between USD 40 million USD 75 million. The deal if successful, will prove to be a huge loss for Snapdeal, which bought Freecharge at around USD 400 million in a cash-and-stock deal in 2015. Freecharge was also addressed as one of the top assets of Snapdeal by CEO Kunal Bahl, with a valuation of USD 700-900 million, as reported in 2016. However, the Freecharge deal is yet to witness several twists and turns with popping bids from Paytm and Mobikwik. Flipkarts acquisition of Snapdeal will undoubtedly be a breakthrough in not only the Indian but the global e-commerce industry landscape. Though the views of Snapdeal founders - Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal regarding the sale is still blurry, Nexus Venture Partners confirmation toward the deal may change the Indian e-commerce market landscape with one of the biggest mergers of the history. Reportedly, Softbank is looking forward to close the deal on April 28, 2017, with a crucial and final yes from Nexus Venture Partners.



The FDA issues warnings to 14 companies for marketing illegal cancer remedies

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:28:48 +0530

The Food and Drug Administration has notified 14 companies for illegally selling untested products as a viable treatment medication for cancer. Reliable sources state that 14 U.S. based companies have been found to manufacture and sell more than 65 products which apparently claim to diagnose, prevent, or cure the universally dreaded terminal disease - cancer. These products have been developed, marketed, and sold to consumers without the approval of the FDA, which is a clear violation of the FDA norms. As per the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, it is illegal for medical, healthcare, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical companies to market and sell products that claim to prevent, diagnose, or cure diseases without presenting viable evidence of its safety and assurance to the FDA. These companies however, have manufactured creams, oils, syrups, herbal exotic teas, pills, drops, ointments, and extracts such as that of asparagus and other organic veggies, and falsely declared these products to possess anti-cancerous properties. The companies have extensively marketed these unapproved products on social media and online portals as feasible cures for cancer. Desperate marketing one-liners include selectively kills cancer cells, shrinks malignant tumors, treats all forms of cancer, miraculously kills cancer cells and tumors, and the like, as per the company websites and promotional adverts, many of which have been prompting desperate consumers to buy these products. Some of these companies have also reportedly developed diagnostic devices that use digital thermal imaging thermography, as an alternative to mammography, to diagnose breast cancer. The FDA has declared that many of these thermography devices are unauthorized and unreliable. FDA officials claim that the lure of buying organic, inexpensive products to cure cancer is likely to prevent a patient from seeking a proper, authorized, potentially life-saving treatment plan. In accordance with the law, the agency has issued warning letters to these 14 companies, ordering them to stop making fraudulent claims or face the disastrous consequences of their illegal actions. These letters comprise more than five unapproved products that are promoted with bogus claims of treating liver disease, arthritis, cancer, or kidney disease. The companies have been requested to comply with the regulations and remove the false claims from their website. Failure to do so is likely to lead to criminal prosecution or product seizure. This is not the first time the FDA has taken prompt action against fraudulent products. More than 90 letters have been issued to firms manufacturing unapproved products in the last 10 years. Complying with the law, the FDA will continue to evaluate and monitor unproven and untested products to secure consumers from potential dangers. In a bid to protect vulnerable patients from illegal medication, the FDA has also publicly warned consumers to be cognizant of advertisements promoting natural products as fraudulent treatment drugs. The organization has also cautioned consumers and medical care exper[...]



Apple plans to invest USD 1 billion for the expansion of its data center in Nevada

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:20:04 +0530

Apple has recently announced its plan to make an investment of approximately USD 1 billion for expanding its huge data center situated to the east of Reno, in the state of Nevada. This announcement has come barely a week after Apple had earlier disclosed its plan to provide funding worth USD 1 billion for generating more manufacturing jobs in the United States, however, the announcement carried no mention of the Nevada data center expansion plan. Apple, a leading name in global and Europe data center market, aims to create numerous job opportunities for U.S. citizens. Reports state that in order to reiterate its contribution to the economy of the United States, Apple had, a while earlier, released a breakdown of its workforce, amounting to roughly 80,000 U.S. workers, state by state. With the expansion of its Reno data center, Apple plans to generate jobs for hundreds of U.S. citizens in operations, construction, and manufacturing. Sources state that the Reno City Council has even given the green signal to the tech giant for the construction of a 4-million-dollar warehouse in downtown Reno, which will enable Apple to pay millions of dollars worth of tax to the City Council. In order to keep up with the promise of providing jobs, Apple has planned to triple its recruitment at the Reno campus. The Nevada data center currently employs more than 700 workers, and the company intends to hire 100 more workers to add to this number. Furthermore, sources disclose that the expansion of the data center will lead to the tech magnate hiring at least 300 workers for construction jobs. The data center at Reno has been touted to be the first significant project that has contributed to the states economic growth and cast the region on the technology map. Established with an initial investment of USD 1 billion, this 5-year old data center is situated along the U.S. Interstate 80, at the Reno Technology Center, between Reno and the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. Back then, Apple acquired USD 89 million as an award in sales tax and property tax abatements, for its commitment toward the U.S. economy. As of today, the company has more than fulfilled its promise and has doubled the investment at the data center in addition to securing jobs for citizens. State officials are reportedly pleased with Apples contribution to the nations economy by means of generating new job opportunities, and have declared that they expect more high-tech companies to penetrate the state, contribute to the local income, and generate further jobs for the states residents. Apples Nevada data center expansion plans apparently, have been perceived as a testimony to the aforementioned statement. Apple is also looking forward to expanding its data center at Arizona, the construction of which is already afoot, state reports. It has been observed that contractors have outlined plans to design the facility with the latest equipment, and workers have been notified to construct infrastructure such as roads and bridges to make the campus suitable for employing workforce in the futur[...]



Canada’s Competition Bureau approves Dow-Dupont merger post the outlined asset sales of both the chemical giants

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:15:09 +0530

The latest buzz that has become the talk of the industry is Canadas affirmative nod to the strategic merger of Dow and DuPont. As per reliable sources, Canadas Competition Bureau has given a ruling that allows the Dow Chemical Company, a major player in global chemicals market, to form a strategic alliance with DuPont, the renowned agrochemicals industry giant, provided both the firms divest some of their assets. The announcement is in line with what Dow and DuPont have already experienced. Previously, while seeking approval from other countries, both the chemical magnates were allowed to continue with the strategic merger, as long as the conditions prescribed by the regulatory authorities were met. For instance, the merger between Dow Chemical Company and DuPont had been recently approved by the United States based on the condition that both the firms will sell a portion of their certain crop protection products. The deal had initially faced a lot of flak and was condemned by the head of the U.S. National Farmers Union, as it was deemed to increase costs and threaten the livelihood of the farmers. However, the U.S. antitrust enforcers have now given a conditional approval for the 130-billion-dollar deal. Post dealing with the United States, Dow and DuPont sought an approval from Canada and have received an affirmative response, with the same conditional propaganda that they had earlier dealt with. As per the deal, Dow is required to sell its assets of ethylene acrylic acid copolymers ionomers to SK Global Chemical Company. In addition, DuPont, being one of prime corporates operating in global herbicides market, will sell some of its assets including the PrecisionPac herbicide dispensing system, Canadian cereal crop broadleaf pre-seed burn-off herbicide business, its farm at Hanley, and its packaging facility at Calgary, to FMC Corporation, a chemical company based in Philadelphia, U.S. For the record, FMC has already penetrated the market space in Canada -based chemical company FMC Corp., which has already penetrated the herbicide fungicide business in Canada, with brands such as Command, Pounce, Focus, Rovral, and Authority, to its credit. As per the conditions of the Bureau, FMC is also slated to obtain DuPonts Stine facility at Newark, Delaware and its crop chemicals manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico. Both the firms apparently, had already dealt with the terms and conditions of the asset swap back in March. The agreement validates DuPonts rights over FMCs health nutrition business, in addition to a valuation of USD 1.2 billion. Experts state that through this deal, FMC is likely to garner the fifth position in global agricultural market as one of the leading crop protection chemical companies, in terms of revenue.



Siemens Gamesa forge a deal with Equis Energy to supply 20 gearless SWT 3.6-130 wind turbines across Indonesia

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:54:42 +0530

Renowned German based power generation company Siemens and Spanish firm Gamesa intend to expand their footprints in Indonesia, through a deal with Equis Energy that is currently working on the Tolo 1 wind farm project. Through this joint venture, Siemens Gamesa will reportedly supply 20 gearless SWT 3.6-130 wind turbines with a rotor diameter of 130 meters and a capacity of 3.6 MW. The Indonesian government is leaning toward the implementation of wind based renewable energy sources to increase the nations overall grid capacity, which will favorably enhance wind turbine market. The current CEO of Equis Energy, David Russell, has categorically stated that Equis is committed to leverage its experience and expertise to support the government and local community. As per reliable sources, Siemens Gamesa is slated to supply not only engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services, but also operations and maintenance support (OM) to Equis Energy through this deal for five consecutive years. Siemens Gamesa has apparently been looking forward to continuing its well-established corporate relationship with Equis Energy to expand their business space across Asia Pacific over the coming years. The rapid surge in the number of upcoming renewable energy projects across Indonesia in addition to the fact that Equis Energy is the largest renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) of the country, this deal is deemed to prove rather lucrative for Siemens Gamesa. The Asia Pacific regional head of Siemens Gamesas onshore business unit, Alvaro Bilbao Moran, has been quoted stating that the organization has catapulted itself a couple of notches higher through this deal with Equis Energy, the latter being a very important and dynamic player in the Indonesia energy market. Reports have even claimed that the Indonesian government is planning to increase the dependency on renewable energy sources to 23% by 2019. The power generated at the Tolo 1 wind power plant at Jeneponto, slated to be constructed on the south coast of the central Indonesian island Sulawesi, will be supplied to the Indonesian energy grid through local substation. Siemens Gamesas already profound experience in the installation of renewable energy power plants, is estimated to bring forth a slew of benefits for Equis Energy. Estimates state that Siemens Gamesa brags of a globally installed capacity of 75 GW, and has established its footprints across more than 90 countries with a workforce of 27000 employees. Prior to Tolo 1, Siemens Gamesa had received another order the 75 MW Sidrap wind farm to be installed in Indonesia. The company has also expanded its regional space across the various Asia countries such as India, China, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, New Zealand, Philippines, and Australia.



Maersk & GE augment digitization tie-up, global offshore drilling industry to surmount a step further

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:46:44 +0530

Having successfully embarked on cutting-edge trend of digitization, General Electric Company and Maersk Drilling have decided to extend their partnership which broke ground last year. Reports affirm that the alliance emphasizes on improving reinforcing the productivity levels in drilling operations and thereby propagates the execution of the next step in delivering highly innovative services to the global offshore market. In the course of the partnership, both the industry behemoths are expected to intensify the scope of their 2016 alliance by aiming for a target of consistent drilling operations across 9 of Maersks vessels and 110 equipment assets including draw works, main engines, and thrusters. For the uninitiated, Maersk Drilling and GE had already commenced a strategic digitization alliance in November last year, aiming to scale up the productivity of the formers drilling vessels and lower the maintenance costs by a minimum of 20%. The companies had, back then, partnered to deploy GEs SeaStream Insight, which is the firms high-grade innovation in marine asset performance management. As per sources, the pilot project was scheduled to last until a year and has enjoyed a successful run so far. Perhaps, say experts, this may have encouraged the company leaders to prolong the collaboration to achieve high-grade efficiency in drilling operations and contribute toward radically transforming global offshore drilling rigs industry. GEs SeaStream Insight Marine Asset Performance Management (APM) solution apparently provides high-grade performance indicators and accurate real-time efficiency reports based on collected data from day-to-day offshore operations. Having commenced the partnership by deploying the digital APM for one vessel, both the companies now plan to deploy the same for Maersks additional 9 vessels, and ultimately intend to achieve the 20% reduction target in maintenance costs. Predictive maintenance is one of many digital breakthroughs empowered through this collaboration. Maersk, with its operational command over many markets, including the remunerative shipping containers industry, along with General Electric, has brought about the path-breaking development of the digital twins, i.e., virtual depictions of rig equipment tuned via valid data and sensors for marine systems as well as drilling equipment. Incorporating these digital twins along with GEs analytics will ultimately result in an optimized, high performance digital solution that is certain to reduce unnecessary maintenance and subsequently, unnecessary costs. Besides, as per reports, this solution is also designed to detect potential component incongruities beforehand, that will provide a forewarning regarding equipment breakdown. By virtue of this partnership with GE, Maersk Drilling aspires to not only enhance drilling productivity and reduce total well costs to deliver true value to its customers, but also intends to reduce deviations and increase the overall industry pr[...]



Duke Energy plans to set up its first three solar energy plants in Kentucky, construction expected to materialize by the end of 2017

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 16:45:25 +0530

Duke Energy, the reputed U.S. based electric power holding firm, has declared its plans to set up three solar power ventures in Kentucky, across the Kenton and Grant counties. A substantial amount of the construction of these plants is expected to be wrapped up by the end of 2017. As per reports, the power generated from the facilities at the Kenton and Grant counties after they become functional is estimated to satisfy the energy needs of nearly 1,300 household in the region. Two of these three solar power projects undertaken by Duke Energy, christened Walton Solar Power Project 1 and Walton Solar Power Project 2, are forecast to be built on 24 hectares of land in the county of Kenton. The firm is anticipated to install nearly 19,000 solar panels at this location, with a total capacity generation exceeding nearly 4 MW of power. The Crittenden solar power venture, on the other hand, set up in the Grant county, is slated to be constructed on 44 hectares of land and is projected to include nearly 12,500 photovoltaic panels. The Grant county plant will be designed to generate more than 2.7 MW of power, cite sources. It has been reported that the solar energy produced from all these three solar power facilities is likely to be transported to the firms electric grid established in Kentucky, which will eventually convert the solar energy to electricity to be transmitted to homes, schools, commercial buildings, and offices. Recognizing the rising consumer trend toward the adoption of solar energy in addition to the already prevalent environmental concerns pertaining to fossil fuel emissions, Duke Energy has thoroughly analyzed and prioritized its strategies with regards to renewable energy adoption. According to reliable reports, the prices of solar panel components and their deployment has reduced drastically, thereby making it more convenient for the major giants operating in concentrated solar power market to pioneer innovative, technology-oriented solar power projects. One of the top executives of the energy firm, having acknowledged the benefits offered by solar energy, has apparently stated that expanding the business landscape of solar energy is likely to subsequently scale up the power generating capacity of the firm, which will ultimately fulfill the extensive power supply requirement of Kentucky. With this agreement, Duke aims to take vital footsteps toward global environmental safety and sustainable energy. In yet another major step toward green initiative, the firm has also decided to construct similar solar energy plants in South Carolina to fulfill the growing clean energy requirements of the state populace. However, no official confirmation of the project commencement has been announced by the company for the same.



UnitedHealth Group & AARP to extend their business partnership in a bid to improve the health of the geriatric U.S. population

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 21:53:07 +0530

UnitedHealth Group, a U.S. based healthcare firm, has declared a corporate extension of its business relationship with American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Incorporation, the largest non-profit institution in the United States, renowned for helping senior citizens improve their health and by extension, the quality of life. UnitedHealth Group, the reputed healthcare market behemoth, is renowned to provide AARPs brand insurance coverages such as Medicare supplement plans, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D. Both the establishments have recently extended the dates of their previous commitments from 2020 to 2025, and have reportedly agreed to continue their partnership until 2030. Sources cite that AARP and UnitedHealth Group have since long, built a deep-rooted, longstanding business relationship by working together for more than two decades on mutual projects to provide advanced healthcare for older Americans. Reliable records are replete with the fact that cumulatively, they have both been attempting to spread health awareness among the older population and improve their quality of living through the introduction of new Medicare programs. Working toward a common cause by launching research schemes to expand the healthcare infrastructure, both the firms are striving to provide a seamless experience to the elderly U.S. population base. Optum, the medical service arm of UnitedHealth Group, is also heavily involved in the partnership extension plans and is predicted to enhance the healthcare amenities for AARP members. The healthcare IT market player aims to achieve its goal through effective execution of decision support healthcare navigational services along with easy availability of prescribed drugs. In addition to focusing on the health improvement of older Americans, the partnership also aims to launching healthy eating schemes. In addition, it is reportedly anticipated to offer lucrative discounts and benefits on the prescribed medications for the geriatric population. Estimates claim that discounts on medicines offered by OptumRx, one of AARPs healthcare partners, have saved the lives of nearly 1 million AARP members and their dependents. The program has been offering discounts of approximately USD 175 million on prescription medication since 2013. In addition, it has been reported that the food access healthy eating schemes offered by the AARP have registered a record of over 37 million meals to senior citizens across the country. The joint efforts undertaken by both these organizations have helped people above fifty years of age to avail the best healthcare facilities in the U.S. Medicare plans introduced by the UnitedHealth Group have benefitted over 12 million people above 50. In the light of these records, it can be safely assumed that AARPs extended partnership with UnitedHealth is slated to bring forth a slew of medical benefits to older Americans.



Race Oncology raises funds worth AUD 2.5 million, specialty pharma firm to launch Bisantrene in France by the end of 2017

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:38:46 +0530

Finalizing a placement of shares, each priced at AUD 0.20 to every one of its investors, Race Oncology Ltd. has effectively fostered AUD 2.5 million to develop drugs for cancer therapies. Through this funding, Race aims to expand the portfolio of Bisantrene, a renowned chemotherapy medication and the companys pilot drug asset. Of late, Race has been rediscovering the potential of Bisantrene and also filing patents as required. Replete with an aim to complete its final developments with this drug, the firm has raised funds which will be used to launch Bisantrene as a valuable cancer drug in the coming year. For the record, Bisantrene is an active cancer chemotherapy drug and has depicted reduced cardiac toxicity when compared to anthracyclines. This drug is used as the first line of treatment method for AML (acute myeloid leukemia) and other cancers. In order to improve its research and development activities concerned with Bisantrene and develop novel cancer therapies, Race has recently announced its collaboration with TargImmune Therapeutics AG, Switzerland. The two parties will be equal affiliates with a 50-50 business partnership and an equal property co-ownership by Race and TargImmune. The joint venture, likely to be called as Race Immunotherapeutics, will exclusively focus on combining Bisantrene with advanced cancer therapy technology. The joint venture will be independently funded while Race is expected to provide its flagship product and scientific support, TargImmune is anticipated to take all core development work under its wing. Race is planning to launch Bisantrene in the European markets, as it is permissible to sell orphan drugs in this region that are not yet approved in other parts of the world. The company aims to launch Brisantrene in France on a Named Patient Program (NPP) by the end of this year. France, Italy, Turkey and Finland are also under the umbrella of planned NPP markets for Bisantrene. According to experts, Races move is likely to positively impact the regional cancer diagnostics market that is slated to witness remarkable growth over the coming years. Apparently, under the Bisantrene Named Patient Program, patients who are diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and have had medical histories replete with failed conventional treatments will be administered with Bisantrene. Patients who are unfit for intensive chemotherapy are also reportedly covered under Bisantrene NPP. Meanwhile, Race is also filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application in the U.S. with the FDA to gain its assent and complete its development of Bisantrene under section 505(b)(2). Under this section, the FDA would allow the company to use its historical clinical data on Bisantrene. This move is likely to benefit the company in two ways - firstly it will not have to repeat the already conducted studies, and secondly, the move will help Race to open new marke[...]



Toshiba Corp. in talks with Foxconn and Western Digital Corp over USD 18 billion chip business

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:10:18 +0530

Toshiba Corp. is ready to kickstart a bidding war with its recent announcement of reviving its chip processor business worth a stupendous USD 18 billion. Reportedly, the Japanese consumer electronics giant has depicted an interest in Taiwan-based Foxconn and Western Digital Corp. as primary bidders. While the names of the interested suitors had not been disclosed by Toshiba Corp, the crisis-wracked multinational firm later confirmed that it was in talks with other suitors, which did not materialize until its self-selected deadline around the end of June. The preferred bidder group included DBJ (Development Bank of Japan), U.S. equity firm Bain Capital, INCJ (Innovation Network Corp. of Japan), and the South Korean chip memory maker, SK Hynix. Toshiba is planning to offload the business by the end of the economic year i.e. March 2018, though the recent talks are proving to be a roadblock. The first stumbling block in the deal is SK Hynixs proposal of financing to be done through convertible bonds, a step that would ultimately bring an equity interest to SK Hynix. Toshiba has refrained from providing any managerial upper hand to the South Korean firm - a stand it has taken to gratify the Japanese Government that wants the key technology to be away from the reach of foreign rivals and remain under domestic control. With the talks of the preferred consortium breaking down, both Western Digital and Foxconn declined to comment on the matter. The creditor banking sources also preferred to remain silent, possibly as they were not legalized to speak on the same. Though Western Digital has entered into a partnership with the Toshibas SanDisk memory card business last year, the association between both the tech giants is reported to be strained. In fact, Toshiba was even unwilling to transact any business with Western Corp again, cite reliable sources. Right now, Western Digital is undergoing a U.S. court injunction on an argument that Toshiba cannot conduct sales without its consent. It is also being reported that Western Corp has claimed to match rival bids. The chip division is arguably one of Toshibas major ace cards tapping up interest in the consumer electronics industry. While the company is still scrambling to cover the loss of billions of dollars from cost overturns at their bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit, it is yet to be seen how, amidst of all these challenges, the Japanese multinational conglomerate resurges from its ashes.



Medicare to dodge mandatory cuts in 2017, U.S social insurance program to remain solvent through 2029

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 17:49:19 +0530

The latest buzz on the healthcare insurance grapevine is the termination of monetary cuts in the hospital care funding for the geriatric disabled population in the U.S. As per a report released by reliable sources, this decision will remain intact unchanged until the year 2029. In 2016, it was forecast that the hospital care program will be extended only till 2028 and an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) would be formed by the U.S. authorities to keep an official check on the expenditure. Healthcare industry players have apparently been very appreciative of the non-compilation of the advisory board, which was originally supposed to come into existence in the year 2017 as per the legal provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The IPAB formation could have resulted in the reduction of hospital cares pharmaceutical bills, which could have prompted the U.S. authorities to reduce the costs of various drugs. Some of the analysts believe that the U.S. government may completely put away with the idea of the Independent Payment Advisory Board in the future, thereby eliminating the risk once and for all. An alternative for this, however, has already been considered. Accordingly, a health human services department or a 15-member panel is likely to be created. This panel would suggest the cost-reducing policies to the U.S. Congress, which could either implement the policies or enact a regulation to achieve cost-savings. In the event that the Congress fails to execute the regulation, the panels suggestions are liable to be passed through laws. Market analysts are of the opinion that the IPAB legislation has been collectively repudiated by all the parties in the U.S. Congress and a short version of the regulatory process to prevent the implementation of the legislation is under consideration. In July 2016, it was forecast that if IPAB came into existence in 2017, it would reduce nearly 0.2%, or about USD 1.3 billion funding of the hospital care program meant to cover the medical care costs of the elderly as well as the disabled population. But, the U.S. authorities could cut the funding of elderly disability insurance (Medicare) by 2034, on the similar lines as predicted in 2016 by the trustees of the combined social security trust in the U.S. The reason behind this is apparently the decrease in the number of disability claims and lesser payouts. For the record, Medicares spending rose up to USD 678.7 billion in 2016 from USD 647.6 billion in 2015.



FDA’s Advisory Board to confer on the safety parameter of Novartis’s gene therapy drug for leukemia

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:18:30 +0530

Novartis AG is on the verge to become the first firm to get approval from the U.S. government for a gene therapy drug. It has been reported that during one of the ensuing days, the oncology drug advisory committee of FDA will review this gene therapy drug, titled tisagenlecleucel, on the basis of the safety and risk factors regarding the treatment of leukemia. The Swiss pharmaceutical market player has introduced a novel technology called chimeric antigen receptor, abbreviated as CAR-T, that harnesses the bodys own immune cells. CAR-T essentially helps to recognize and attack malignant cells, cite reports. An experimental clinical trial has reported that 83% of the patients, who did not respond positively to chemotherapy, have shown significant results post being treated with gene therapy. An experimental clinical report has also claimed that the survival rate of patients diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) stands between 16% to 30%. For the record, B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) majorly occurs in the U.S. This type of cancer is often detected in children, more than the adult population. As per reports, Novartis applied for an approval from the U.S. government to treat ALL. Despite the fact that ALL, in all probability, is incurable if not treated in the first few months, Novartis is confident regarding the effectiveness of their gene therapy. The primary report of this innovative treatment has already been published on FDAs website on Monday. The advisory panel meeting is likely to be held a couple of days later, which will include detailed discussions regarding the drug. The panel will also appeal for the opinion of every member regarding pros and cons of this drug. FDAs discussion panel has however, cleared the speculations that it will not confer on the workability and clinical results obtained during the experimental trial. The panel will solely focus on the short-term and long-term safety risks related to the drugs. During the clinical trials, FDA found the occurrence of a complication called cytokine release syndrome (CRS) among the enrolled patients. On these grounds, the FDA raised valid concerns regarding the effects of drug, such as secondary malignancies. In consequence, the FDA has suggested that long-term monitoring is required to trace the efficacy of drugs. The FDA panel will come-up with some fruitful suggestions not only for Novartis AG but also for other competitors such as Bluebird bio Inc., Juno Therapeutics Inc., and Kite Pharma Inc. The approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Novartiss experimental gene therapy and its subsequent commercialization will cost USD 500,000 for patients, individually, and is likely to generate billions of dollars over the years ahead. The lucrative growth potential of this gene therapy[...]



French-based multinational Schneider Electric SE resumes talks of supposed merger with UK’s IT magnate Aveva for the third time since 2015

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 16:24:24 +0530

Renowned French energy management automation giant Schneider Electric SE has been planning to discuss the possibility of a merger with Aveva, a UK based IT firm, as per the reports from reliable sources. Apparently, this is the third attempt for a strategic merger by the former with the previous two falling apart due to undisclosed reasons. Tracing steps back in time, in 2015, Schneider, the multi-billion-dollar energy management information system market player had decided to purchase Aveva and both the firms had agreed over a complex reverse merger deal worth GBP 1.3 billion, with the former being listed on the stock exchange without any initial public offering. But the agreement as well as the talks of merger failed miserably by the end of the year and the deal was completely abandoned through mutual consent of both the firms. As per reports, no charges were incurred by either side. During the month of December 2015, both the multinational giants had revealed their plans to merge in the summer and Schneider Electric SE was ready to make a payment of GBP 550 million to Aveva in return for 53.5% of the share stockholding in the strategic partnership. However, Avevas share price collapsed by over 36% after the firm publicly stated that its merger agreement with Schneider will cause more problems for the company and the solutions for the same will incur more expenditure and unwarranted risks. In the month of June 2016, the merger discussions between the two multinational firms failed miserably, yet again. The move backfired on Aveva and its share plummeted to 1589 pounds in the UK currency. Now, the long overdue merger between the two is expected to take place in 2017 and it will be aided by the Massachusetts financial services company, a firm holding the maximum number of shares in Aveva. On 7th July 2017, the price of Avevas share closed at GBP 2018, which represented an increase of 2.18% from its previous best closed price. The merger talks have not only increased Avevas share price, but have also given the firm a market capitalization of GPB 1.29 billion. Buoyant by its highest share price listings on the stock exchange market, the firm declared that it will pay a dividend of 27 pence per share to its stakeholders in the month of August. Many experts, market analysts, and economists predict that this time around, the merger discussion is likely to end on a successful note and will benefit both the multinational firms.



AstraZeneca to attain approximately GBP 450 million via selling the commercial rights of two major drugs to key pharma firms

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 11:42:50 +0530

AstraZeneca Plc, a world-renowned Anglo-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical firm headquartered in Cambridge, has announced the sale of two vital drugs to reputed pharma companies. The company already encompasses a wide range of products pertaining to the treatment of gastrointestinal disease, inflammation, cancer, general infections, and respiratory disorders. As per reports, AstraZeneca is planning to invest a hefty sum in next generation treatment therapies by selling off its non-core drugs, namely Zomig and Seloken. Reliable sources estimate that the biopharma giant is likely to earn a collective revenue of nearly GBP 450 million through the sale of both the aforementioned drugs. According to a leading daily, two rather well-known pharma companies have bought the commercial rights of beta-blocker Seloken and the migraine treatment medicine Zomig. Remarking about the latest medicine rights sales, Julie Simmonds, an analyst at Panmure, the reputed British investment bank, stated that this giant is one of the most combative pharma players when it comes to disposals. In addition, she quoted that the firm has been rearranging its portfolio, in which case it is more constructive to receive hard cash up front, so that it can begin its investments into effective therapy treatments right away, without further delay. Post the final sale of the commercial rights to both Seloken and Zomig, AstraZeneca plans to focus on the development of combination immunotherapy treatment on lung cancer, i.e., Mystic. As per the latest survey on pharmaceutical market, Mystic will become one of most sought-after treatment methods over the years ahead. Speaking of the purchasing parties, reports state that the Germany based pharma company, Grnenthal GmbH, has decided to acquire the global rights to Zomig at a price of USD 200 million in June 2017. This acquisition is predicted to strengthen its position in pain indications market. With the acquisition of Zomigs commercial rights, Grnenthal adds another effective pain indication to their product portfolio. Gabriel Baertschi, CEO of Grnenthal, stated that such a strategic acquisition could help them to achieve their ambition to become a 2 billion Euro company by 2022. The selling rights of the other drug, i.e., Seloken, has been acquired by Italy based Recordati in May. The FTSE 100 company announced that it had completed the agreement with AstraZeneca with an upfront payment of USD 290 million in the second quarter of 2017. The executive vice president of AstraZeneca, Mark Mallon, stated that after these deals are closed, the company is likely to concentrate completely on the development of new medicines for patients. This acquisition is also highly beneficial for Grnenthal GmbH, considering that it will he[...]



GSK to enter a strategic collaboration with Exscientia to enable AI for new drug development

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 18:06:07 +0530

Exscientia and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), are pleased to announce their strategic collaboration to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence-driven drug discovery. GSKs expertise in drug and Exscientias proficiency to enable the AI platform for the pharmaceutical industry is likely to lead to a dramatic shift in the development of novel drug discovery and medical cure. The new partnership deal will allow GSK to examine 10 disease-related targets. On achieving the breakthrough, GSK will also offer a research funding of USD 43 million to Exscientia. Artificial intelligence will present the medical sector with a real opportunity to conduct research development as innovatively as possible, so that it can operate efficiently and mark success at an early stage. It will also save time and money that is otherwise spent on unnecessary testing processes, with the current drug discovery procedure being too lengthy. According to a reliable research, it can take more than 5.5 years to translate an idea of drug discovery into a market ready product. As a part of the deal between Exscientia and GSK, the former will apply both - its AI algorithms and Big Data resources to design and discover novel molecules that can pass the drug requirement criteria. Moreover, Exscientia is also incentivized to minimize the compounds which are required for synthesis and examination. GSK will provide Exscientia with research funding to undertake new targets for drug discovery programs and deliver pre-clinical candidates that can offer a suitable cure. Having recognized the enormous potential of AI in identifying the opportunity and discovering the compound, GSKs target is to reduce the average time of 5.5 years of the entire process to one year in the near future. GSK has also entered an alliance with the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy to fast-track its drug development projects with the use of innovative computational technologies. Experts declare that today, many big pharma companies have started to realize the potential of AI and how it can effectively improve and speed up the drug development procedure. Merck Co., Sanofi, and Johnson Johnson are also among the top companies exploring the potential of AI to modernize their drug discovery process. If the AI technology proves its potential in pharma, the overall industry is likely to witness numerous mergers acquisitions to integrate AI engines into the research and development of drugs. However, whether this technology can successfully examine and predict the behavior of a molecule and finally bring useful drugs to the market is something that is yet to be proven.



ChemChina gets approval from the European Union authorities to takeover Syngenta and seal the deal

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 12:47:49 +0530

The agricultural mega-merger of ChemChina, the Chinese state-owned chemicals market player, with Syngenta, first floated around the market in the year 2016. The 43-billion-dollar deal, however, has finally been wrapped up, after the much-awaited green signal from the regulatory bodies across the United States and Europe. According to earlier records, the National Farmers Union (NFU) opposed the merger and had then voiced their opposition to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As per sources, the farming fraternity resisted this collaboration move for the sole reason that since many years, agro-based companies have been acquiring local companies to hold a more valuable market portion, which had eventually affected the local farmers in conjunction with limited choice, less competition, and higher input prices. The regulators have given their nod of approval for the purchase of Syngenta by ChemChina subject to some conditions. Over NFUs concerns on reduced competition in the existing market of pesticides, ChemChina has offered suitable remedies and has overcome the key opposition to the merger. Moreover, in the Commissions investigation, which was focused on the competition in the pesticides market, the authorities overrode the opposition of NFU as ChemChina does not compete with Syngenta for the development of innovative and novel pesticides. Syngentas Vice Chairman, Michel Demare, revealed that all the shareholders will benefit from this acquisition. Besides, family farmers will continue to have a choice and can reap the benefits from investing in this technology. China owns the second largest seed market across the globe and the top international seed companies account for only 20% of the Chinese market. However, as per experts, the Syngenta and ChemChina merger will create the worlds biggest farm-business oligopoly and is likely to converge the agricultural power to the U.S., China, and Germany. The deal between ChemChina Syngenta is amongst the three potential farm mergers so far, including the union of DuPont and Dow Chemical, and Bayer with Monsanto. For the record, Switzerlands Syngenta ranks third in the leadership position of the global seed market after Monsanto and DuPont. With the recent acquisition, Syngenta plans to bulk up its seed business and continue to chase for assets in this unprecedented wave of mergers and acquisitions in the agro-chemicals sector. Beyond this, ChemChinas purchase of Syngenta has given valuable insights and a broader view to Chinas future, as this deal signifies the emergence of globalization, innovation, biotechnology, and intellectual property, all of which indicate an important part of countrys policy.



Amazon’s NFL games’ 30- second ad packages to cost USD 2.8 million for the advertisers

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:17:14 +0530

Amazon, a reputed American eCommerce cloud computing firm, has taken over the streaming rights of the National Football League games from Twitter by paying USD 50 million to the NFL. The former has offered to charge the advertisers with USD 2.8 million for ad packages including 30-second spots during the live streaming of Thursdays NFL games to the subscribers of its prime services. The bid is expected to be closely scrutinized by the ad agencies and broadcasters as Amazon enters this new live sports streaming business. The online retail market giant expects that the streaming of the football games will help in attracting more viewers to the website resulting in the increase of its online product sales through subscription of prime services. This move is also expected to benefit the advertisers as they can easily sell their products on Amazon website. Experts are of the pinion that through this transaction with the NFL, Amazon wants to compete with its rival, Netflix Incorporation, which is a global leader in video streaming. Though the cost of Amazon is lesser as compared to Twitter, which charges advertisers with nearly USD 2 million to USD 8 million for ad packages, it is still uncertain whether the former can sell the ads on its website and accrue large returns on investments. As per industry analysts, it is still a big question whether live-streaming of the NFL games will attract maximum viewers or not as Amazon has not published the number of the subscribers of its prime services. But it has been assessed at over 50 million which is far lesser than the number of Twitters monthly users, estimated at over 300 million per month. In fact, from among the latters monthly users, only 17 million users had watched the live streaming of NBCs Thursday night games last month. Amazon has always been in the news to venture into new businesses which have churned huge profits for the firm. As per a Barclay report, the firms sponsored ad business listings accrued an income of nearly USD 1.4 billion in 2016, which was seven times more than the ROI it had produced during the last four years. On these grounds, it would be safe to state that this move will not only help Amazon to expand its profit margins, but will assist it to further extend its business scope across the digital world. Other players in the online business are likely to take a leaf out of Amazons book and garner inspiration from this great business diversification example it has set, to penetrate newer markets.



Ford Motor Company to shift Focus production in China by the middle of 2019 to reduce tooling costs

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 04:34:13 +0530

Ford Motor Company, one of the key players of global automotive market, has recently taken a decision that highlights the companys shifting landscape of small car production. It has been reported that Ford Motors would centralize its next generation Focus in China rather than in Mexico and U.S. The America based auto maker has also decided to import vehicles from China to the U.S., anticipating a recovery in crude oil costs in the U.S. This strategic decision also underlines Chinas potential in the future automotive market, and the unwillingness of Ford Motor to invest more in Mexico for further production. Ford Motor has apparently remodeled its business landscape, post the stiff opposition the company received from the U.S. President for investing in the Mexican market at the expense of Americas economy. This shifting of focus from Mexico to China for production is a strategic financial move by the company, as it would reportedly save almost USD 500 million, subject to the reduced tooling costs. At the same time, in its China plans, the company has announced to invest USD 900 million at the Kentucky truck project to enhance the production of the revamped version of Lincoln Navigator SUVs and Ford Expeditions. As per reliable sources, sales of cars in the United States have been observing a downward trend for the last couple of years, as comparatively cheaper gasoline price has prompted consumers to tread toward more expensive SUVs and trucks. Estimates state that small vehicles, which accounted for over 50% of the overall U.S. auto sales in 2012, have fallen to 37% of the total sales this year, which is clearly depicting Americas dwindling market condition for small vehicles. While announcing the plans to focus its small car production in China, where the new production model is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2019, Ford Motor did not reveal any cost related issue related to the decision. It is also reported that the firm will export 80,000 vehicles to China by the end of this year, which also include the advanced Lincoln Navigator luxury sports vehicle model. The company also holds some other contingency plans to invest more at the Ohio plant if the demand for SUVs continues to grow. Large SUVs are attracting the future generation around the world and Ford Motor Company, being one of the leading players in the industry is exploiting the new technology to offer their consumers the all-new Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition. It is yet to be seen how this venture of Ford Motor catapults the companys growth graph over the ensuing years.



ABB aims to acquire L&T’s electrical business to enhance its overall production capacity, negotiations still on the move

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:56:12 +0530

ABB Group, a Swedish-Swiss multinational firm and one of the key players of North America assembly automation market, is eager to purchase the electrical and automation segment of Larsen Toubro Limited, the Indian multinational corporation offering financial, technology, manufacturing, engineering, and construction services. Its electrical and automation segment, which had reportedly produced an income of nearly INR 4650 crores in addition to an operating profit valuation of over INR 700 crore in 2016-2017, is anticipated to be assessed for a valuation between INR 14000 to INR 18000 crore during the purchase deal. This acquisition will help ABB to expand its business in India by increasing its share across the utility, farming, and construction sectors. For the record, the market value of the ABB Group amounts to around USD 57 billion. According to reliable sources, Larsen Toubro is demanding INR 18000 crore for the acquisition deal, which also includes its subsidiaries across the UAE, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabi apart from its Indian operations. But ABB reportedly, has been trying to make an offer of INR 14000 as a settlement amount for the purchase of the L T division. LTs electrical automation segment provides a wide range of goods services for the distribution regulation of power supply across various sectors. It includes protection relays, low medium voltage switchgears, energy meters, industrial automation solutions, and surveillance systems. This division has also established its manufacturing base at various locations in India such as Vadodara, Navi Mumbai, Mysore, Ahmednagar, and Coimbatore. In addition, it has set up its production units across various countries such as UAE, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UK, and Malaysia to enhance its production capacity. In 2015, Larsen Toubro Limited had decided to sell its industrial valves setup (establishment or plant) to the U.S. based private equity firm named as KKR. The acquisition agreement was anticipated to generate an income of INR 3000-4000 crore for LT, however, the deal failed to materialize. Experts state that the acquisition deal between ABB and LT is not likely to face this kind of a predicament, as LT has separated its different units from the chief parent unit. Of late, ABB has been keen on making more acquisitions to expand its line of production and enhance its production capabilities along with cost-optimization. The company has offered a bid of nearly USD 2.5 billion to USD 3 billion for the purchase of GEs switch gear and electrical business. As per industry analysts, key firms have always employed business strategies s[...]



Roquette’s investment in Northern France pea processing unit to reinforce its leadership over the global market

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:47:07 +0530

Roquette, a pioneer in plant-based food ingredients, with their recent announcement of investing over EUR 40 million in their new North American pea protein processing project in Vic-sur-Aisne, is all set to add a new feather in the companys profile. The expansion represents Roquettes second investment consecutively in the pea protein industry this year, after their announcement in January regarding an investment worth EUR 300 million in a brand-new pea manufacturing site in Manitoba, Canada. This recent investment undoubtedly will accelerate the firms pea business line to address the increasing global pea demand. Roquette has chosen two strategic sites, France and Europe, that will provide an improved offering of pea protein solutions to the world, especially to the consumers who reside in the aforementioned regions. The reports also suggest that during the time when both the plants in Manitoba and Vic-sur-Aisne will be operational, the two facilities will attain a combined pea processing capacity of almost 250,000, annually. As per estimates, sports and clinical nutrition will be the major revenue pockets of the company, as peas are an incredible nutritional source, both from the qualitative and quantitative angle. Reportedly, the Europe pea protein isolate market is already on a hike. Driven by the shifting consumer lifestyle habits, health consciousness, and sustainability challenges, the demand for plant-based proteins in the human sector is strongly increasing by the day. Pea protein offers numerous advantages to both farmers and consumers owing to its environmentally viable production process. Roquettes investment in the North American industry is another important step in their business strategy. By 2019, with its combined capacity, Roquette is likely to hold the dominant position in the pea protein industry with its improved offering of high quality plant based products across the world. Experts state that the decision of the firm to invest in the Northern France pea processing market will indeed prove to be profitable in terms of growth prospects, as the company will expand its pea processing capacity by manifolds. By increasing the processing capacity, Roquette will also be able to reinforce its leadership in the pea plant industry. The investment also reaffirms the firms strategy to develop specialties for the food, health and nutrition markets which would accelerate its growth curve. This investment only goes to prove Roquettes strong commitment toward its customers for delivering sustainable plant-based innovative nutrition solutions.



Magna signs crucial contract with BMW to manufacture Series 5 plug-in hybrid vehicles

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:09:43 +0530

Magna is on its way to become an important part of the worlds emission free transportation strategy by means of its strategic collaboration with BMW. As per reports, the regulatory bodies worldwide have been pressurizing automakers to come up with emission-free products, pertaining to which industry giants such as Ford and BMW have been improvising on their product portfolio. Magna, one of the major North American automotive suppliers, is also apparently contributing its bit toward a pollution-free environment. For the record, Magna has secured the third rank among the global automotive suppliers, and is in the process of constructing a new paint unit. Reliable sources state that a majority of the global automakers and their suppliers are investing a substantially large capital in the development of hybrid and fully electric vehicles. This strategy is likely to prove beneficial to both the parties involved in terms of revenue collection and cost cutting. As per experts, BMWs outsourcing strategy to assemble low volume models will help minimize the capital cost and avoid lashing of their own production lines. Industry analysts believe that the demand for emission free transportation will grow exponentially over the coming years as opposed to gasoline based vehicles. To comply with the governmental rules and regulations, most of the automakers are shifting their base toward the production of electric vehicles to sustain top position in the market over the next decade. Reports state that BMW is also planning to start manufacturing 530 plug-in hybrid vehicles at the Magna plant. It has also been reported that the production of Jaguars I-PACE SUV has already started. The chief technology officer of Magna has considered this collaboration as a near-term opportunity to improve the companys portfolio in the electric hybrid vehicle market. According to a reliable news source, by the end of 2025, the use of electric components in the automotive market will surpass 50%. This collaboration will also help to enhance the research and development activities of Magna, considering the availability of automotive experts at BMW. BMWs plan to establish a plant for new Series 5 electric hybrid vehicle at Magnas plant in Australia is likely to garner a huge customer demand for hybrid vehicles, as that plant has the capability to manufacture 200,000 vehicles annually. As per market trends, hybrid and electric vehicles are witnessing slow growth, but after the span of a few years, the popularity of such vehicles is likely to soar. This contract will, in all probabili[...]



Walmart invests millions of dollars as a part of its portfolio upgradation plan to renovate twelve of its stores in Michigan

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:47:07 +0530

Global retail giant Walmart reportedly plans to invest heavily to renovate twelve of its stores in Michigan, U.S.A., as a part of upgrading the chains store portfolio and enhancing the growth of the online retail market in the U.S. Walmart top officials have stated that the company intends combine their physical and digital assets to provide a seamless, convenient, and enjoyable shopping experience to consumers. While renovating and making changes to the storefront, display labels, and the like may seem insignificant in the larger scheme of things, they are important in terms of easing out the shopping process, providing efficient customer service, and catering to changing customer preferences while shopping. The renovation comes as a part of the plan to keep up with the shifting trends of shopping and consumer expectations. Some of the prime features Walmart intends to introduce in its stores at Michigan and all over the U.S. via remodeling include: Erecting display tables in the electronics department to help shoppers test devices Testing online grocery ordering lists with in-store pickup in three Michigan markets in the southeast Improving sight-lines with appropriate signs and lower product shelves Shifting in-store pickup areas to the storefront Expanding the in-house departments such as bakery, baby products, deli, groceries, and daily produce Establishing a relaxing area a lounge for shoppers to relax and pick up online orders Launching a stroller garage in the baby section for shoppers to experiment with Increasing the overall number of organic and fresh goods Creating wider, well-angled aisles for convenient mobility and improved navigation Walmarts plans to remodel its stores has possibly stemmed from the latest financial reports that depict lucrative prospects for the chain. The sales from Walmarts e-commerce sector increased by a striking 63% in Q1 2017. This number is reportedly several times more than what other retail companies have managed to achieve. The total sales for the company in the United States increased by 2.9% in the same quarter, with a total valuation of more than USD 75 billion. Walmart intends to cash in on the existing sales figures and improve them over time, which can be thought of as a major reason for the company to kickstart the remodeling project. The retail magnate is aware of the changing trends of consumers toward online shopping, owing to which it plans to improve the appearance, design, and approach of these twelve stores, which is likely to attract a new pool o[...]



Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Ensco PLC to be involved in crucial M and A deals to expand their oil and gas business on a global scale

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:07 +0530

Chevron Corporation, a renowned multinational energy corporation headquartered in California, United States, has agreed to sell all its shares in CTTR (Chevron Trinidad and Tobago Resources SRL) and in Trinling Limited, an LNG marketing transport firm to Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The well-known oil gas market player will acquire a stake of 50% in each of the aforementioned firms for a valuation of around USD 250 million. As per the transaction, Shells BG International Limited will acquire CTTRs non-operated working interest in Block 5(a), Block E, and Block 6 which comprises Starfish, Dolphin, and Dolphin Deep natural gas fields located at East Coast Marine Area in offshore Trinidad. Chevron Trinidad and Tobago Resources SRL also holds more than half of the operating interest across the Manatee Area of Block 6 (d), which includes a ten trillion cubic feet Loran Manatee gas field. This acquisition is expected to be completed by mid-2017 and will help Royal Dutch Shell PLC to expand its oil gas operations across Trinidad Tobago. In another such acquisition move, Ensco Plc, one of the global leaders in offshore drilling market, is set to acquire Atwood Oceanics Incorporation for nearly USD 863 million. This deal is expected to prove rather beneficial for the Enscos fleet as a result of the addition of high-specification offshore oil rigs. After completion of the acquisition in the third quarter of 2017, the company will possess a fleet of 63 offshore oil rigs. Atwood, an offshore oil drilling contractor based in Houston, Texas, holds nine offshore drilling establishments, six ultra-deep-water floaters, and five high-specification jack-ups. Two of its ultra-deep-water drill ships are under construction. As a part of the agreement between these offshore oil drilling giants, Enscos shares are liable to be transferred to Atwoods shareholders at a ratio of 1.6:1. Ensco has collaborated with HSBC Securities Incorporation, Morgan Stanley Co LLC, and DnB Markets Incorporation to create its own panel of financial consultants along with a selection of Altham Watkins LLP as a legal guide to successfully carry out the acquisition. This deal will help Ensco to increase its operations in offshore deep water as well as shallow-water drilling business across the globe and explore penetrate new markets. Reportedly, even Atwood will heavily benefit from this agreement, as it will help the company completely focus on the shale drilling activities and grow its profits through the curtailment of heavy expendi[...]



Amazon to invade the pharmaceutical space, industry players to face tough challenges ahead

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:47:07 +0530

Global retail and wholesale market player, Amazon, has ambitious plans to penetrate the pharmaceutical industry. Reports state that the retail magnate has hired a renowned business lead to determine how it can enter the pharma business space. Amazon had been, for a long time, toying with its decision to establish its footprints in global pharmaceutical market, but no major step had been taken regarding the decision. This time however, the retail giant seems to be serious and is expected to break ground soon for its entry into the pharma business. As per reliable reports, Amazon is in the process of creating an in-house PBM (pharmacy benefit manager) to serve its workforce that is around 128,000. The company is also brainstorming a strategy that will permit it to prescribe drugs to its global customers. Though the final call has not yet been taken, industry experts have already begun to enlist their presumptions regarding the upcoming disruptions in the pharma business, in the event that Amazon completely invades this space. As per estimates, Americans spend more than USD 370 billion on prescription medicines per year. Of late, the number has been steadily increasing, owing to which there has been a rising demand to curtail prescription drug prices. While many pharmacy benefit managers and drug retailers have leverage to negotiate for lesser costs and reduce overlapping prices related to drug distribution management and inventory, the industry is desperately short of transparency, and here is where Amazon comes in, according to experts. Amazons inroad into online pharma retail is likely to cause disruption in the pharmaceutical market. It could indicate more challenges for the PBM industry on the grounds of mail prescription services. Secondly, the move could mean more transparency as far as prescription medications are concerned. Prescriptions may not necessarily be sold at an inexpensive rate, but will be sold in an affordable, convenient manner that will benefit consumers. Enhanced mail delivery service is expected to be the flagship service offering by Amazon. This move could prove beneficial not only to the pharma sector, but also the entire online retail market in the U.S. Amazon has a wealth of experience in terms of data analysis and management, which will prove beneficial for medical care providers to send in prescriptions for patients. Reportedly, Amazon has already begun to test this concept in Japan and has been offering delivery of pharma items on th[...]



GE to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, announces a 15-billion-dollar deal during Trump visit

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:50:07 +0530

General Electric Co. has reportedly signed a lucrative business deal with Saudi Arabia that is worth around 15 billion U.S. dollars. The agreements and memorandums were inked in the presence of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and the current United States President Donald Trump, who embarked on his first overseas visit with a stopover at Riyadh, since his appointment. This move highlights Saudi Arabias earnest drive to diversify its global business beyond oil. On the other hand, this deal also provides an entryway for General Electric to expand its business further by penetrating international markets. As per reports, GE generated more than 50% of its sales outside the United States in 2016 and is foreseen to generate lucrative gains from this deal. The agreement involves General Electrics technology and solutions worth around USD 7 billion for the creation of diverse and sustainable economic platforms for Saudi Arabias industrial project development in power, healthcare, mining, and oil gas sectors. The contract has been conceived as a part of Saudi Arabias Vision 2030 to help this crude oil-rich region to wean off its reliance on solely oil revenue and production. By providing digital technology to Saudi Aramcos operations, GE aims to make the power generation process across this region more efficient with a target to generate around USD 4 billion toward the improvement of annual productivity. GE also plans to generate an additional capacity up to 12 gigawatts of power. Saudi Arabia, the worlds biggest oil exporter and one of the key regions of global oil and gas market, is eager for the deal to take shape pertaining to the sharp fall in crude oil prices back in 2014. The region is apparently aiming to generate over USD 100 billion in additional non-oil revenue by 2020. SoftBank Group Corp. and Saudi Arabia have announced the deal to be the largest-ever technology investment fund for round one of capital commitments. As per a separate company statement by GE, the company also plans to capitalize USD 400 million in a casting and forging factory in Saudi Arabia. This investment is most likely to increase the companys workforce to twice (around 4,000) its present number, when it will be functioning in 2020. Apart from General Electric Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., Honeywell International Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., and Nabors Industries Ltd. are also among the list of U.S. companies to sign agreements with major co[...]



Europe plans to construct its own set of gigafactories, sets ground for a fierce competition against Tesla

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:20:07 +0530

Europe plans to construct a vast number of battery-making gigafactories across the continent with a view to empower the sale of cheaper batteries for electric cars. Possibly, the plan was also aimed to compete with Tesla, which has already announced the construction of four more gigafactories in 2017. Leading lithium ion battery market player Tesla initially constructed its first gigafactory in Reno, Nevada, in the year 2014 after Tesla and Panasonic signed a deal, subject to which the latter invested around USD 5 billion in the gigafactory constructed by the former. Recently, Tesla announced the possibility of announcing the construction of four more gigafactories by the end of 2017. In response to this ground-breaking announcement, Europe has also decided to construct its own set of gigafactories. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, stated that the project is slated to commence at a plant valued at USD 543 million (EUR 500 million) and will begin to assemble lithium-ion energy-storage units for Daimler AG, the German automotive corporation that manufactures Maybach and Mercedes-Benz luxury cars. A major research organization claims that global battery making capacity is likely to increase two-fold by the year 2021 and will cross around 275 gigawatt hours, from the current capacity of more than 100 gigawatt hours capacity. Experts state that Europes market share might double over the period by around 2.5%. Recognizing this fact, Europes leading corporate leaders have formulated plans to increase the sale of cheaper batteries and generate more green power. Finlands energy and power generation company, Fortum Oyj, has been testing batteries for its GW-sized plan for wind and solar power projects. In addition, Sweden, Poland, and Hungary have been planning to house large-scale factories to augment the demand from renowned automakers such as Renault SA and Volkswagen AG. This is expected to apparently curtail the costs of lithium ion battery packs by more than 40% and bring the reality of EV-powered cars to the fore. The Daimler AG factory site is touted to be Europes biggest site yet. At this location, manufactured batteries will be feeding their own cars and will also be used for a venture that Mercedes Benz has reportedly entered, with Vivint Solar Inc., popular rooftop solar installer, to manufacture home energy storage systems. The scale of this current project is reported to be significantly smaller than th[...]



Baidu & JD.com to join peers Alibaba and Tencent in uplifting China Unicom

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:25:20 +0530

Two of Chinas biggest technology firms, Baidu and JD.com have recently lined up with other major Chinese companies including Tencent and Alibaba, for jointly investing USD 12 billion in the state-owned company - China Unicom. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd., now known as China Unicom, is reportedly one of not-so-strong firms amongst the Chinese government-owned telecoms triplets, with the other two being China Telecom and China Mobile. Despite being one of the largest mobile carriers by user numbers, China Unicom is struggling with many other entities as the Chinese market is becoming fiercely competitive. Reliable reports suggest that this strategic joint investment is a part of the Chinese governments initiative to hive off stakes in China Unicom and stimulate it with private capital, against the remote companies. China Unicom lags far behind its competitors in terms of technology, because it is widely seen as slow, inefficient, and over-staffed. In contrast, private firms have marched forward and are at the forefront when it comes to develop big data services, cloud, and mobile software. A leading daily had recently reported that Baidu, Chinas biggest internet search provider, would apparently invest around USD 1.48 billion (CNY 10 billion) and about half of this amount (CNY 5 billion) would be poured in by JD.com, Chinas second largest e-commerce company. The other two major investors, namely Tencent and Alibaba are set to raise CNY 15 billion and CNY 7 billion respectively, cite reports. State-backed institutions, such as China Life Investment Holding Co Ltd. for instance, is likely to be the biggest new investor, by assuring investments of CNY 20 billion in China Unicom. The investments raised by Chinas big tech companies would give China Unicom the capability to boost its spending upon bringing a considerable speed upgradation from todays 4G network to 5G. Subsequently, global telecom market is projected to witness interesting developments and shifting trends from traditional telecoms services to latest digital information services. The capital funding is also likely to fast forward China Unicoms 40G/100G deployments, which lately depicted a period of lackluster due to dearth of funds. For the record, the latest Hong Kong trading exhibited a rise of 0.9% in China Unicoms shares. Meanwhile, these mixed ownership plans are likely to be finalized by late Augus[...]



Sanofi strikes a billion-dollar deal with Ablynx to develop nanobodies for immune-mediated inflammatory disorders

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:55:05 +0530

Reputed Belgium-based biotechnology giant Ablynx has entered into a strategic partnership with French pharma group Sanofi to develop nanobody based drugs that are principally manufactured to diagnose immune-mediated inflammatory disorders. This partnership adds Sanofi to the already lengthy list of companies that are signing up to use Ablynxs nanobody platform. As per reports, some of these companies include Novartis, Merck Co., Boehringer Ingelheim, Taisho Pharma, and Novo Nordisk. Through this deal, Ablynx is likely to obtain EUR 23 million from the pharmaceutical market giant, in addition to EUR 8 million in funding that Sanofi is willing to provide to the company for commencing the project without capitalization roadblocks. The commendable escalation of the immunology market, cite experts, will be a major factor that will lead industry giants to exploit the full potential of this business space. As per sources, immunology market was valued at USD 58 billion in 2016 and is predicted to surpass a revenue generation of USD 75 billion by 2022. Through this agreement, Sanofi plans to use Ablynxs extensive research development expertise to expand its own drug discovery channel in immunology and exploit the myriad opportunities that it is likely to get its hands on, for the development of nanobodies. So far, it has been reported that Sanofi is willing develop up to eight nanobodies for Ablynx. Prior to inking a deal with the EMEA pharmaceutical industry behemoth, Ablynx had attempted to join forces with AbbVie, however, the latter refused to take up the rights to the IL-6 antibody vobarilizumab, on the grounds that the drug missed the mark in Phase II clinical trials. Post AbbVies refusal, the biopharma giant approached Sanofi and intends to move to Phase III trials on its own. Pointing toward Sanofis focus to launch new therapeutic drugs on rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis, Frank Nestle, Sanofis chief scientific officer for North America, commented that the collaboration with Ablynx was just the tip of the iceberg, as far as Sanofis strategic expansion of its drug discovery department is concerned. Further down the line, the company aims to launch new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis. Apart from the inflammatory drug therapy, Ablynx is waiting for the approval of the rare blood disorder drug caplacizumab, which is slated[...]



Unilever & Hormel Foods engaged in a ferocious corporate brawl to acquire Reckitt Benckiser’s food section

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 09:39:51 +0530

The latest word on the street is that of Unilever and Hormel Foods Corp., engaged in a relentless tug of war to acquire the food business of British conglomerate, the Reckitt Benckiser Group. Casting aside any semblance of furtiveness, both the companies have been vehemently going for the gold, matching wits against one another, in order to secure the coveted prize of the competition - Reckitt Benckisers food division, in a deal which may be approximately worth a staggering GBP 2.2 billion. Reckitt Benckiser Group, the renowned British multinational, had already declared in the month of April, earlier this year, that it was contemplating the future prospects of its food section, encompassing renowned brands such as Frenchs mustard and Franks RedHot sauce. Estimates claim its food division to have garnered sales close to GBP 411 million in 2016. However, a little bird affirms that the company has lately been focusing on the consumer health market, as opposed to its food beverage unit. For the record, the global FMCG packaging market player had recently earned the tag of being one of the first of many firms to cut its sales forecast, considering the manufacturing disintegration caused by the recent cyberattack outbreak. From Unilevers side, the proposal for procurement has come half a year post its rejection of acquiring Kraft Heinz, the American food beverage behemoth, for an astounding valuation of USD 143 billion. Apparently, the consumer goods company had back then, claimed that Heinzs takeover could severely undermine its market value. Under these circumstances, Unilevers cut-throat bidding war against Hormel Foods to acquire Benckisers food segment, for a 2.9-billion-dollar deal, has befuddled most industry analysts. However, a section of equity analysts has deemed the acquisition to be a perfect fit for Unilever. Among their many reasons for the proclamation includes Unilevers inclusion of numerous local and premium brands under its umbrella, such as Maille, Colemans, and Hellmanns. As per statistics, Hellmanns generates close to EUR 1.3 billion to EUR 1.5 billion on an annual basis. In addition, Unilevers victory of Benckisers food section will scale up its business prospects in the United States. Another noteworthy mention, cite reports, is the fact that Unilevers turnover in Q1 2017 was worth EUR 13.3 billion. Strict op[...]



General Motors ties up with Uber for the pilot testing of Maven, its car-sharing operation in Australia

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 18:16:54 +0530

General Motors, one of the top automotive giants across the globe, has recently announced the testing schedule of its car-sharing operation, Maven, in Australia. Mavens testing, as reported by authorities, is slated to commence with Uber, one of the top ride-hailing companies in the world, post GMs teaming up with the latter. As per experts, the paradigm shift in the preferences of automobile consumers toward rental fleets as opposed to purchasing new vehicles is a major factor that has fueled the growth of car sharing market across the globe. Keeping abreast of changing consumer inclinations, automakers are also focusing on long-term collaborations with ride-hailing companies. Following the conventional path, GM has announced a tie-up with Uber to test its car-sharing service in Australia. In fact, reliable sources state that the automaker had already teamed up with Uber for testing its car-sharing service across North America. Currently, the service is underway in San Diego. Under GMs agreement with Uber, the latters drivers will be able to rent cars manufactured at the automakers Australia based plant, GM Holden. The deal has been contrived on a trial basis to scrutinize the adoption rate of the Maven Gig in Australia. GM, though this agreement, plans to rent cars to Uber drivers in Sydney. If the adoption rate of rental vehicle increases, it is likely to favor the growth of both the companies in Australia. It has been reported that the drivers for the testing program may be chosen among the masses, especially people who are ready to undertake freelance gigs, driving for Uber. As per statistics, renting a GM vehicle from the Maven Gig program would cost an Uber driver a weekly cost of USD 229. GMs Australian division however, has not yet put a price tag on the drivers so far. GMs strategy of leasing cars to rental companies has apparently proved to be fruitful for the automaker, and by extension, the overall automotive market. This is evident from the estimates - in 2016, GM sold more than 42,000 cars as opposed to the sales in 2015, which were more than 21,000. Through the Maven Gig program, GM has been trying to provide customized vehicles to the rental company, which can use these vehicles for various purposes such as food or grocery delivery, ride hailing, and the like. As the sales of the cars f[...]



Toyota plans to invest heavily in cutting-edge technology, automotive giant to spend USD 100 million in AI & robotic startups

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 05:07:57 +0530

Toyota, the well-established automotive behemoth, has officially laid the foundation to launch Toyota AI Ventures, a subsidiary that has been formed to exclusively cater to startup technology firms which center their research and production around artificial intelligence. Toyotas initiative regarding AI Ventures seems to have apparently emanated from President Akio Toyodas proclamation on attacking defending at the same time, especially in an era where automobile manufacturers have been treading toward the path set by industry biggies such as Tesla and Google. Following the precedent set by the aforementioned behemoths, automakers are now investing in self-driving and automation technologies. The renowned automotive market player had already addressed its shareholders in a meeting last month, enumerating that the 8-decade company is likely to consider a slew of mergers and partnerships to improve its competitive stand in the global business scenario. As per reliable sources, Toyota AI Ventures has received an initial funding of USD 100 million from the reputed Toyota Research Institute (TRI). For the uninitiated, TRI is an initiative that solely focusses on robotics, artificial intelligence, and self-driving technology, and was formed by Toyota in 2015, with an initial capitalization of USD 1 billion. Besides providing initial and additional financial backing, AI Ventures claims that it intends to offer on-site support and mentoring programs to selected startups at TRIs headquarters in Silicon Valley. TRI is apparently interested in funding startups that focus on sensor technology, power efficiency, and machine learning field and simulation. So far, it has been reported that AI ventures has provided capital funding to three startups, namely, SLAMcore, Intuition Robotics, and Nauto. SLAMcore is basically a UK-based firm that specializes in developing algorithms for smart technology, including autonomous vehicles and drones. Nauto is renowned for designing systems for companies that supervise road environments to prevent unfortunate incidences of bad driving and accidents. The third vested interest of AI Ventures, Intuition Robotics, the developer of the ElliQ elder care assistant robot, is a technology startup based in Israel. From earlier records, it would seem that Toyota i[...]



Uber pulls off a phenomenal move, ride hailing giant to partner with Yandex for combined business interests

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 15:29:23 +0530

In what seems to be one of the most monumental deals of recent times, world-renowned ride hailing behemoth Uber has joined hands with Russian tech titan, Yandex, to lay the foundation of a new yet-to-be-titled venture that will, in all probability, operate in 127 cities, across the countries of Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Georgia. Both the companies disclosed the details of the aforementioned merger in a joint press statement. This pivotal announcement may have most probably stemmed from the recent alliance between ace rivals Rutaxi and Fasten, which has marked the beginning of the taxi market consolidation in Russia. As per reliable sources, the San Francisco based car sharing market player has already exited the Russian business space, thereby marking its second melancholic departure since its recent exit from China. However, the company plans to invest around USD 225 million in the country, in addition to being party to a merger worth USD 3.73 billion with Yandex, globally baptized as the Google of Russia. Sources suggest that Uber will have a stake of around 36.6% in the new venture, which approximately amounts to USD 1.4 billion, while Yandex, based in Moscow, will own around 59.3% stake. The technology behemoth apparently plans to invest around USD 100 million in the new venture. With this merger, Uber embarks on a new path toward finance consolidation and business expansion. Having held a disastrous reputation since the last couple years, with a slew of legal prosecutions and internal controversies, Uber perceives the partnership with Yandex to be a resurrection of sorts, to improve its financial situation and global popularity. Post exiting the China market in 2016, after a damaging loss of USD 2 billion with Chinese ride hailing company, Didi Chuxing, the once-eminent car sharing company signed an agreement with the latter, the result of which led Uber to own a 17.5% stake in the Chinese taxi hailing firm. Industry analysts claim that Ubers decision to collaborate with Yandex is a sensible move from the transportation company considering its market position. Yandex also stands to mutually benefit from this alliance. Post the approval of this merger, Yandex and Uber will handle roughly 35 million rides on a monthly b[...]



AstraZeneca to expand its production plant in Sydney, pharma giant aims to boost exports over the next half a decade

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 16:40:48 +0530

AstraZeneca, the reputed Anglo-Swedish pharma company, has recently announced an investment of USD 100 million for expanding its facility in Sydney, with a view to combat the rising demand for a particular asthma medication from China. As per estimates, asthma has been affecting more than 30 million of the Chinese population currently, and this figure is expected to grow substantially. Reportedly, these figures are what prompted the pharmaceutical market player to expand its facility in Australia. As per the statements recorded by some of AstraZenecas top officials, 90% of the products manufactured at the Sydney plant will be exported to China. The impetus to invest over 100 million U.S. dollars in Sydney occurred to AstraZeneca post the 11th of July meeting between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and AstraZenecas Chief Executive Officer, Pascal Soriot, at London. The latter even went on to state that three more specialized production lines will be introduced at the North Ryde plant. The implementation of new manufacturing lines is likely to increase the firms exports by more than USD 2.4 billion by the end of 2021. Each production line is estimated to produce more than 70 million units of Pulmicort Respules per year. For the record, Pulmicort Respules is a long-term maintenance medicine, which is used to prevent and control asthma. AstraZeneca has offloaded the responsibility of the expansion of the production line, to Melbourne-based machine design expert Andrew Donald. The construction of this high-tech plant is slated to be accomplished within twelve months, with a team comprising 36 members. Mr. Soriot was also quoted stating that this investment is anticipated to generate numerous job opportunities and increase the overall productivity of the organization. The regional expansion is also expected to contribute positively toward the Australian economy. The base line for the organization though, is to generate profitable revenue through the export of the medicines across the globe. The availability of high-tech machinery and skilled labor force is expected to contribute toward the expansion of the North Ryde plant. Through this investment, AstraZeneca is bypassing the recent trend of relocating to regions whe[...]



Faraday Future’s plans of constructing a billion-dollar electric car factory in Nevada come to a grinding halt

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 18:12:13 +0530

Well-known technology start-up involved in the production of intelligent vehicles has put a temporary veil on the construction of its manufacturing plant in Nevada worth USD 1 billion. Reports state that the unfortunate financial woes of the firms chief financer Jia Yueting, founder of the LeEco firm, are the primary reasons that have led to this temporary halt in plans. The Shanghai court has apparently frozen the assets of Yueting, amounting nearly USD 180 million, for refraining from making the due payments of various monetary institutions. However, Faraday Future has strongly refuted such claims, and states that it is actually looking for a new location to set up its electric vehicle manufacturing plant to speed up the automobile production, and hence was forced to temporarily culminate its plans of building a factory at Nevada. The firm had earlier stated its plan to manufacture FF91, a super-fast electric car with a predicted speed of 378 miles per hour, with a delivery date of 2018. Faraday Future stated that the shift in its business plans will help it to acquire a strong position as a leading manufacturer of the car-usership personal mobility based models, which have gained high prominence across the globe with rapid urbanization and excellent road connectivity. With the launch of this plant, the company intends to penetrate the competitive landscape of global automotive market, and possibly intends to give a tough competition to leading biggies such as Tesla and BMW. Faraday Future was actually expected to set up a three million square foot electric vehicle manufacturing unit on a 900-acre location named as Apex Industrial Park in the northern part of Las Vegas. The State of Nevada had allocated funds of nearly USD 335 million for the successful completion of the venture. During the commencement of the project in 2015, it was predicted that the establishment would generate more than 13,000 jobs (direct and indirect) across the region and produce nearly USD 760 million in tax revenue. It was also forecast that the manufacturing unit will make a significant contribution of USD 85 billion toward the countrys GDP over the next two decades and will boost the U.S. economy. Surprisingly, the el[...]



France to cease the production of gas & diesel-powered vehicles by 2040 in a bid to reduce global GHG emissions

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 13:01:38 +0530

France has decided to banish the production and sale of cars that run on diesel and gasoline, by the end of 2040. Reportedly, this is one of the key steps taken by this developed economy for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing toward the maintenance of a green environment. France seems to have followed the footsteps of Norway and India, which were among the first countries to undertake initiatives for reducing carbon emissions with the production of electric cars by the end of 2030. Frances announcement has provided a major boost for the countrys electric vehicle manufactures to expand their business. Experts claim that this declaration has also provided a positive impetus to the incessant efforts undertaken by regulatory bodies worldwide for the prevention of the global warming, which is majorly caused due to fossil fuel emissions in the atmosphere. In addition, the country has also announced that it is going to altogether cease the authorization of new oil gas exploration licenses in 2017 and halt the coal usage for generating electricity by 2022. On the 5th of July 2017, Volvo, the reputed Swedish multinational automotive market player, had declared that it intends to launch new hybrid car models in 2019. The company, with this move, aims to stop the production of new cars that are powered with fossil fuels. Experts claim that France may have possibly been inspired by this step of the Swedish automaker, and in response may have taken the decision to do away with the use of fuel-powered internal combustion engines. The country drew some flak over its plan to get rid of the diesel-powered cars as late as 2040, since earlier reports suggest that Norway has decided to introduce electric vehicles in 2025 while India has planned to launch them in 2030. Also, since the general lifespan of a fuel-powered vehicle is 15 years, the target set by France signifies that diesel and gasoline powered vehicles would still be witnessed on roads till 2055. This is the major drawback and a big loophole in the countrys plan to reduce fossil fuel emission and may pose a big problem for this developed nation to fulfill its own climate change objectives. Nonetheless, environm[...]



Halliburton Co. acquires Summit ESP to strengthen its artificial lift business

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 14:02:45 +0530

In a bid to hone its artificial lift business, Houston-based oilfield services giant, Halliburton Co. has recently announced that it plans to acquire Summit ESP Inc., the renowned American oilfield equipment provider headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Though the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, it is reported that this strategic agreement was at the final stages of discussion last month. For the record, Summit has a combined workforce of more than 500 employees spread across 30 locations in North America. Halliburton has planned to acquire Summits Tulsa office and workforce for an indefinite period, as per reliable sources. The deal is indeed an exemplary move by Halliburton in retaining its presence in the oil gas industry. Experts also predict that this acquisition will strengthen Haliburtons position in the artificial lift business. Tulsa-based Summit ESP in Oklahoma manufactures pumps that are used to maintain the well pressure inside the oil rig. In business terminology, these pumps are called artificial lifts. Nowadays, these electric submersible pumps are increasingly used in aging shale wells to prolong the shale life. Thus, with this acquisition, Halliburton will get an access to Summits expanding American customer base that would potentially strengthen its position in the competitive oilfield business landscape. For the record, Summit was founded in 2010 by John Kenner, a former veteran of Baker Hughes. Tulsas billionaire oilman, George Kaisers Argonaut Private Equity backed up the startup back then, as per earlier records. Prior to Summits acquisition, the merging of the two behemoths - GE Oil and Gas and Baker Hughes, had somewhat shaken Halliburtons position in the global industry. However, this current acquisition will enrich Halliburtons existing artificial lift capacity and will also help the firm to penetrate in North America oil service market. The acquisition of Summit by Halliburton, as per analysts, is also projecting the recent trend of joint ventures among the leading oilfield service providers in North America. The deal is likely to bring reciprocal benefits to both the companies. Summits progressive[...]



Laboratorio Teuto buys Pfizer’s 40% stock in the company, American pharma giant bids adieu to Brazil’s generic drug-making business

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 13:03:34 +0530

Pfizers exit from the Brazil pharma business sphere is seemingly reminiscent of the end of an era. As per reliable news reports, Pfizers 40% stake sale has stemmed from the companys inability to find a single private equity firm willing to stick its neck out in Brazils generic drug manufacturing business, depicting the challenging nature of the regional industry. Bereft of any choice, let alone a lucrative one, Pfizers sole alternative was to sell its stake back to the parent company - Laboratorio Teuto. As per one of Pfizers spokespersons, the renowned pharmaceutical market player has arrived at this decision post a careful thought analysis, pertaining to its interest in focusing on resources that guarantee success with the companys existing product pipeline. For now, the deal merely states that Laboratorio Teuto, the Brazilian pharma giant, will purchase 40% of Pfizers stocks in the company. Apparently, for the last one year, Pfizer has been zealously attempting to jettison Brazils generics business to focus on its reliable product portfolio. On these grounds, the company, in tandem with Teuto, had brought reputed investment firms including Advent International, Goldman Sachs Group, and Grupo BTG Pactual on board, pitching in the possibility of an eventual sale. It has also been anonymously reported that Teuto founder, Walterci Melo, is likely to pay Pfizer 1 BRL (approximately USD 0.30) for the stake purchased by the American pharma firm in Teuto around seven years ago. This transaction now officially marks the end of Pfizers efforts to offload Brazils generics business. For the uninitiated, Pfizer had taken an active interest in pioneering the drug-manufacturing business in Brazil, which had been, back then, touted by Big Pharma as one of the hottest regions for the emergence of drug markets. In a bid to lay the groundwork for future prospects, Pfizer had acquired 40% stake in Laboratrio Teuto Brasileiro, for a valuation of USD 240 million, in 2010. Seven years hence, however, the market scenario in Brazil seems to have undergone an inconceivable change of sorts. Industry experts state that rising raw material cos[...]



GE’s acquisition of Baker Hughes consolidates the former’s position in oilfield service market

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 16:00:58 +0530

General Electrics procurement of Baker Hughes, one of the largest oilfield services company, is lucidly a coup for General Electric, making it the second largest oilfield service provider company following Schlumberger. Reportedly, the merged unit dubbed as Baker Hughes, a GE company will commence trading on New York Stock Exchange from today under the ticker BHGE. Sources claim this deal to fill up a major gap for GE pertaining to its oil and gas business, empowering it with a double exposure to the production and exploration division of the oilfield service market. Its merger with Baker Hughes, which is acclaimed to be one of the most renowned industrial service company, provides GE a remarkable opportunity in the oilfield service industry, a business decimating since 2014. As per the statistics, oil prices over the past three years have suffered a major drop from USD 100 per barrel to less than USD 30 per barrel. Allegedly, the industry shed more than 1,60,000 jobs over the last three years and witnessed a bankruptcy of approximately 200 oilfield service companies. The industry breathed a sigh of relief after the oil prices stabilized earlier this year trading at USD 50 per barrel, which was indeed short-lived, with another major drop encountered in oil prices this June. However, this decline is rather a boon for Baker Hughes, which can lucratively exploit its key business - Artificial lift, amidst the reduction in drilling activities worldwide. Reportedly, Baker Hughes accounts for 18% of the overall artificial lift industry, following Schlumberger. Joining hands with GE which is an optimistic step for the company post the denial of its merger with its rival, Halliburton, will not only help Baker Hughes to expand in terms of size but will also intensify its position in the oilfield services industry. With this deal, GE has also become one of the major contenders in the oilfield services market along with Schlumberger and Halliburton. Through this deal, GEs oil and gas business portfolio will be a part of the merged unit, of which 62.5% will be owned by the parent company. Despite the f[...]



Samsung declares investments of nearly USD 18.6 billion in South Korea to further expand its memory chip & smartphone display business

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 19:12:18 +0530

Samsung Electronics, a multinational electronics corporation based in South Korea, has decided to make extensively huge investments in South Korea. The move, which is a part of the firms corporate social responsibility, is aimed at creating nearly 4,40,000 new jobs in South Korea by 2021, which, according to experts, will boost the countrys economy. This global computer storage devices market giant also intends to dominate the global dual sim smartphone industry through high quality memory chip and next-generation smartphone display production. The company is expected to make investments of nearly 14.4 trillion won on its new NAND factory set up at Pyeongtaek. In addition, it has been reported that Samsung will invest approximately 6 trillion won in its new semiconductor production plant, which is slated to be established at the Hwaseong city in the Gyeonggi Province of South Korea. Samsung display has also decided to allocate funds of nearly 1 trillion won for developing new organic LED (light-emitting diode) displays at its complex based in South Korea. As per experts, the firm will raise the production of long-term data storage chips at its NAND establishment in China due to the escalating demand for NAND chips to enhance the performance of smartphones and its servers. This communications hardware market player is expected to churn out huge profits through its NAND chip production in 2017, as the costs of these high-end storage items increase with its growing demand less supply. From Samsungs current slew of investments, it appears as though the company has taken advantage of the mounting requirement for high end server storage products across virtual reality and cloud computing applications, that will further boost the demand for long-term data storage memory chips such as NAND. This will also help in promoting the companys business in China. It would be prudent to mention that some of the South Korean firms in China have suffered heavy revenue losses as a result of the latters punitive punishing actions against the former due to the U.S. installation of a[...]



Alibaba’s purported voice assistant to capture Amazon Echo’s footprints across China

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 18:55:58 +0530

Alibaba is likely to launch its own voice assistant, thereby strengthening its already fierce competition with Amazon, the universally acclaimed retail behemoth. Amazons Alexa, the prestigious voice assistant, encompasses Echo-branded speakers, was launched in the U.S. in 2015. As per reports, more than 70.6% of the U.S. voice-enabled speaker market was held by Echo-speakers in 2015. In addition, Amazon also penetrated Europe and launched the AVS and Echo in the countries of Germany and UK. Alibaba intends to give a stiff competition to its rival by launching its own voice assistance device. It has been allegedly reported that Alibaba will announce officially the launch of its voice controlled device in the ensuing weeks. This device is likely to threaten Amazon Echos market value, pertaining to the lesser regional expansion of Amazon across China. As per reports, Amazon accounted for about less than 1% of the share in China. However, this humongous retail market giant is planning to expand its regional space mainly across India, owing to that fact that it has the second largest online marketplace in this region. Reliable sources were caught mentioning that Amazon intends to incorporate three regional languages, i.e., Hindi, Marathi, and Tamil, in its Echo device. Experts vouch that Alibaba has certainly taken a strong step to eliminate the existing 1% of Amazons presence in China with the launch of its voice assistance device. According to sources, this device will be designed to monitor the shopping on Alibabas e-commerce sites. Alibaba founder Jack Ma stated that Alibaba is often called as Amazon of China. Reportedly, Jack Ma has also warned American companies regarding the supposed success of Alibaba subject to the benefits of Chinese technology based devices. He also commented that the Chinese market has depicted its elusive business nature to most of the American technology companies. Apart from online shopping, Amazon and Alibaba are competing each other pertaining to various other sectors such as cloud groceries, movies, and art[...]



Amazon finally strikes a ‘pilot partnership’ deal with Nike, sportswear giant likely to reclaim U.S. market share

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 18:51:22 +0530

The e-commerce industry witnessed another coup with the collaboration of Nike and Amazon that will enable the former to sell its product directly through the online retail giant. Once dubbed as retail rivals, Nike and Amazon have finally come to an agreement where the sportswear magnate would run a pilot program to sell an assorted section of its products directly through Amazons website. Reportedly, prior to this deal, Nike has been declining multiple collaboration pitches from Amazon. As per reliable sources, the pilot partnership between the two biggest retailers carries a blend of risks as well as benefits for the sports apparel behemoth, Nike. The biggest perk of the deal includes Nikes access to a huge 80 million U.S. customer base of Amazon, with a majority falling under the prime membership category. In an era witnessing an unstable scenario for the sporting goods retail companies and departmental stores, this collaboration will provide Nike with a broader distribution channel and a strategic and refined brand marketing. Sources also cite that Nike, through this deal will have a profound leverage to dictate the merchandising specifics of its products. Allegedly, Amazon despite having no affiliation with Nike, had a record of Nike being the most-purchased brand on its website. The e-commerce website is a lucrative marketplace for the third-party suppliers who are indulged in selling these branded products. Purportedly, these products also carried a tag of counterfeit items, an issue Amazon has been battling over ever since it allowed Chinese manufacturers to vend directly to the U.S. consumer base on its website. However, this association also poses a threat to Nike pertaining to the transactional denomination of its products. Amazons business layout which is based on serving customers with the best rates and easy transactions is likely to have a clash with Nikes equity balance, and the latter would undergo a huge pressure for discounting its products, which would be counter to Nikes premium brand image[...]



Sycamore bets big amidst the U.S. retail turmoil, declares acquisition of Staples for USD 6.9 billion

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 13:55:25 +0530

This Wednesday encountered one of the biggest pacts of 2017 in the retail space with Sycamore announcing the acquisition of Staples, the U.S. office supplies chain for a valuation of USD 6.9 billion. Sycamore would pay USD 10.25 per share in cash to Staples, cites reliable sources. The deal comes as a repercussion of the deteriorating shares of Staples to online retail giants. Reportedly, this is one of the biggest bets in the retail industry amidst the huge bankruptcy records of the U.S. retailers in the past couple of years. Staples market valuation has dropped profoundly from that recorded a decade back at USD 19 billion. In the last fiscal year, Staples annual sales recorded a downturn with approximately USD 18 billion from USD 25 billion, in 2012. This was clearly an aftermath of the online retail giants such as Amazons foray in the office supplies retailing domain. In 2016, Staples continuing operations lost USD 459 million. As a measure to fight against its losing battle to internet retail, Staples is focusing on strategies for expanding into emerging markets with e-commerce. Along similar lines, the company concentrated on winning small business contracts such as office space rental services to small businesses and individuals. The falling shares also led the company to shut down hundreds of its stores in North America. Couple of months back, the office supplies retailer made it to the headlines for selling a majority stake in its European Business to the private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management. Reportedly, Staples witnessed another major turmoil after facing a denial to its plan of acquiring Office Depot Inc. with a deal strike value of USD 6.3 billion. The strategy to unite the two biggest office-supplies sellers failed on grounds of oppositions faced by the antitrust regulations. Sycamore, with a dedicated buyout fund portfolio for the retail contracts, through this deal has showcased the firms conviction in Staples delivery unit potential. Purportedly, Sycamore [...]



Avis to extend maintenance services to Waymo’s autonomous fleet

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:50:01 +0530

Waymo, the self-driving car division of Alphabet, Inc., Googles parent company, has signed a multi-year deal with Avis Budget Group, following which the car rental firm would provide maintenance services to Waymos fleet of autonomous vehicles. Reportedly, these services would include vehicle cleaning, tire rotations, oil changing, and installing and monitoring of vehicle parts as and when needed. No financial specifics related to this non-exclusive deal has been disclosed. The formal discussions regarding this deal were initialized in January, this year. Waymo, a set-up to commercialize Googles autonomous cars technology, has moved a step ahead from its in-house test program in Silicon Valley to tapping Phoenix to publicly test its self-driving technology. Under this large-scale program, hundreds of residents would include the robotics technology in their vehicles, voluntarily. Waymos fleet prominently consists of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. Analysts claim this partnership between Waymo and Avis to be a win-win situation for both the firms. On one hand, where Avis gets exposure to the multibillion autonomous vehicle industry and grabs a chance to explore the opportunities in the fleet-as-a-service domain, Waymo also gets an access to a potential network of customers and traditional vehicles, which could embrace the autonomous transport service over the coming years. Zipcar, which is owned by Avis, has influenced this deal materialization profoundly by adding a tag of one million potential members in the car-rental space to Avis portfolio. With this tie-up with Avis as a fleet management partner, Waymo has also forayed the domination of Uber in this domain, with a potential customer base and a channel of traditional vehicles that could be transformed into autonomous cars over time. Reportedly, this is not the first time both the companies would be indulging in a clash pertaining to the robotic vehicles. Earlier this year, Waymo sued Uber over stealin[...]



EQT purchases Rice Energy for USD 6.7 billion, the deal poised to be one of biggest agreements witnessed by the U.S. oil & gas market

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 02:25:56 +0530

EQT Corp. has announced that it intends to buy Rice Energy for a valuation of USD 6.7 billion and is set to combine two of the three biggest shale producers in southwestern Pennsylvania. This acquisition will expand the footprints of both the companies ahead of Exxon Mobil Corp. and lead EQT to become the largest natural gas producer in the United States. Subsequently, it has been stated that the U.S. is soon expected to become the worlds top exporter of natural gas as several energy firms are pumping money into gas-rich states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. This acquisition is set to bring EQT the opportunity to drill longer horizontal wells by accumulating Rices acreage. The firm is also expected to benefit from Rices assets of pipeline, which will allow EQTs natural gas market proximity to extend toward the Gulf. With sales pumping up, the United States drill pipe market is also expected to witness a notable surge over the coming years. This partnership would be the biggest deal ever for EQT and will catapult its position in the Marcellus by 187,000 to 670,000, in terms of net acres. The acquisition will also favor EQT to enter West Virginia Utica and Pennsylvania to expand its position from 105,000 to 616,000 core net acres. Moreover, in Upper Devonian, EQT expects an increase from 64,000 to 149,000 net acres, and an entry in Ohio Utica with 65,000 core net acres. With this transaction, EQTs total estimated sales volume for 2017 from these regions is expected to hit 3.6 bcfd (billion cubic feet per day) At the time of the announcement of the deal, Rice Energys shares rose by over 24% to USD 24.47 and EQTs shares slipped down by 9.4% in early trading. Moreover, as a part of transaction, shareholders of Rice Energy will obtain shares worth USD 5.30 in cash and will also receive 0.37 shares of EQT common stock. EQT will further take a net debt of USD 1.5 billion as a part of the contract. The rising natural gas [...]



BMW i Ventures and AI Gore jointly invest USD 55 million in Proterra to promote sustainable transport

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 03:21:20 +0530

Proterra, the America based giant, renowned for manufacturing heavy-duty composite-bodied electric buses, has received funds of USD 55 million in a Series 6 funding rounds, cumulatively from BMW i Ventures and AI Gores Generation Investment Management. BMW i Ventures, reportedly, has been investing significantly to promote new technological developments to gain long term sustainable benefits. BMW i Ventures aims to renovate transportation and mobility over the years ahead. According to one of the top-notch executives of the company, Proterra, Inc., has been working toward the development of emission free vehicles on a large scale. In all probability, the company aims to introduce the heavy duty electric bus that will take over the fossil fuel based buses over the years ahead. Reliable sources state that this huge investment will help to enhance Proterras manufacturing as well as production facilities mainly across the states of Los Angeles and South Carolina. Proterra is likely to promote the adoption of emission free mobility fleets with the contribution of Al Gore and BMW i Ventures. As per a recent statistical survey report, until now, Proterra has dispatched more than 400 vehicles across various cities such as San Jose, Reno, Seattle, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Dallas. One of authorized personnel of Al Gore stated that most of the cities across North America have been focusing on sustainable transportation to curb the environmental pollution caused by the fossil fuel based vehicles. Proterra is striving hard to expand in the global high performance electric vehicle market for reducing the ongoing pollution levels effectively. He also stated that this investment will lead Proterra to focus more on transforming the landscape of urbanization and bring about a clean energy economy. Proterras efforts to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels is likely to bear fruit for its partners as well. The suppor[...]



Johnson & Johnson to acquire Actelion Ltd. by mid-June 2017 via its reputed subsidiary, Janssen Holding GmbH

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:21:41 +0530

Johnson Johnson, the renowned participant of global pharmaceutical industry, declared that its acquisition deal worth USD 30 billion, with Actelion Limited, a Swiss-based biopharmaceutical major, has been sanctioned by the European Commission. The approval, which was granted by the antitrust authorities of the European Union was subject to the conditions that the deal would not interfere or affect the production of insomnia medicines. The U.S. pharmaceutical major stated that it anticipates the settlement of an all-cash public tender offered by the Janssen Holding GmbH, a Swiss subsidiary of Johnson Johnson, on 16th June 2017. As per the tender, Janssen will buy all the public shares of Actelion for USD 280 per share on the aforementioned date. As per the transaction, Actelion will spin-off its medicine discovery functions and early-phase clinical development assets into its newly formed firm referred to as Idorsia Limited. The shares of the latter are predicted to be distributed to the stakeholders of Actelion in the form of dividends. They are also expected to get listed on the Swiss stock exchange on June 16, 2017, the date of the public tender offer settlement. Idorsia Ltd. is expected to focus more on the drug discovery activities and the creation of small molecules useful in treatment of orphan disorders, immunological ailments, neurological disorders, and heart ailments. The spinoff will help Actelion to focus more on its core competencies such as orphan ailment treatment and medical research development activities. Janssen Holding GmbH, will get 9.9% of the shares of the newly established firm, Idorsia Limited. The former will also have the rights to increase its share up to 32% via a convertible note. As per industry analysts, these acquisitions are expected to help Johnson Johnson expand its biotechnology and pharmaceuticals business across the globe. For the re[...]



Teladoc to acquire Best Doctors for USD 440 million in a bid to expand its telemedicine business

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:01:35 +0530

Teladoc has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Best Doctors - a leading medical consultation company. As a part of the agreement, Teladoc is set to purchase Best Doctors for USD 65 million in stock and USD 375 million in cash. With this acquisition, Teladoc is creating a new paradigm for the patients to access healthcare solutions in one simple, effective, and patient centric way. By leveraging on the proven healthcare portfolios from Best Doctors, Teladoc in a way, is poised to resolve several healthcare issues, reduce cost, and improve outcomes, thereby contributing toward the growth of global telehealth market. This reputed New York based company is one of the largest providers of telemedicine in the United States, accounting for over 75% of the market share. Experts state that in an attempt to make healthcare more convenient, many employers and insurers are embracing the trend of telehealth that offers access to doctors and physicians via smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Moreover, telemedicine has overcome many key barriers, as several state governments have been relaxing their regulations to allow a broader access to telehealth consults. Reportedly, this has also been favoring the patients, in terms of avoiding the unnecessary and costly trips to physicians and clinics. For the record, Best Doctors Inc., the Boston-based medical consultation firm was founded in 1989 and has a network of about 50,000+ medical experts and doctors that are connected through data analytics. Fusing cognitive computing, patient-centric process, and analytics, the company is striving to bring forth the brightest medical experts to provide answers to complex medical concerns for their numerous patients. Best Doctors has thus improved the standard of patient diagnosis with patient-centric clinical models for better outcome. In 2016, Best Doctors collected reve[...]



Merck inks agreement with F-Star, collaboration to strengthen Merck’s immuno-oncology pipeline

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:10:41 +0530

Renowned pharmaceutical market player, Merck Group, headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, has recently collaborated with F-Star, a UK-based biotechnology firm that develops immuno-oncology bispecific antibody therapeutics. As per the agreement, Merck acquires the rights to develop commercialize five of its bispecific anti-cancer antibodies. The collaboration entails Merck to pay up USD 130 million (amounting to approximately EUR 115 million) upfront, including milestone payments and RD funding in the first two years. As per reports, the pact is essentially focused on aiding Mercks I-O platform through the bispecific antibody platform of F-Star. It could very well be valued at more than EUR 1 billion, as Merck still reserves the option to acquire programs from F-Star, the emerging biotech firm. Merck, the reputed pharmaceutical biotechnology environmental monitoring market player, through this deal with F-Star, will have the privilege of holding the exclusive development and commercialization rights to the latters preclinical lead asset, the FS118, which is designed to block the Programmed Death-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) and Lymphocyte-Activation Gene 3 (LAG-3), both of which are the pathways that are normally used by cancer cells to deceive the human immune system. F-Star had earlier conducted a preclinical model, in which the company demonstrated the efficiency of FS118 in comparison with other monotherapy combinations. One of the top officials of the former Fierce 15 winner was quoted stating that this multimillion euro deal will accentuate the efficacy of its asset-centric model, which will maximize the value of the companys bispecific programs and technology platform, in addition to establishing a flexible framework for conducting potential deals. Furthermore, this approach will also provide F-Star with sufficient capital to [...]



Clariant and Huntsman all-stock merger deal to be rounded off for a value of USD 14 billion

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:21:41 +0530

Huntsman Corporation, renowned specialty chemicals firm, and Clariant AG, global leader in oil field specialty chemicals market, will reportedly merge to form a new entity called HuntsmanClariant, with a deal valuation of around USD 14 billion. The merger is likely to be completed by an all-stock transaction. The stake holders of Switzerland-based Clariant is reported to own around 52% of the new firm, while the remaining 48% will be owned by the shareholders of the American company Huntsman. The partnership is now set to supply a wide range of chemical substances such as ingredients for cosmetics, industrial catalysts, and agrichemicals. With the soaring competition in the chemical industry, expert state that the agreement between Clariant and Hunstman is one that is deemed fit to be added in the list of historic deals in this market. As per reports, global chemical companies have an investment of more than USD 300 billion planned in mergers and acquisitions. The consolidation of Clariant and Huntsman is the latest in a series of chemicals companys tie-ups which follows the trail of Dow Chemicals and DuPonts proposed merger of about USD 62 billion and Bayers purchase of Monsanto. Sources also revealed that Clairant and Huntsman ended their merger talks over a disagreement about who would play the key role in this partnership. In an attempt to be on a par with the assets and responsibilities evenly split, the companies agreed that Hariolf Kottmann - Clariants present CEO will serve as a Chairman and Jon Huntsman will be CEO of the new venture HuntsmanClariant. The partnership is likely to generate over USD 400 million in annual cost savings, which eventually lead to USD 3.5 billion in value creation. Clariant stocks scaled to 19% this year and have raised the companys market value to USD 7.1[...]



Novo Nordisk expands business in LATAM market, promotes Saxenda to combat obesity issues

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:57:41 +0530

Novo Nordisk, reputed player in global pharmaceutical market, is reportedly eager to expand its business in Latin America. The Danish healthcare company headquartered in Bagsvrd, Denmark aims to explore new growth avenues in the region by increasing the marketing scale of its obesity drug, Saxenda. The firm already has affiliates in more than 75 countries and production facilities in 8 countries across the globe. Novo Nordisk had already introduced Saxenda, the firms novel anti-obesity injection that is known to effectively combat obesity issues and improve the overall health of a patient, across the Latin American belt. The introduction of the medication was met with a tremendous response, owing to which Saxenda has already become successful across the region. This novel product, which was launched in 2015 by Novo Nordisk, possesses the same content - GLP-1 amino acid, that is present in the diabetes medicine named Victoza. As per reliable reports, Saxenda, which contributes nearly 2% of the companys total sales, is expected to collect a revenue of greater than USD 1 billion by 2023. Income accrued by the firm from the product sales across Latin America in the first quarter of 2017, was twice the revenue collected from the sales in the last quarter of 2016. Mexico, the country infamous for housing the worlds most obese population, offers a bright future for the obesity sector and can be a lucrative business avenue for the firm. But, the U.S. obesity market, which is still the largest revenue pocket for Novo Nordisk, has accounted for nearly 70% of the overall revenue of the firm in the first quarter of 2017. This newly introduced obesity reducing weight loss maintaining product has dominated obesity business in the U.S. despite its low-cost amounting to nearly USD 1,0[...]



Big win for AstraZeneca’s Lynparza: A study shows a reduced risk of 42% in breast cancer caused by BRCA mutations

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:30:41 +0530

AstraZeneca, a leading research-based bio-pharmaceutical company is on the verge of a breast cancer drug breakthrough, as per reliable reports. This pharma giant revealed promising trail results for the treatment of patients diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. This new cancer drug being developed by the company is forecast to replace chemotherapy and is likely to increase the chances of survival for the patients. Lynparza is expected to take the global cancer treatment drugs industry by storm. With this finding, AstraZeneca, the Anglo-Swedish drug giant is likely to carve out a niche for itself in the global breast cancer market that could probably hit USD 17.2 billion by 2021. AstraZencas study showed that its drug Lynparza slowed the progression of breast cancer that typically targets younger women with an inherited DNA mutation recognized as BRCA. This drug being a part of a new category of medicines known as PARP inhibitors (PARPi), was originally approved to treat ovarian tumors. The pills worked to stop the cancer cells from repairing themselves and thus improved the chance of survival. In a trial famously known as OlympiAD, 302 women with advanced breast cancer were studied. The results found were reportedly astonishing, as Lynparza lowered the risk of the cancer spread by 42% in the patients as compared to those undergoing chemotherapy. Tumors of the patients who received Lynparza shrank by 60% as compared to 29% of those who got chemo. The study also found a higher response rate and lesser side effects as statistics proved 50% serious side effects risk in the women receiving chemotherapy against 37% getting Lynparza. Moreover, this Phase III clinical study also showed an improvement in time as the women taking Lynpar[...]



Boeing forays into the Arabian Peninsula, signs commercial and military deals with Saudi Arabia

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:21:41 +0530

Boeing, Americas multinational aircraft conglomerate, has reportedly signed numerous deals with global oil supplier and distributer, Saudi Arabia. The deals encompass everything from defense to commerce, and have been signed with an aim to enhance the economic growth and national security of both the countries the United States and Saudi Arabia. The agreements also aim to generate numerous job opportunities for the thousands of law abiding citizens of both the nations. The announcement has come in the midst of numerous deals negotiated between the United States and Saudi Arabia since US President Donald Trumps first visit abroad, with a stop-over at Riyadh. Trump had reportedly called upon the Muslim populated countries to unite and combat terrorism on a global scale. To improve their economic growth and extend the regions commercial offering beyond oil, Saudi Arabia has apparently been negotiating deals with the United States. The unveiling of these agreements had already taken place at beginning of Trumps visit to Riyadh. They have been forecast to be valued in the range of billions of US dollars. Sources reveal that the Saudi Arabian airline, at the moment, manages an all-Airbus A320 fleet. However, the region has ordered more than 25 Bombardier CSeries jets from the United States. The U.S. State Department had also earlier agreed to sell CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters and related equipment to Saudi Arabia, including training and support, all for a valuation of USD 3.51 billion. The fact that Boeing is a key player in global military helicopters market has provided a major push to this negotiation. The Congress had also reportedly been kept in the loop regarding the sale of 48 of the U.S. helicopters. A relia[...]



Nestle’s move to sell its stake in L’Oréal may lead to the cosmetics giant divesting its holding in Sanofi

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:18:38 +0530

Nestle S.A., the renowned Swiss based multinational food drink organization, is expected to sell its stake in LOral back to the French cosmetics firm. The speculation has come into being after Daniel Loeb, founder of the Third point hedge fund, has revealed a stake of USD 3.5 billion in Nestle this amounts to around 1.25% of the companys current share. Post this announcement, Nestles shares apparently increased by 4% while LOral shares increased by 3.9%. The figures have reportedly prompted Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestle, to think of divesting the companys capital holdings from LOral. Not to mention, Third point has been putting the squeeze on Nestle to sell its shares amounting to USD 27.4 billion, back to the Paris-based cosmetics company. Nestle has had a 29% stake in LOral since 1974 on the insistence of Liliane Bettencourt, the daughter of LOreals founder, to prevent the French governments interference in the company matters. In 2014, LOral re-purchased 8% of its shares back from Nestle through cash payment, a move which had reduced Nestles share in LOral from nearly 29.4% to about 23.29%. Nestle has a long-standing contract with the Bettencourt family, which holds the largest stake in LOral, that has strict norms regarding what Nestle can do with its shares in the company. However, some of the regulations had already ceased to exist in 2014, and as on today, it is not mandatory for Nestle to offer its stake to the Bettencourts family. Nestles move to sell its shares acquired in LOral back to the cosmetics magnate is most certainly deemed to affect the latters long-term investment in Sanofi, the reputed player in France pharmaceutical market. LOral holds shares valued at nearly EUR [...]



Alibaba throws the spotlight on its supermarket strategy, unveils three more Hema stores in China

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:46:22 +0530

Alibaba, already a behemoth in the e-commerce industry, has recently extrapolated its retail business chain with its announcement of launching of three more Hema supermarkets in China. The deal comes as an extension to its new retail strategy that basically entails the harmonious integration of offline and online commerce. Reportedly, within these Hema outlets, consumers can access any commodity through a mobile app and can make payments through their Alipay or Taobao accounts. As a measure to sustain the companys position in the competitive global retail space, Alibabas executives are now focusing on strategies that would help them expand the firm in emerging e-commerce businesses. In an attempt to reshape the traditional supermarket model, Hema stores were first introduced back in 2015. From then on until the current date, Alibaba holds 13 Hema outlets in China, with a majority of them present in Shanghai (10 stores), followed by Beijing and Ningbo. The companys overall turnover has also been highly impacted with its proliferation in the Hema supermarkets chain, cite reliable sources. It has also been reported that Hema shoppers, on an average, make four to five purchases a month. Some of the industry experts, in fact, perceive that Hema is an evidence of Alibabas increasing penetration in the China retail industry. Tapping the Chinese e-commerce giants robust investment in big data analytics, Hema stores are piled with items that are identified with bar codes, providing the customers with proper information about the products. In addition, the stores also provide customized recommendations of products that belong to the similar category, once shoppers sign up on[...]



Microsoft plans to provide high speed internet access to two million rural Americans by 2022

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:44:32 +0530

Microsoft, the American multinational conglomerate is proposing a new campaign to bring broadband internet access to rural U.S, as a part of an economic development initiative at the core constituency of Donald Trumps administration. Microsoft is planning to integrate wireless technology that uses buffer zones in TV airwaves, cite reliable sources. The initiative sets an ambitious target of providing high speed broadband internet to over two million rural Americans in the next five years. Reportedly, this is one of the biggest initiatives ever undertaken in the consumer electronics industry for rural modification. The plan, which calls for monetary support from the government and corporate sector, relies on the budding television technology the white-space spectrum, that sends internet data between the unused broadcast frequencies of the television channels. From the software giants point of view, exploiting this technology to deliver speedy wireless internet will prove to be the best way to improve connectivity to areas of the country that have been ignored so far, given the prohibitive cost of developing a sustainable network in these regions. By the companys count, over 23 million rural Americans lack proper internet access, despite billions and trillions of dollars in the Federal Investment. Microsoft plans to start their effort initially in 12 states, ranging from Washington to Maine, by entering into a partnership with the states local telecom providers. It is also reported that Microsoft is looking forward to regulatory support from the FCC for the mission. The deal will only revolve around revenue sharing agreements, as report[...]



Technology startup Stripe is betting big on China’s e-wallet market, declares strategic partnership with Alipay and WeChat Pay

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 12:52:15 +0530

The renowned Silicon Valley-based online payment startup, Stripe, seems to be expanding its global footprints with the announcement of forming an alliance with WeChat Pay and Alipay, two of Chinas leading digital payment providers. The deal would allow Stripe to connect to Chinas extended e-commerce markets with merchants all over the world. With these integrations, the company looks forward to improving its revenue margins by exploiting Chinas vast market, as cited by reliable sources. Stripe, which has already marked its position amidst other Silicon Valley firms, is now focusing on reshaping the payment landscape by exploiting the digital technologies. Cofounded in 2010 by the Collision brothers Patrick and John, Stripes interest always lay in bridging the gap between the real and digital world. The company incorporates technologies that enable the wholesalers to access online payment. As per records, Stripe supports payment processing in 135 currencies. In addition, it is a well-established fact that the company has allowed its customers to make Bitcoin payments as well. With this kind of flexibility in payment modes, Stripe undoubtedly has showcased its consumer commitment, which indeed is making its cross-border commerce more seamless. As per the report, this is not the first time Stripe is partnering with Alipay. The two had previously joined hands for helping merchants in the United States registered on its platform to integrate Alipay, the flagship payment method of Ant Fiscal. The recent deal embarks Stripes first partnership with WeChat Pay, the Chinese social media payment app, holding around 600 [...]



Amazon and Dish Network may collaborate, revamped unit to penetrate wireless business

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 16:24:41 +0530

Retail behemoth Amazon has unofficial plans to enter the wireless business conjointly with Dish Network, as per the latest news reports. The speculation of a possible association between both these industry biggies may have apparently stemmed from the year-long friendship between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen over shared interests with regards to robotics technology. Reliable sources cite that Dish Network, the renowned direct broadcast satellite service provider, headquartered in Colorado, has been purchasing radio frequencies of late, on the grounds of which it is making itself a rather ripe target for major wireless communication biggies such as Verizon Communications Inc. and T-Mobile. Dish has also been facing pressure from the Federal Communications Commission and has been granted an official deadline by the organization to utilize the frequency spectrum by 2021 for building its first wireless network. Investors are of the opinion that while Dish is confident of building the network all by itself, there is a likely possibility of Charlie Ergen wanting a partner to finance the project, which still appears to be in the initial stages of discussion. As per industry analysts, a frenzy of activity is ablaze among telecom and cable companies, with regards to potential mergers with Dish Network. However, sweepstakes are rife on the likelihood of a probable alliance between the global fixed satellite service market player, Amazon, the renowned online retail market giant. A potential collaboration between the two may result in mutual benefits for both the com[...]



Volkswagen taps Nvidia to procure expertise in Artificial Intelligence

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 09:28:32 +0530

Volkswagen has joined hands with Nvidia to expand its usage of deep learning technologies and artificial intelligence into other areas of business beyond autonomous vehicles. With this collaboration, Nvidia looks forward to developing Volkswagens research division called The VW Data Lab. This mutual sharing of technology will help both the companies optimize the traffic flows and facilitate simpler human and robot collaboration. Martin Hofmann, the Chief Information Officer of Volkswagen, has stated that the companys inclination toward artificial intelligence is likely to drive its digital future. He further added that this collaboration with Nvidia will be a key move to develop high performance AI systems within the company itself by expanding its knowledge and expertise while co-operating with Nvidia. Volkswagen experts are exploring numerous possibilities to incorporate deep learning in the field of mobility services, and this close association with Nvidia will help the car maker to develop the prerequisites for intelligent human-robot co-operation. For the uninitiated, Nvidia is a world leader in visual computing technologies and in designing graphics cards for the computing world. On these grounds, the US based chipmaker has gained remarkable prominence in the global graphics cards for PC gaming market and is recently expanding its trajectories in the European automotive market. Not surprisingly, this company has accomplished this feat in the automotive sector by providing the so-called brain to the autonomous vehicle. Nvidia recently announced its [...]



Alibaba to offer small U.S entrepreneurs a better online platform for expanding their product portfolio

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 00:17:28 +0530

On the 20th of June 2017, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, a Chinese e-commerce firm providing B2C and B2B services, inaugurated a conference in Detroit offering an opportunity for the small players in the U.S. to sell their products on its retail web portal and thus expand their business in China. The firm had invited nearly 3000 industrialists from all over the U.S. to pitch in their idea and explaining the significance of the thriving retail sector in China. As per reliable sources, the retail market in China has already surpassed the U.S. retail industry valuation achieving the status of being the worlds largest retailer. According to eMarketer, the overall valuation for the retail business in China is estimated at USD 4.89 trillion, while the revenue accrued from the retail activities in the U.S. is assessed at USD 4.82 trillion. The Chinese industry is expected to offer high business growth potential for the U.S. based entrepreneurs as a result of escalating demand for the high-quality products manufactured in the U.S., from the middle-income groups in China, which is expected to exceed the 600 million mark by 2022. During the two-day event in Detroit, topics such as job creation in the U.S is also expected to be discussed. The event is also scheduled to include comments from the Detroit Mayor and the governor of Michigan. Martha Stewart, the renowned American business and television personality, will demonstrate how a firm can export its brand across the globe. Important presentations are scheduled to be made by the UPS CEO [...]



Amazon Alexa App to gain prominence in hospitals, lack of HIPAA compliance likely to hinder device deployment

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:14:24 +0530

Alexa, the virtual personal assistant pioneered by Amazon, the renowned online retail market player, has lately been in the news for its popularity and demand across the medical fraternity. This intelligent assistant, launched in 2015, is located inside Amazon Echo, the companys smart speaker product, and helps users issue commands for controlling the functionality of different products. As per reliable reports, hospitals and medical care facilities have been looking out for highly efficient voice technology software to avoid disasters in the surgical procedures and bring about a sprinkling of convenience in documentation and transcription. It has been reported that there has been a massive increase in the number of research programs conducted across the nation with regards to the different applications of voice technologies. Physicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital, for instance, have apparently been researching ways of how the text-to-speech technology may help surgeons follow safety checklist in the operating rooms. Many developers in state-of-the-art clinics and hospitals have also been experimenting with Amazon Alexa and similar voice technologies to compile their application landscape. Some of the physicians have reportedly been working with Alexa to provide surgeons with a list of vital information, while others have been using it to deliver medical information and other details to patients right at home. As per medical experts, one of most obvious application areas for Alexa has not be[...]



TransGrid to use Tesla’s Powerpack batteries in a bid to bring more sustainable power to Australia

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:12:04 +0530

Tesla has recently won a contract with TransGrid that entails installing Teslas Powerpack batteries in the sites around New South Wales, Australia. TransGrid, one of the leading companies in Australia will be managing and operating the high voltage electricity transmission network from New South Wales. As per recent reports, Australia is in dire need to stabilize its electric grid through power storage to bring more sustainable power to the country by installing battery packs. Tesla is among those several companies that has presented battery packs as ideal solutions to fit Australias energy plan, and has thereby won a contract with TransGrid. The deployment of these Powerpack stations is intended to ease out the intermittent supply of power from wind and solar sources. Furthermore, these Powerpack batteries will help in managing the energy flow by storing the power generated and thus help in saving energy bills. Tesla also says that the grid-scale battery system will not only help in saving energy costs but also boost Sydneys carbon reduction efforts. The city aims to cut of 70 percent of carbon footprints by 2030. As per the deal, the first installation of these Powerpack batteries will be of a relatively small capacity - 250 kilowatts, 500KW/h, and is slated to be installed at the Alexandra Canal Works depot, located in Sydney. With this contract, TransGrid is also taking steps to better comprehend the potential of demand response, which will help in addressing the curre[...]



Facebook to transform the future of online socializing via virtual reality

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:22:04 +0530

Facebook, the social media giant, recently garnered all the buzz with the purchase of Oculus, creating plenty of speculations around the future of socializing. The company revealed the launch of several new products at its F8 Developer Conference held in San Jose, with a focus on augmented and virtual reality. The first glance of Facebooks plans to transform virtual reality a social tool is its new VR app Facebook Spaces. This latest version will let users chat with friends in a virtual 3D environment. The F8 conference has reportedly offered a good chance for Zuckerberg and his executives to attract brands to sell things on Facebook. Mark revealed their three-stage vision as outlined - Firstly, the company plans to develop and invest in an upgraded technology, then shape a product based on it, and finally turn it into a network where many other companies can use this technology and form their own businesses. The potential with the Zuckerbergs timeline seen here is tremendous, as VR is the most immersive way to interact with the virtual world. Facebook plans to release its take on this technology by unveiling the Camera Effects Platform. With this focus, Facebook is all set to use its new camera tools to launch its own augmented reality platform. The company is now bound to push this augmented and virtual reality platform forward. Say, users can add multiple effects to a room like rain clouds, have coffee in their own virtual park, or even roam i[...]



Facebook to introduce a new platform for promoting augmented reality-driven camera effects

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:47:50 +0530

The 18th of April 2017 witnessed Facebook pioneer Mark Zuckerberg launch a new platform for augmented reality camera effects during the annual F8 developer conference. The AR-powered camera platform, which opens in closed beta, will apparently help developers create unique filters, which will be available for free on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Zuckerberg also quoted that these AR camera effects will provide a virtual platform for FB users to connect with their friends and relatives on social media. This AR powered camera effect feature will help users view videos and chat with their groups via messenger. Reports state that a discover tab has also been appended to the home screen of the Facebook messenger, where people can locate chat bots, trending bots, and currently utilized bots. Facebook has introduced chat extensions on the messenger application, making it convenient for users to reserve tables or share songs directly through the chat. This, in turn, has facilitated the simultaneous interaction of multiple users with a third-party business application. New quick response (QR) codes integrated with the FB Messenger make it possible for users to garner quick, up-to-the-minute information about the global happenings through mobile scanning. The social media giant has also introduced a new developer circles initiative, which is free and can be accessed by any developer across the globe. It will also support eff[...]



NVIDIA to directly compete with the big shots of the cloud computing industry with the launch of its own cloud service platform

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:25:54 +0530

NVIDIA, with its recent announcement regarding the launch of the NVIDIA GPU Cloud (NGC) will now let developers make use of frameworks like MXNet (promoted by Amazon), CNTK (from Microsoft) and some of the other key cloud takeaways for training artificial neural networks. NVIDIA, the world leader in visual computing technologies and manufacturer of graphic cards for computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics already sells its technology to major cloud computing giants - Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon. The launch of NGC NVIDIAs own cloud-based platform, will give the software developers an easy access to harness the transformative powers of Artificial Intelligence(AI) models. Moreover, NVIDIA CEO and founder Jensen Huang, in the recent annual GPU Technology Conference revealed that NCG will make it simple and effortless for global developers to process more data and optimize deep learning frameworks and other GPU computing resources. With this smart move to combine deep learning software with the worlds fastest GPUs, NVIDIA is now directly entering the market and competing with its present graphics processing unit buyers - Microsofts Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Alphabets Google Cloud Platform. Ironically, these big cloud companies are buying GPUs from NVIDIA for their cloud services! Streaming video and music with cloud services like YouTube, Pandora and Netflix has become one o[...]



Amazon to penetrate Apple TV, retail giant’s Prime Video services soon to be broadcast on the Apple TV set-top box

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:42:07 +0530

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc., the American multinational tech firm based in Cupertino, in his keynote address at the Worldwide Developer Conference, declared that the viewers can now avail Amazon Prime video services through Apple TV by the end of 2017. The transaction has apparently been accomplished after several years of standoff between the two giants. In addition to the inclusion of prime video services of Amazon on Apple TV, they can also be viewed on Apples Unified TV application, that permits users to explore contents from other applications such as HBO Go and Hulu. Earlier this year, the two firms, who have been tough competitors in the video business, had already entered a deal permitting Amazons application to reach Apple users via the Apple TV tool. For the uninitiated, Amazons prime video services, which provided exclusive original TV programming contents to the viewers, were not accessible on Apple TV till date. But the latter enabled its consumers to avail the services of HBO, Netflix, and nearly 50 such additional partners. In response to this action, Amazon had halted the sale of Apple TV on its retail site referred as Fire TV since 2015. Apple has now changed its policy and has allowed the telecast of Amazons prime video services on its device, facilitating its users to view the original contents of the U.S. online retail market player. Today, man[...]