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Fujitsu launches its new version mainframe OS to focus on digitization

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 19:37:34 +0530

Fujitsu, a leading Japanese company in information and communication technology (ICT), reportedly, will continue making investments in the development of critical mainframes, as is evidenced by the introduction of its latest operating system. This version of Fujitsus operating system is designed to feature the long-term significance of mainframes in the digital world with highly advanced technology, interoperability, security, and high availability. Despite being an aging computing technology, mainframes are still the powerhouse of the large data center. Some estimates also claim mainframes to account for as much as 80% of the global corporate transactional data and to interact with over 90% of mobile apps. Fujitsu Software BS2000 OSD/BC V11.0, the latest version of Fujitsu OS software strongly emphasizes on the key features that are necessary for innovative and secure digital co-creation. With this new edition of operating system, this computers market behemoth has set an industry milestone with the first-time support delivery of live migration between System/390 servers. This real-time capability of the operating system is likely to provide new flexible options to improve downtime and maintenance. Apart from this, the BS2000 operating system is also expected to extend the storage integration for text-based files a feature that will support seamless data transfer and exchange over shared NAS storage. The communications hardware market giant has also added new diagnostic functions and encryption capabilities in its BS2000 operating system to boost long-term availability. Experts vouch for the authenticity of the fact that over the years, mainframes have proven to be the most efficient and reliable solution for processing huge amount of data with the highest possible speeds. With the IT giants latest edition of operating system, it is quite evident that these companies are meeting the challenges of the next era of computing and processing, heads-on, by providing higher-level digitization and advanced interoperability with open systems. In other news, Fujitsu America, Inc., has also made it to the headlines by announcing its launch of new appliance that can address the needs of customers seeking strong hybrid cloud solutions, to simplify their cloud management requirements and reduce cost. This appliance features a pre-validated and a pre-installed version of Fujitsu Software Enterprise Service Catalog Manager (SESCM). SESCM is a self-service portal that helps enterprises and service providers offering single end-to-end solutions, by automating the delivery of infrastructure, software, and platform services for customers. Meanwhile, Fujitsu has also announced its plans to partner with VMware and extend its global partnership to empower digital transformations.



Super Retail Group effectively tackles Amazon’s foray in Australia, explores options to expand its digital offering pipeline

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 12:38:00 +0530

Super Retail Group, a massive retail chain based in Australia, is one of the few firms that seems to have an ace plan up in its sleeve for coming to grips with Amazons forthcoming entry in the Australia retail turf. If sources are to be believed, the Australian retail firm has opened up its communication channels with Amazon and has simultaneously prepped up its digital offerings. Australias marketplace, in the recent months, has been ablaze with the news of Amazons decision to completely establish its presence in the countrys retail fraternity. The online retail market giants announcement of penetrating the Australian belt took half the world by storm, including prominent investors, economists, and the Australian stock market in its entirety. Post its announcement, most analysts predicted the genesis of an era of doom for the Australian retailers, while many others categorically declared that the region would remain markedly untouched by Amazons embrace. The ASX-listed Super Retail Group was among the several retailers that Morgan Stanley predicted, would experience downfall post the arrival of the U.S. online behemoth. For the uninitiated, the Super Retail Group is a massive retail biggie in Australia, and the proud parent honcho of recognized brands such as Rebel, Rays Outdoors, Amart Sports, Infinite Retail, and many more. In the last six months, the shares of Super Retail Group shares have fallen by around 25%, possibly due to the fact that investors remained perpetually doubtful about Amazons impending influence on the company. However, Supers annual result announcement has depicted a positive result of sorts the company exhibited more than 62% increase in the net profit, amounting to around USD 101 million. The shares opened to positive response, and closed at around 7%, with an individual pricing of more than USD 8. These positive results have led the company to remain upbeat about its success, with or without the entry of Amazon. Also, having recognized the changing dynamics of the retail industry in recent times, the companys heads have been unanimously planning to devise novel strategies for product sales and revenue generation. Super Retail Group now plans to expand aggressively in digitization. In the last financial year, the digital sales in the companys sports segment depicted a rise of 73%, the leisure division rose by 150%, while the auto sector was up by 75%. The companys top shots claimed that these numbers were hugely driven by the click and collect strategy a rather remunerative advantage that brick-and-mortar storeowners possess, as opposed to the owners of businesses that solely operate online. The chief executive of the company was quoted stating that we can serve customers in whatever way they want to be served, thereby affirming that Super Retail Group could certainly corner the market with its digital offerings. For the record, the companys digital sales have, on an average surpassed 70% in practically every division. The company has also held insightful conversations with Amazon with regards to whether it would be willing to market and commercialize its goods through Amazon. And, if sources are to be believed, the Australian retail mega company has given an affirmative nod for the same. Consumers may, in all probability, expect Super Retail Group explore its options with Amazon, as it did with eBay.



Genentech’s obtains priority revenue from the U.S. FDA for its Hemophilia A treating drug, Emicizumab

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 20:06:44 +0530

The U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has accepted the BLA (Biologics License Application) of Genentech for licensing its investigational bispecific monoclonal antibody referred as Emicizumab prophylaxis to be used in treating Hemophilia A. The antibody helps in bringing together factors IXa and X, the proteins that help in activating the natural blood clotting characteristic in the human body. For the record, Hemophilia A is basically an inherited disease with clotting factor VIII causing rise in bleeding, generally among males. The FDA had reviewed the utility of the medicine in treating adults, children, and adolescents with Hemophilia A, and then granted priority review for the drug. Medical research states that one among three persons is affected from Hemophilia A and develops inhibition to standard clotting factor VIII, that obstructs the treatment and creates life-threatening conditions in the individual with excessive bleeding from joints. Genentech had performed the clinical tests of Emicizumab prophylaxis on children, adolescents, and adults during its Phase III study. Emicizumab was inoculated in the patients through their skin once a week during the trials. Outcomes derived from the experiments conducted on children, adults, and adolescents displayed the medicinal ability of the drug to prevent bleeding and treating hemophilia A. The firm, a prime member of the Roche Group, a key pharmaceutical market giant, has a great reputation of innovating new methods of antibody treatments to fulfill the global medical requirements. It is also collaborating with the U.S. FDA to introduce new prophylactic therapies for finding a hemophilia A cure. The BLA for Emicizumab prophylaxis is based on Phase III Haven 1 and Haven 2 clinical test outcomes. Genentech had published its experimental data from its Haven 1 experiments in the New England Journal of medicine and declared the outcomes from both its Phase III studies at the 26th ISTH (International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis) Congress held in July 2017. For the uninitiated, FDA grants priority review designation for the safer drugs having ability to improve the diagnosis and treatment of chronic ailments. The organization had granted a breakthrough therapy designation for Genentechs antibody for its inoculation in adolescent and adults with hemophilia A in 2015. But the firm is awaiting the decision regarding the approval of the Emicizumab, which is scheduled to be taken on February 23, 2018. The firm has also submitted data statistics from its Haven 1 and Haven 2 experiments to the European medicine agency for approval. It now remains to be seen if the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will approve of the Emicizumab prophylaxis.



Nestle to face a legal controversy over Poland Spring Water, having been alleged as a ‘colossal fraud’

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:34:36 +0530

Nestle, one of the leading giants of the food and beverage industry seems to be in a legal dispute with one of its bottled water brands. Poland Spring Water, manufactured by Nestle has been slammed with the Federal lawsuit this week, claiming it to be a colossal fraud. The plaintiffs, in this case, argue that the company has been consistently misleading the consumers by labeling the particular drink as 100 percent spring water emphasizing on its supreme quality. The legal claim also alleges the defendants non-spring water, Poland spring water, as nothing but common ground water that fails to comply with the FDA standards. As per market records, Nestle Waters was earlier sued in 2003 for falsely advertising that Poland Spring hails from a source deep in the woods of Maine in the U.S. In addition, the lawsuit filed also included several other claims like the breach of contract, deceptive labeling, and more. Back then, Nestle settled the issue, and the controversy of whether these bottled waters are sourced from a spring or not was hushed up and swept under the rug. The suit has now been revived when the Connecticut-based giant seeks to expand in Maine to address the increasing demand for purified bottled water, cite reliable sources. The plaintiffs have claimed that not even a single drop of the proclaimed Poland Spring water originates from sources that meet the FDA definition of spring water. According to the Food and Drug Administration, to be legally labeled as Spring water, the fluid must be collected only from an underground formation where the water naturally flows to the Earths surface. It is reported that the defendant, in order to experience a lucrative market share, has been illegally mislabeling Poland Spring Water as 100% natural spring water since its inception in the U.S. food and beverage industry in 1993. The lawsuit claims that the Nestles Poland Spring water is actually ordinary ground water that is drawn from wells located near low lying populated areas. Despite the chain of claims that have brought forth, Nestle has been trying hard to refute all the allegations. As affirmed by one of the spokespersons of the company, Poland Spring water meets all the regulations enforced by FDA defining spring water, and all the federal and state regulations governing spring classification. It has been also reported that Nestle is seeking state approval for a public water district well source located in Lincoln. Holding a couple of plants in the United States and basking in the present success of bottled spring water in the country, it now remains to be seen how Nestle deals with the unavoidable legal controversy.



IBM’s & Alberta’s AI platform to diagnose schizophrenia by scanning brain blood flow with 74% accuracy

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:33:25 +0530

Envisaging IBMs research efforts conducted alongside the University of Alberta (UoA), it looks like artificial intelligence and machine learning are on the precipice of revolutionizing medical diagnosis. With AI already proving its worth in the medical field, the collaboration between Alberta and IBM is slated to use the latters AI platform that has been advancing in learning algorithms to quickly diagnose schizophrenia with 74% accuracy. The research also depicts further potential to anticipate the severity of specific symptoms in schizophrenia patients, which was not possible earlier. For the uninitiated, schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, and can affect a persons ability to feel, think, and behave clearly. As per statistics, this mental disorder can affect 7 to 8 of every 1000 people, and those diagnosed with the illness can experience movement disorders, hallucinations, and cognitive impairments.However, the RD activities conducted by IBM Alberta Centre could shortly help doctors specialists diagnose the inception of the disease, using AI and MRI scanning process. IBMs most famous supercomputer with AI technology, Watson, has already proven that neural networks are astonishingly proficient in developing even designing effective cancer treatments. Now, it has again successfully built a neural network that can detect the blood flow within the brain. The schizophrenia research team first trained its neural network on a 95-member test squad. Among these, 46 patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia and 49 healthy patients were found bereft of the disorder. The goal of the study was to connect IBMs computer scientists with Albertas computer science and psychiatry department to access a larger group of patients and data. Analyzing scanning the fMRI images as the patients completed an audio-based exercise, the neural network illustrated the flow of blood through various parts of brain and cobbled up a prognostic model of whether or not the patients suffered from schizophrenia. This innovative multidisciplinary approach has provided renewed insights that could lead researchers to unearth more effective treatments and better understand the neurobiology of schizophrenia. The contribution of AI in this treatment approach may also have a rather transformative impact on healthcare artificial intelligence market. Currently, schizophrenia doesnt really have a medical testing procedure or an absolute diagnosis, subject to which quite some time may be wasted before it can be properly diagnosed. However, with the deployment of AI, IBM UoA will be able to explore and create computational psychiatry that can more quickly access patients with disorders like schizophrenia. Experts cite that IBMs AI will successfully disrupt the global health industry. The company has also joined forces with HSBC to develop cognitive intelligence technology for boosting financial services.



Hangzhou joins forces with Alibaba, collaboration aims to revamp the city’s house rental service

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:21:33 +0530

Chinas eminent e-commerce behemoth, Alibaba has signed a strategic agreement with the Zhejiang government, which aims to make use of the companys superior technology to create an efficient online system for house rentals. Alibabas decision to deliver a high-grade online housing rental system for its home city of Hangzhou stems from the crucial fact that Chinas housing rental market across key cities has been taken over by real estate bureaus, and is rampant with legal disputes and fraud. The country has been experiencing robust urbanization, leading to a subsequent demand for housing and towering house costs across major cities, eventually heading toward a rather disorderly rental property market. The business is characterized by landlords forcing tenants out of the house prior to the end of the lease period, real estate agents raising rents unreasonably, property owners refusing to adhere to building safety standards while renovating the house, and refusing to return the deposit amount while tenants leave the flat. In a bid to terminate these unethical practices, the government of the Zhejiang province has collaborated with the China retail market giant to come up with an efficient house rental program. A few prominent real estate firms already have apps, however, it has come to notice that the vital information is not shared with everyone. Potential clients are forced to compare various offers from different apps, in addition, these firms do not even have a reliable credit system. With Alibabas involvement to brainstorm an online system, a credit system such as that of the Zhima Credit, by Ant Financial, one of key subsidiaries of Alibaba, is likely to be in place, claim sources. The online rental system that will be created by the retail mammoth will reportedly include the information about all the apartments from individuals, real estate agents, and the government. Tentatively titled the smart house renting system, this program will be backed by Alibabas online payment technology, credit system, and big data analytics. As per sources, this system will be designed to prevent fraudulent agreements between the real estate dealers and customers, and will help people in the entire rental process right from searching for apartments to signing the final papers. The program is anticipated to be launched by the end of September, say reports. Hangzhous landlords and real estate agents are required to register their names and their properties along with a bout of related information on this platform, post its official launch. The propertys ownership and other details will be verified for the sake of authenticity by the local housing firm prior to posting the information on the platform. For the record, Hangzhou was among the first 12 cities that was selected by the Central Government to improve the outlook of the local housing rental business.



Anthem is on the verge of withdrawing from Nevada’s health exchange policy citing reasons of uncertainty regarding the Affordable Care Act

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 11:41:46 +0530

Anthem, Inc., the renowned American trusted insurance plan provider, has pulled down a shocker by announcing the withdrawal of its health insurance plan from Nevada. Back in 2010, President Barak Obama had signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to provide Medicare benefits to the American citizens. Now, in the light of the decision taken by the Trump Administration to reduce the allocated funding to the healthcare sector, Anthem plans to backtrack its footsteps from Nevada. Anthems bolt-from-the-blue move is likely to hamper the market scenario in the state. The governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, has openly expressed his apparent disappointment and frustration due to Anthems sudden initiative. Out of the 17 counties in Nevada, Anthem has pulled out its plan from three of the most populous counties. Due to the lack of government funding, the insurance company has decided to terminate the plans in collaboration with U.S. government. As per reports, in the remaining 14 counties of Nevada, Anthem will continue to provide health insurance plans privately. The Trump Administration had recently decided to reform healthcare plans by reducing the premium policy amount so that every American can buy an insurance plan. Owing to the submissive changes in the pricing and planning of the Affordable Care Act, insurers are now increasingly hanging by the thread, which has resulted in many insurance companies pulling out of the healthcare exchange. The rising uncertainty among insurers regarding the Federal operations and regulations, may be another reason for Anthem to pull out of the Nevada health exchange policy, cite experts. Apart from Nevada, insurers have also been pulling out their plans from Ohio, Missouri, and Washington the regions encompassing a substantial number of rural counties. In Ohio, Anthem Inc., is supposedly the leading company selling health insurance plans in all the 88 counties for 2017. However, in 2018, the firm plans to leave nearly 10,500 people across at least 18 counties all high-and-dry, without any insurance plans. This abrupt initiative undertaken by this insurance company is likely to make a slightly negative impact on U.S. healthcare market over the years ahead. President Donald Trump and the Republican lawmakers have already called for the submission of premium rates and plans from various insurers for the year of 2018, as the government has been working continuously to bring about a plethora of changes in the legal framework. As per the latest reports, insurers have increased their premium rates by up to 50% to 60% or more, for the year of 2018. Other than Anthem, Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc., two other health insurance giants, have also decided to pull out of the Affordable Care Act in 2018. A significant supply of subsidies from the government to lower the premium costs may possibly be the only solution pertaining to which insurers are likely to hold their decision of withdrawing from the Affordable Care Act plans for 2018.



MSAR government inks a strategic agreement with Alibaba to develop Macau smart city

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 19:03:52 +0530

The Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) has decided to sign a strategic alliance with one of the largest retailers of the global e-commerce market - Alibaba. Post conducting extensive research, the Macau government has chosen Alibaba as their developing partner to undertake the development of data technologies and cloud computing. Through this agreement, Alibaba aims to enhance the qualities of the Macaus public services such as healthcare, tourism, urban management, and transportation. In its first five-year development plan, the Macau government had penned down its vision to introduce Macau as a smart city. In addition, the government also aims to implement various services related to information technology sector. The deployment of IoT has already been projected to contribute majorly toward the development of APAC e-commerce software market. Additionally, in the Asia Pacific region, Alibaba has the reputation of implementing stringent information security practices, due to which the MSAR government will not find the necessity to carry out the rework of existing infrastructure facilities. Reportedly, the MSAR government has divided the Framework Agreement of Strategic Cooperation on Smart City Development project into two phases. In the first phase, they are planning to cover major areas related to technological development such as, medical services, tourism, transportation management, and training of IT professionals by implementing cloud computing data center. By the middle of 2018, the Government Information Bureau (GCS) is expecting the release of the first phase of the project. Alibabas rich experience with regards to technology installation across various developed cities are likely to help government over the years ahead. The second phase of the project will commence from 2019 and end in 2021. In this phase, the development related to the customs clearance and environmental protection has been scheduled to be carried out. Through this agreement, Alibaba has the advantage of expanding the scope of cashless transactions across various tourist spots and airports by installing consumer market tools such as mobile payments and online promotions. This strategy is likely to enhance the smart transportation network, which will favorably optimize the management of Macau transit in various modes of transport such as waterways, airways, and roads. Apart from transportation, Alibaba plans to implement the latest electronic medical system in the healthcare sector. In the smart city plan, the healthcare sector is likely to be linked to the global online medical database, which may help healthcare providers. Alibabas chief officer, O Lam, has been quoted stating that Alibaba will contribute significantly to accomplish the long-term development goals of the MSAR government. This collaboration is likely to change the face of the city by means of smart technologies. Alibaba also seems to emanate confidence that Macau is likely to become the role model for smart cities in the APAC region.



European oil & gas firms seek authorization to explore the U.S. offshore wind energy market

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 18:58:54 +0530

The latest buzz garnering attention in the bandwagon is that of major European firms such as Statoil, DONG Energy, and Royal Dutch Shell keenly seeking to explore the lucrative fast-growing U.S. offshore wind energy market. As per reports, Statoil has already been granted a license to build a wind farm near the coast of New York. The firm is training its employees to work on the wind project and will promote its new floating turbine in the U.S. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, a British - Dutch multinational oil gas firm, was selected earlier this year by the U.S. government to pass a tender for acquiring an offshore wind venture license in North Carolina. Dong Energy, the largest integrated energy based firm in Denmark, having commenced its offshore wind energy production activities near the coast of New Jersey, has also begun its operations in Boston. Though DONG has already made large investments in the renewable sector, Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil are still deeply rooted in the business of oil gas exploration and production activities. Reports state that renewable energy costs in Europe have declined to a substantial extent and this has encouraged DONG to put forth a proposal with no subsidy. However, the investment costs for the offshore wind energy projects in the region are very high, amounting to billions of dollars. Also, the exploration activities in the U.S. oceans will further raise the turbine costs for European firms such as DONG Energy. Moreover, oil firms based in the U.S. have already made heavy investments across solar energy and onshore wind energy sectors. However, they seem ready to explore offshore wind energy market, provided the government offers the required financial assistance. As per the reports unleashed by reliable sources in December 2016, offshore wind energy production costs that a firm would incur in the U.S. was estimated to be double the energy production costs incurred by any firm on onshore wind projects and combined cycle gas turbines. Lesser-known firms of Europe have also been gaining traction across the U.S. offshore wind energy industry. Avangrid, an energy service delivery firm as well as a subsidiary of the Spanish firm Iberdrola S.A., have been provided an authorization to carry out their offshore wind energy activities across Virginia in the U.S. Additionally, JDR Cables Systems, a UK based firm providing subsea power cables to the oil gas firms across the globe, has also been provided with a contract of USD 275 million for providing electric cables to the U.S. offshore wind farm positioned near the Maryland coast. It is predicted that the European firms will reap huge revenues from large investments across the U.S offshore wind energy sector despite the political changes and upheavals in the U.S.



Indian government on the verge of blocking Shanghai Fosun’s 1.3 billion-dollar bid to takeover Gland Pharma

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 17:09:06 +0530

The Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has decided to block the bid offered by Chinese conglomerate Fosun to acquire the Hyderabad-based Indian drug maker Gland Pharma Ltd., as cited by reliable reports. Fosun International Limited had offered an amount of USD 1.3 billion to Gland Pharma, however, the deal has been facing strong objection, while government officials have been citing reasons of the current cross-border stand-off between the two countries. Gland Pharma, as reported, has categorically stated that the organization does not have any inkling of the governments decision, since the deal has received approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) few months before. This agreement is likely to be Fosuns largest acquisition in India pharmaceutical market, as the Chinese conglomerate will acquire an 86% stake in Gland Pharma, post the deal. As per statistics, the pharmaceutical market in India is the third largest sector in terms of volume and is expanding enormously subjected to the deployment of favorable Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policies by the Indian government, in a bid to attract foreign investors. For the record, Gland Pharma is one of the dominant players of injectables market and has made it to the headlines for the development of various advanced technologies. The organization is also reputed to have established the Heparin technology in India and is a global leader in the Glycosaminoglycans range of molecules. On these grounds, experts vouch for the fact that Fosun stands to gain heavily from Gland Pharma Ltd. Fosun has been waiting for the deal approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of India, however, on the basis of the political tensions between both the nations, it is likely that the deal may be blocked by the Committee. The company has stated that the Chinese authorities have sanctioned the takeover of the Indian injectable drugmaker. The latest news bulletin states that the approval date for this deal has been extended to September 26. Losing the nations mammoth pharma company to the traditional rival in the pharmaceutical sector has been posing controversial questions to the Indian regulators. Also, there are chances that this deal may reduce the importance of Indias contribution to the pharma industry over the years ahead. Gland Pharma has been contributing majorly to the Indian drug making sector, which mainly encompasses the development of syringes, pumps, bags, and vials. These injectables are very difficult to produce as compared to regular drugs. This deal will handover all four factories of Gland Pharma, based in Hyderabad, to Fosun. The senior executive of Gland Pharma is surprisingly not expecting any hurdles blocking the success of this deal. Since no official confirmation has been received regarding the deal opposition any way, it is likely that the agreement may bear fruit sooner or later.



Charter Communications turns away Sprint’s long-standing proposal for merger

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 17:14:46 +0530

The reports on Sprint Corps exclusive merger with Charter Communications had the telecom and media fraternities buzzing of late. However, after several weeks of apparent discussions regarding the deal, a new report has come to the fore, which suggests that the latter has rejected a possible merger with Sprint, which otherwise could have created a new entity controlled by SoftBank. Charter revealed that it would stay with its existing wireless reseller Verizon Communications Inc, rather than swap to the one with Sprint. Sprint, the fourth largest wireless carriers company has been eager to collaborate with Charter since a while now, to create a communication and media behemoth, which in turn would help it lock horns with ATT, Verizon, and T-Mobile. This merger would have created a one-stop shop for customers looking for mobile services and internet. It would have also formed a stronger footing in creating the infrastructure required for 5G wireless technology. Charter is the second largest US cable company after Comcast, and shares a good mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) relation with Verizon Communication, the numero uno wireless carrier company of the United States. In the early months of this year, Verizon, encompassing a better network than Sprint, had also expressed its interest in taking over Charter. In the event that the proposed acquisition would have borne fruit, Verizons partnership would have benefited both, Charter and Comcast in rolling out their wireless plans to customers, given that USAs top wireless carrier has strong MNVO agreements in place. In the meantime, Sprint had also allegedly been discussing a possible merger with its rival, T-Mobile. Japans Softbank Group, which controls Sprint, till date, remains quite interested in merging Sprint with USAs another wireless carrier, T-Mobile - controlled by Germanys Deutsche Telekom AG. The biggies of wireless telecommunication carriers market such as Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile, and US Cellular have been joining forces with one another, given the high penetration of smartphones and internet access in the region. Estimates claim the American belts to account for more than 34% of the overall market share, subject to the fact that the region may witness rigorous advancements in wireless technology. The merging of companies like Sprint and Charter in this scenario could have offered a full suite of telecommunication services to customers, and would have resulted in a head-to-head competition with the tariff packages sold by phone giants Verizon and ATT. The closing of Charters window has strongly paved the way for Sprint to resume its discussion with T-Mobile or other partners as it would create a bigger wireless carrier merger to take on larger competitors.



Enel Green Power Espana awarded contract by Spain Government to construct solar plants of 339 MW capacity in Bajadoz and Murcia

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 11:58:04 +0530

The latest scoop to grab the headlines in the renewable energy cosmos is that of Enel Green Power Espana being awarded a solar capacity of 339 MW by the Spanish Government to construct solar plants in the country. The acquisition of this green energy tender by Enel adds another feather to the companys already enviable cap of achievements in the renewable sector, as the firm had already been awarded a wind energy tender of 540 MW last May. For the uninitiated, Green Power Espana, or EGPE, fully owned by Endesa Generacion, is basically the Spanish subsidiary of the Italian energy company Enel SPA. EGPE currently operates an appreciable renewable energy capacity of around 1,675 MW in Spain, fragmented into hydropower, wind, and other sources, such as biomass and solar. As per reliable statistics, 43 MW of the total operational capacity is attained from hydropower, 14 MW from biomass, solar, and other sources, while 1,618 MW is obtained from wind. At present, EGPEs plants generate a commendable 4 TWh of green energy on an annual basis. Reports cite that the Enel Group will pour in a stupendous capital of around EUR 270 million for the construction of the solar capacity, which is apparently a part of its investment strategy elucidated in its latest strategic plan. The solar plants are anticipated to gain ground by the year 2019, post which the obtained energy will be sold in the Spanish pool market. The government of Spain is expected to provide incentives via annual capacity payments that will guarantee stable returns for over 25 years of the lifespan of the facilities. The green energy tender awarded to Enel is a part of the Spanish Governments strategy to help the country achieve accomplished heights in global renewable energy market. For the record, the government of Spain had launched an initiative to achieve a target of obtaining 20% (or around 3 GW) of energy consumption from renewable sources by the year 2020. Keeping abreast of the same, the government aims to collect at 3,000 MW through this tender. It has been reported that once the solar plants, which will be constructed in Bajadoz and Murcia, are up and running, they will produce at least 640 GWh of clean energy annually. Statistically, the generation of this energy is equivalent to preventing carbon dioxide emissions of around 384,000 tons, to say the least, which would have otherwise been generated through conventional fuels such as diesel and coal. For the record, the Enel Group had also recently inaugurated a wind farm in Brazil of 90 MW capacity through its subsidiary, EGPB (Enel Green Power Brasil Participacoes). One of Enels top management employees in the renewables department stated that this tender will bring about a revolutionary breakthrough for the company as well as for the country, as Enel strives to affirm its extensive commitment to green energy in Spain. The Spanish governments contribution toward achieving the countrys green energy goal is asserted with the current sanction of the wind capacity and solar capacity. Collectively implemented, both the projects will contribute extensively to foster the expansion of the renewable energy industry in Spain, cite analysts.



UAE-Qatar conflict instigates the former to authorize its first condensate supply from the United States

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:46:22 +0530

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently purchased a cargo of condensate from the Eagle Ford the premier liquids-rich development located in Texas. As per sources, this deal is the first acquisition of the UAE from the U.S., following the disastrous Qatar crisis, that was acknowledged as one of the most disturbing altercations of recent times. Post cutting off all official relations with Qatar, the Arabian Peninsula nation has been undertaking consistent efforts to replace its condensate supply which it would previously acquire from Qatar. The U.S. thus stands to receive one of the first offers for oil supply from the UAE. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the state-owned oil gas market giant, has signed a tender that declares the purchase of a condensate cargo from the Eagle Ford, which will be delivered to the country in September. While no official confirmation has been provided about the volume of the acquisition, reliable sources cite that the cargo would arrive in a supertanker with a capacity of holding at least 1 million barrels of oil. Backing up a little for the uninitiated, the May of 2017 witnessed the state-run Qatar News Agency being hit by a disastrous cyberattack, through which articles shedding a positive light on Israel, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran, came to the fore. The articles sparked a furor among Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other Middle East countries, sowing the seeds of perpetual animosity in the Arabian Peninsula. The UAE, among the many nations, was the one that openly accused Qatar of attempting to destabilize the Middle East economy by supporting terrorist, extremist and sectarian organizations,. Post the crisis, most of the Arab allies, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, cut off all diplomatic relations with Qatar, dropping a bombshell across the globe. At the onset of July, the CEO of Qatar Petroleum had stated that ADNOC had facilitated the halting of the Qatari condensate shipments. The company also stated that it would contemplate legal action over what it considers a deliberate counterstroke of sorts. As per sources, ADNOC had been receiving up to 1.5 million barrels of condensate from Qatar every month. Post the Qatari disaster, however, ADNOC has tried to replace the condensate supplies with Saudi Arabias condensate production from Khuff. However, the production of Khuff is reportedly intended solely for domestic consumption, which has led ADNOC to strike a deal with the United States for oil supply. For the record, ADNOC has a constrained range of condensate suppliers currently, since supplies across the Asian continent have been tightened subject to the surging oil demand from Indonesia and South Korea. With the Qatar crisis still being a grist for the gossip mills, it remains to be seen how the other Arabian nations earlier depending on Qatari supplies call in the shots to purchase oil from other nations.



Abundance’s corporate initiative for UK’s first geothermal project raises over GBP 1 million within a mere 48 hours of its launch

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:33:24 +0530

The exemplary success of the deployment of geothermal technology to generate electricity in Iceland and Italy may have, in all likelihood, goaded the UK government to tap the geothermal potential of the country to generate power. Financially endorsed by the Local Authority and the European Union grants, the construction of UKs first commercial geothermal power plant is now underway, near Redruth in Cornwall. While this head-turning scoop had already made global headlines, what has catapulted it back to the front page is the involvement of Abundance in the project. As per reports, this ground-breaking project is likely to be funded by Abundance to generate geothermal-based electricity in the United Kingdom. Abundance Investment is basically a peer-to-peer finance platform that is renowned for pouring in capital for projects that contribute toward environmental safety. Keeping in line with its principal mission, Abundance Investment has now launched the United Downs Geothermal bond in a bid to raise around GBP 5 million for the construction of UKs first geothermal plant. As per the latest news, the bond has successfully raised more than GBP 1.6 million within a couple of days since the launch date. For the record, this geothermal project has already been awarded a funding of GBP 2.4 million from the Cornwall County Council and a grant amounting to approximately GBP 10.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund. The project will span for 18 months, in the duration of which an injection well and a production well is projected to be drilled and tested prior to the construction of the power plant. As per experts, the project is likely to account for an upsurge in the regional geothermal power market. Reports cite that the plant has been planned to encompass a capacity of 3 MW and will, in all probability, generate sufficient electricity for at least 5,500 households on an annual basis. According to the bond, Abundance will pay 12% returns to the investors post the 18-month project culmination term. Reports also cite that the bond is eligible to be held in Innovative Finance ISA, Abundances tax-free scheme. Abundances co-founder apparently had a word to say regarding the renewable energy wave across the globe. He has been quoted stating that most of the investors are on tenterhooks to commission funds for the deployment of renewable energy. All in all, experts affirm that investors are eager to give the green signal for projects that contribute toward environmental protection and maintenance. For the record, the United Downs Geothermal bond is one of the many green energy projects that has been funded by Abundance in recent times. For instance, the finance platform had recently launched the Green Deal bond for a valuation of GBP 4.2 million, while the last week witnessed the complete subscription of the Atlantis Tidal Power Bond in less than a month post its launch.



SunPower turns out to be energy supplier for France, plans to deliver high efficiency solar panels for Tenergie solar projects

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:27:50 +0530

SunPower Corporation, the reputed majority-owned subsidiary of Total SA, the French multinational oil gas company, has taken the renewable energy industry by storm with the announcement of its solar panel supply to a French solar project of renowned importance. As per the latest reports making rounds, SunPower Corp. is planning to further consolidate its position across the France belt by supplying high efficiency SunPower E-Series solar panels of capacity 29.9 MW to Tenergie, the renowned French renewable power producer, for numerous ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects that the company plans to develop in France. For the uninitiated, Tenergie is an Aix-en-Provence-headquartered IPP (Independent Power Producer) boasting of the ownership and operational holder of more than 200 MW of wind and solar power plants situated in Italy and France. Currently, as per estimates, it has been reported that the renewable energy market player owns and operates around 54 MW ground-mounted PV plants, 27 MW of wind power assets, and 103 MW rooftop PV systems. The company encompasses around 212 MW capacity projects in the pipeline, 50 MW of which are allocated for rooftop PV plants, 48 MW of wind power projects, and 114 MW for large-scale solar power projects. Sources assertively cite that SunPower will be responsible for delivering solar panels to be installed on 2 ground-mounted projects with a capacity of 3.1 MW and 157 rooftop projects with a total capacity of 26.8 MW. Tenergie has declared that these plants, in all probability, are likely to be commissioned by the end of 2018. SunPowers top shots are reportedly thrilled with the ongoing deal, and one of them has been quoted stating that the company is in affirmative regarding its supply deal with Tenergie for the development of solar panel projects in France that will subsequently generate energy from renewable sources. Given that the SunPower E-Series solar panels produce 30% more energy compared to conventional models. As per reliable reports, SunPower has been establishing milestones with regards to the contributions it has been making toward global solar panel market. Similar to the Tenergie order, the US firm has apparently received orders for the installation of 200 MW capacity solar panels from France in the recent months. Toward the end of May, it was declared that the company secured contracts to supply 64 MW for rooftop projects for the first round French tender, which reportedly, was about 31% of the total solar panels required for the awarded solar projects. All the projects are slated to be commissioned and manufactured at its French manufacturing facilities only, cite sources. Neither SunPower nor Tenergie however, have actually revealed any details regarding the financial terms of this supposed supply agreement.



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 p[...]



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 developm[...]



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 behi[...]



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. Compl[...]



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 afore[...]



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 gar[...]



Celgene Corporation to extend its partnership with FORMA Therapeutics to explore new dimensions across pharma and healthcare sectors

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 18:45:42 +0530

Celgene Corporation, a key player in the biopharmaceutical industry, has extended its partnership with FORMA Therapeutics Incorporation, a major giant in the pharmaceutical sector, to pursue research in the field of oncology and therapeutic medicine. Simultaneously, the extension of the partnership is also aimed at exploring new domains such as neurodegeneration, protein homeostasis, and inflammation immunology. This collaboration is basically extension of the formers previous agreement with FORMA that took place in 2014 to pursue research in the field of oncology and therapeutic medicine. For now, Celgene will be responsible for the research development activities and expenses for licensed drug candidates after the phase-1 clinical tests are performed. According to the industry experts, FORMA Therapeutics has made vital breakthroughs in the pharmaceutical sector by introducing new drug candidates that may find potential applications across myriad therapeutic fields. The firm has continually expanded its alliance with Celgene and helped the latter in effectively delivering the licensed products. The strategic partnership between the two key players has no doubt, helped them penetrate the emerging fields of biology, increase their capability of producing high quality drug candidates, and sustained their leading position in the drug innovation arena. After the implementation of the agreement, FORMA received a cash of USD 195 million and Celgene has been offered the U.S. licensing rights to choose the potential drug candidates till October 2019. As per the deal, FORMA will receive payments for licensed drug candidates on the achievement of sales target and new drug development. The firm has retained the rights for manufacturing and commercializing the licensed products in the U.S. It will also retain the global rights for the products that are not licensed to Celgene. According to the pact that took place between the two pharma giants in 2014, the alternative to enter into a new collaboration will remain with Celgene. As per the agreement, Celgene can acquire FORMA, inclusive of the rights of all its own licensed programs in the U.S. along with global rights of the other totally owned programs within FORMA. FORMAs deal with Celgene is an instance of the how strategic alliances taking place between the major industry players in the field of healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and biopharmaceuticals will provide more impetus to the research activities and will help in introducing new drugs for cancer cure and inflammatory ailments.



IBM inks blockchain alliance with 10 colossal food giants, multi-firm collaboration aims to regularize global food safety

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 12:03:15 +0530

In what may be proclaimed as one of the most iconic deals in the history of blockchain technology industry and the FB sector, IBM has forged a highly strategic partnership with not one, not two, but ten highly renowned, affluent food behemoths. The historic collaboration is apparently aimed at exploring the possible applications of blockchain technology in the food chains of these FB giants. If reports are to be believed, ten mammoth food companies including Nestl, SA, Walmart, McCormick and Company, Unilever, Kroger, Dole Food Company, Inc., Tyson foods, Golden State Foods, Driscolls Inc., and the McLane Company have entrenched their commitment to form a consortium that will sign an agreement with IBM, one of the biggest technology titans that exist. Apparently, the consortium will be working with IBMs blockchain technology that will enable the companies to share data and conduct trials with IBM. For the uninitiated, Blockchain, which initially evolved as a system derived for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, is a shared data record that is maintained by a highly efficient computer network. The intricacies of the supply chain in the food beverage sector would make for a highly admissible realm for the deployment of blockchain technology, given the complexities that are liable to occur in the FB sector with regards to the traceability and transparency factor. Since blockchain can very efficiently trace the innumerable domains that are involved in the food production and distribution business, it has been predicted that its deployment may make it convenient to detect the source of contamination while food safety trials. Similar to many of its peers, IBM has been trying to establish a foothold in global blockchain technology market, on the grounds of which the company has been working on myriad blockchain projects since the last few months. The firms current blockchain platform supports the Linux Foundations Hyperledger Composer and Hyperledger Fabric technologies to build blockchain-based applications, which is likely to offer exactly the kind of support that is essential for the FB industry biggies to phase out the distribution chain complexities and promote food safety. Walmart, one of the prime players in retail and wholesale market, had mentioned that a mock trial of the blockchain had helped the company to reduce the time required to track down the movement of mangoes from seven days to a mere 2.2 seconds. At the onset of this year, a study by IBM had also declared that more than 33% of global enterprises have been looking forward to implement t[...]



Merck commits toward the elimination of schistosomiasis by collaborating with Baylor College of Medicine

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 17:08:14 +0530

Vaccine experts have long overlooked the necessity of developing products for diseases that are more prevalent in poor countries while prioritizing on other lucrative projects. Contrary to this conventional approach, Merck and Baylor College of Medicine, have recently announced a vaccine product development partnership to fight against diseases that pose a serious threat, but havent attracted much research attention lately. Reportedly, the deal focuses on optimizing vaccine process development in Texass Children CVD (Center for Vaccine development) to instigate vaccine research for neglected diseases. This is profoundly one of the biggest pacts that pharmaceutical industry has witnessed of late. Baylor College of Medicine and Merck, the two top-of-the-line pharmaceutical giants are teaming up for the diagnostic development of emerging diseases. Primarily, their focus would be on schistosomiasis, cite reliable sources. For the record, Schistosomiasis is one of the deadliest parasitic disease affecting the subtropical and tropical belts. Furthermore, other than working on developing immunizations, it is also reported both these organizations together will focus on manufacturing improvements and would explore the best possible way to deliver vaccines efficiently in remote areas with sub-standard technological accessibility. Founded in 1668, Merck is one of the oldest names in the pharmaceutical and chemical business space. This German pharmaceutical giant is one of those few companies whose commitment toward innovation and advancing research has always been appreciated. The company had recently announced its private-public collaboration with the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine for eradicating infectious tropical diseases. Speaking of Mercks Acquisition with Bayer College Medicine, though the deal mainly focuses on the schistosomiasis elimination agenda, it is likely to unveil additional innovative tools in the near future that would contribute toward tropical disease elimination globally. On the other hand, Bayer College of Medicine is recognized as one of the premier medical academia in the world. Backing up a few years, in 2011, this premier institute, along with Texass Children CVD, had launched an innovative product development center, the National School of Tropical Medicine for research and development to mitigate the issue of neglected tropical diseases. Now with their strategic partnership with Merck, Baylor College of Medicine is set to bring forth robust developments in vaccine manufacturin[...]



Audi has been enlisted as a part of the German diesel emission investigation

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 23:54:59 +0530

The infamous Volkswagen emissions scandal has hit the automaker hard, and is now on the verge of engulfing the automotive industry, by investigating other companies under the brand for fraud. According to recent reports on the rigged engines scandal, Munich prosecutors have also dragged Volkswagen AGs Audi unit under its diesel-emission probe. Segregated as the latest victim of noxious diesel fumes, Audis profits earned via sales of the vehicles equipped with the so-called defeat devices are likely to be seized by the prosecutors. The Munich prosecuting attorney is targeting investigating Audi employees who have apparently violated their supervisory duties and allowed the diesel manipulation. The investigation will be handled under the administrative rule that allows the permit for wrongdoing at companies. As per rules, the District Attorney is allowed to seize the profits made by the company from illegal conduct, but isnt allowed to prosecute the companies under criminal laws. An example of this regulation is that of Siemens AG, the German engineering giant, that had been embroiled in a bribery scandal since 2006 and faced the same type of review. The company had then paid nearly EUR 600 million (USD 706 million) of its profits as a settlement to Munich prosecutors. Siemens is hardly the only corporate giant caught in prosecutors crosshairs. Audi has revealed that it had been notified about the probe by the Munich prosecutors and mentioned that it has been working constructively with the authorities. The German investigators had raided the Audi offices in March this year, in connection with the scandals. Currently, Audi is grappling with car recalls, persistent criticism from unions, prosecutor investigations, and its performance following the scandal. However, the company is attempting to boost the sales by offering clean diesel cars that meet the emission standards. As per reliable sources, five of the German carmakers including Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Porsche, and Daimler have been secretly working together on issues of polluting emissions from diesel vehicles, since 1990s. VW was not able to sell its vehicles in the U.S. market without officially clearing the emission standards and couldnt meet the standards without cheating, hence the gig. In an attempt to boost the sales however, VW offered the clean diesel labelled cars that met the emission standards with the incorporated emission software - that allowed the cars to sense the testing parameters set by the Environmental Protection Agenc[...]



AT&T Incorporation makes a shift in its leadership positions ahead of the finalization of its merger deal with Time Warner

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 18:32:00 +0530

ATT Incorporation, a U.S. based telecommunications giant, has declared that three of its senior officials will acquire key posts in the company in the beginning of August, as the firm is all set to merge with Time Warner Inc., an American entertainment the mass media corporation. The valuation of the deal has been speculated to be nearly USD 85.4 billion. This merger, apparently, has yet not been cleared by the U.S. justice department and is being reviewed by the antitrust officials of certain countries under the pretext that the transaction could lead to anti-competitive practices by the business players. The global telecom market player has declared that John Stankey, currently heading the entertainment group at the AT T Inc., will lead the companys Time Warner merger integration planning team. He is expected to work closely with Jeff Bewkes, Time Warners chairperson chief operating officer, to guarantee an effective transition of services once the merger sees the light of the day. Stankey is predicted to assume the post of CEO of ATTs media firm after the successful merger of the two giant firms. John Donovan, currently the chief strategy officer the president of the technology and operations wing at ATT, will assume a role of the CEO in ATT communications. He is expected to direct, advise, guide, and supervise the group of ATT communications, thereby helping the latter in providing effective mobile, DirecTV, video, and broadband services to its U.S. based customers as well as 3.5 million business sectors. ATT Incorporation has further announced that Lori Lee, chief marketing officer of the firm and previous head of the firms Time Warner merger integration planning group, will be granted an additional post as the head of ATTs International business. In her new assignment, she will be allotted with the additional responsibilities of directing the firms mobile operations across various regions. The responsibilities also include effective management of the mobile operations across Mexico along with the supervision of pay-TV services offered to over 13 million subscribers in 11 regions of Latin America and Caribbean. All the three key officials of ATT, who have held important positions in the firm and are assigned with the new tasks, are expected to report to CEO Randall Stephenson, the Chairman and CEO of ATT. Experts believed that the merger between the two telecom giants, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, will bring about a remarkable sle[...]



U.S. government to step up the stamp of approval against Venezuela oil industry following disputable elections

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 15:58:14 +0530

The U.S. government has charged 13 high-ranking Venezuelan officials on the grounds of human rights violations and corruption, undermining the South American democratic framework. As per reports, a slew of further sanctions against many other officials are also underway, and strong and swift economic actions against the guilty are likely to be undertaken, as stated by the Venezuelan Vice President, Mike Pence. Such sanctions may result in a ban on U.S. firms conducting oil deals with Venezuela a move that may, in all probability, hamper the growth of the regional oil gas market. The restriction on the approval for buying Venezuelan oil and making it seemingly tedious for oil merchants to do so as well, has been predicted to have potentially adverse effects on the countrys oil industry. The U.S. government authorities may also implement a ban on major U.S. companies intending to invest in the energy industry of Venezuela. Experts forecast that renowned firms including Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co., both of which provide vital technology in oil drilling processes, are likely to be phased out of the regional landscape that, in reality, encompasses larger oil reserves than Saudi Arabia. The toughest of all these sanctions is undoubtedly the potential ban on the imports of Venezuelan oil which, so far, has not been implemented fair square, but will be on the table soon enough, if predictions are to be believed. The import of refined products to Venezuela and the implementation of financial restrictions on the nations state oil firm are also on the cards, as reported. So far, however, no firm decision has been taken regarding the ban which may fatally cripple the Venezuelan government. A report from a leading financial institution categorically states that newly imposed U.S. sanctions may act as the trigger for Venezuela to default on its upcoming debt payments. For the record, the nations oil industry is responsible for more than 95% of Venezuelas hard currency. As per observers, any broader sections against the country might lead to a potential economic meltdown, initiating the stone-broke country to default on its debts. It has been reported that U.S. refiners such as Phillips 66, Valero Energy Corp., and Chevron Corp., have been campaigning strongly against a possible restriction in the Venezuelan oil imports, since a majority of the Gulf Coast refiners depend on the Venezuelan oil imports of heavier grades to be converted in[...]



Meituan-Dianping plans to penetrate offline retail industry, joins the likes of JD.com Inc. and Alibaba

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:06:22 +0530

The latest scoop hot off the griddle is that of Meituan-Dianping, Chinas largest provider of online and on-demand services, planning to invest extensively in offline retail services by means of a top-notch strategy that will align it alongside the lines of major e-commerce firms in the country. The online delivery platform, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., Chinas renowned investment holding company, aims to adopt the growth tactic of service offering diversification. For the record, Meituan-Dianping was worth USD 18 billion post its 2016 funding round, and currently has around 200 million active users on a monthly basis. The firm has been focusing on expanding its travel ticketing business and making investments in a ride-hailing business, as reported by reliable sources. The foray of major e-commerce behemoths from online platforms back to the conventional brick-and-mortar stores has been making headlines since the last few months. E-commerce giants such as JD.com Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. have already been investing heavily in logistics, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence to garner the humongous consumer base across China retail market. As per statistics, the Chinese offline retail industry makes up for around 80% of the overall retail sales in the country. Meituan-Dianping is confident that it will emerge as one of the most aggressive investors in the offline retail business in the ensuing years. Conventional software market giants reportedly, will not stand much of a chance in China, owing to the newfangled contraption of the market. As per sources, Meituan-Dianping currently possesses more than USD 3 billion remaining from a USD 3.3 billion funding round that occurred in early 2016. As of now, the company has no immediate plans for any public offering until it completes setting up the required infrastructure for offline retail and other related services. This week witnessed the firm launching its first offline concept store that enables consumers to purchase seafood and grocery items through the companys official app. Shaohui Chen, Meituan-Dianpings Vice President of strategy, remarked that the company intends to expand its pool of strategic partners and make investments in backend technology. The company also takes cue from retail giant Alibaba, which is credited with the coinage of the term new retail for describing an integration of payment tools and data for offline partners. T[...]



UK government undertakes 30th licensing round for the mature areas of Britain’s North Sea

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:35:54 +0530

UKs oil gas regulating authority (OGA) had recently conducted its 30th offshore licensing round that provides access to 813 oil gas exploration blocks, which form a part of the matured areas of Britains portion of the North Sea in Great Britain, covering around 114,426 sq. km. This 120- day offer is valid until November 21, 2017 and the decision to grant licenses to the oil gas firms will be taken by the authorities in the second-quarter of 2018. Reports cite that the licenses for the oil gas exploration of the developed areas of the UK continental shelf (UKCS) were last granted during the 28th offshore licensing round held in 2014. The 29th offshore licensing round held in March 2017 had offered merely 25 licenses to seventeen oil gas companies for carrying out the exploration production activities across 111 oil gas blocks in the UKCS. It has been reported that the British government wants oil gas drilling firms to extract gas from the unexplored offshore areas in the North Sea, where the oil exploration drilling activities had commenced more than fifty years back. On July 19th, 2017, OGA disclosed maps covering the offshore areas in Moray Firth central North Sea. The OGA has also released 140 data packs on undeveloped discoveries that have currently been included in this 30th offshore licensing round. OGA has also declared that the southern part of the North Sea has nearly 3.8 trillion cubic feet tight gas reservoirs and it is one of the worlds most ancient offshore gas mining fields, which had earlier generated over 40 trillion cubic feet of tight gas. It is forecast that the reservoir may contain billions of oil barrels, which can be estimated at nearly USD 250 billion in terms of revenue. Hence, the British government is eager to explore the offshore mining fields exclusively and fully exploit its oil gas reserve potential as much as possible. The British government has financed seismic acquisition venture in the East Shetland platform in the southwest part of the country. It includes 13,500 km of original seismic data and 20,000 km of reprocessed data. It is expected that OGA, in its 31st offshore licensing round is going to make an offer to the oil gas firms to explore exploit these offshore areas.



China’s robustly expanding electric car business forges rewarding opportunities for Japanese SMBs

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:22:16 +0530

The escalating growth of the electric car industry in China is apparently set to provide a slew of lucrative business opportunities for small and medium-sized auto parts manufacturers in Japan. Most of these Japanese manufacturers apparently develop specialized parts that serve to address the numerous industrial challenges posed by these electric vehicles. The China electric car market has been on a spiral of late, depicting a plethora of successful technological developments. With a stringent regulatory framework in place, experts state that the production and sale of electric cars in China are only anticipated to upsurge with time. For the record, a reliable study conducted by a renowned information services firm declared that electric vehicle sales in China is likely to surpass 865,000 by 2025 this is approximately three times the electric car sales that 2016 recorded. This figure, according to experts, will serve as a major catalyst for Japanese auto parts manufacturers, since more production indicates a surge in the number of tech challenges, which will subsequently land more opportunities for Japanese SMBs, especially when building transmissions for electric cars. According to the automotive encyclopedia, transmissions are technically not required in electric vehicles, owing to the fact that they are run by motors, while transmissions enable efficient energy transfer to the wheels and fine-tune the engine output. However, Shigehara, one of the many small Japanese enterprises specializing in manufacturing high accuracy vehicle parts, has a different opinion with regards to transmissions. As per the Osaka-based companys President, transmissions are likely to ensure an enhancement of at least 10% in fuel economy by allowing for smaller motors and batteries. By extension, transmissions in electric vehicles will help to expand the portfolio of commercial electric vehicles. Shigeharas industrial fortitude in highly precise component manufacturing for race cars made the headlines when the Osaka-based firm participated in an electric car race. For now, it has been reported that Shigehara has received orders to design and manufacture prototype transmissions for electric vehicles for at least 10 Chinese automotive companies. These prototype transmissions have been predicted to record sales worth tens of thousands of dollars. As per sources, Shigeharas expertise[...]



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 gl[...]



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[...]



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 re[...]



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 medica[...]



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 historie[...]



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 scr[...]



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 [...]



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 regar[...]



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 e[...]



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 stra[...]



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 a[...]



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, an[...]



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[...]



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 [...]



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[...]



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 o[...]



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 elec[...]



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 20[...]



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 o[...]



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 c[...]



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 202[...]



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-[...]



General Motors to further penetrate wind energy market, reveals plans to purchase wind farms

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:51:56 +0530

Acclaimed automaker General Motors has made it to the front page for its announcement of making a substantial investment in wind power. The companys declaration comes on the heels of its yesteryear disclosure of aiming to source all its power requirements at its manufacturing plants across globe solely with renewable energy by the year 2050. Now, in the third quarter of 2017, the declaration seems to be gaining fruition, as the Detroit-based automotive market behemoth plans to bet big in the wind energy sector. For the uninitiated, General Motors accomplished its debut wind power buyout in the year 2014, for numerous facilities in Mexico. The company also fulfills the power requirements of two of its assembly plants from landfill gas, while having utilized solar power at 26 of its locations. These statistics testify the companys iron-clad commitment toward harnessing renewable energy. It is also prudent to mention that General Motors currently registers savings of close to USD 5 million on an annual basis courtesy: the deployment of renewable energy sources. Backed with a rather strong record of having channeled renewable energy, it comes as no surprise that General Motors now plans to extend its commitment further. The American carmaker has announced that it intends to purchase around 200 MW of wind energy from the wind farms located at Illinois and Ohio. Once the turbines are operational, which would be sometime next year, around 20% of the firms power usage across the globe will be served solely by renewables. The electricity thus generated, would be deployed across seven of its major plants, inclusive of the likes of those that manufacture GMC Sierra light-duty pickups, Chevrolet Silverado, and Chevrolet Cruze. One of GMs prime motives [...]



Arla expands business within the African frontiers, establishes new facility in Ghana

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:10:47 +0530

Renowned European dairy behemoth, Arla, has announced its decision of expanding its footprints in the Sub-Saharan African belt, by means of establishing a new sales and packaging facility in the Republic of Ghana. This facility marks the ingression of Arla in the Sub-Sahara region - a move that may, as stated by experts, help the company strengthen its foothold across Africa. For the uninitiated, Arla Foods is an international dairy co-operative based in Denmark, with numerous subsidiaries including Arla Foods UK, Arla Milk Link Ltd., Arla Foods AB, Arla Foods Ingredients, the National Cheese Company, Ltd., and more. As a part of its expansion strategy, the dairy giant plans to triple its overall revenue in Sub-Saharan Africa by the year 2020. Steen Hadsbjerg, the Vice President of Arlas unit in the Sub-Saharan Africa belt, has been quoted stating that Ghana, being a rather highly developed food business pocket in West Africa, is an ideal place suited for Alas expansion, since the company will have a great deal to offer its consumers. Hadsbjerg has also mentioned that there are two major determinants that will help Arla consolidate its position in the Ghana market. One, most of the middle-class populace in the region have been increasingly demanding affordable, safe nutritional products, and two, West Africa has presently been facing a milk deficiency crisis. Both of the aforementioned factors imply the fact that Ghana is slated to be a lucrative growth avenue for the fermented dairy market giant, providing it with the opportunity to sufficiently meet the demands of its consumers. Arlas initiative to expand its business in Africa is reportedly in line with the firms business strategy - Good Growth 2020, that has be[...]



Google and Walmart establish strategic partnership in a bid to challenge Amazon

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 17:45:43 +0530

Of late, the online retail industry giants are under constant limelight as they are moving forward to keep pace in the race for online retail and e-commerce. Walmart is already seen pushing itself and taking steps to catch up with the e-commerce market giant, Amazon. In this battle amongst the leading retailers, Walmart has recently created all the buzz by announcing its new partnership with Google, to enable voice shopping through Googles virtual assistant, Google Home - a move that takes direct aim at Amazon Echo. Google, in all likelihood, will start offering Walmart products to consumers shopping on Goggle Express, the companys online shopping mall. While the deal will add hundreds thousands of Walmart products to this online mall, it will also give Walmart access to voice ordering. Industry experts predict the voice-controlled ordering to be a small but rapidly growing sector of online sales, and Amazon has already topped this domain with its powerful voiced-enabled network comprising the Alexa and Echo speakers. The increasing importance of voice shopping has thus led retailers to embark on new mergers to compete against Amazon. For the record, Amazons dominance in online shopping is challenging the brick-and-mortar retailers such as Walmart, while posing a threat to Google as well, since people have commenced the search for products on Amazons site itself, instead of the Google search engine. Thus, the partnership between Google and Walmart is a critical step which bears testimony to the mutual threat faced by both the companies from the online retail industry giant. However, with this merger, Walmart is about to encroach further on Amazons turf. This is evident from the recent ne[...]



Anatara Lifesciences Ltd. announces commercial agreement with Zoetis for the development of Detach®

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 17:31:33 +0530

Anatara Lifesciences Ltd. Has recently announced a partnership with global animal health company Zoetis to commercialize the development, distribution, and marketing of Detach. This strategic collaboration between Anatara and Zoetis is likely to enable both the companies to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production. For the record, Anatara Lifesciences has been contributing majorly to the development of therapeutics for the gastrointestinal problems in humans and animals. The company has been researching on animal feed additives and has come to an inference stating that the overuse of antibiotics in feed production may result in the rise of super bugs, which will eventually lead to an increase in level of infectious diseases. The research team at Anatara has witnessed a strong track record not only in biological science but also in building international biotech companies. To address the concern about the overuse of antibiotics, Anatara developed natural plant based product Detach, which is deemed to be one of the flagship products of this organization. The Detach technology of Anatara apparently has the potential to work as a traditional antibiotic, which is likely to control scours in farm animals. Licensing negotiations include a high standard research estimation and a license option period. During the license option period, Zoetis had already completed a primary evaluation of Detach technology as a non-antibiotic approach, which is expected to reduce the scours in livestock. In the research and evaluation of Detach, Zoetis is anticipated to contribute majorly, as the firm has more than 60 years of experience in animal health. This, in turn, will tur[...]



Volkswagen announces the revival of its iconic microbus that is seemingly all-electric

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 18:33:06 +0530

At the recently held Detroit Auto Show, the German automaker Volkswagen revealed its concept car named as I.D. Buzz. VW had gone into explicit lengths to justify the name of the car apparently, Buzz stands for Bus and ID stands for Intelligent Design. After revealing the concept of the iconic microbus at the global motor show, VW has apparently received a huge number of emails and letters from customers demanding that the car be manufactured and commercialized ASAP. As per reports, VW plans to launch this microbus in Europe, China, and the U.S. by the end of 2022, thereby strengthening its position in global automotive market. For the record, in 1950, Volkswagen had launched its first microbus of just 30 horsepower. Today, nearly 7 decades later, VW has revisited its microbus history with a small twist - instead of fossil fuel based vehicles, the company will be implementing electric vehicle with a four-wheel drive. Electric motors will be enabled to produce a power of 369 HP. According to the officials of VW, electric motors used in the ID buzz concept vehicle possess fast charging capability which helps them restore 80% of their energy capacity. Shifting trends toward energy conservation and adoption of clean energy vehicles to reduce pollution levels are likely to favor VW to acquire more business space via this upcoming concept. Recently, the European Investment Bank accused VW in the infamous diesel emission scandal, which cost the German automaker USD 25 billion to date. As a part of its emission control plan, VW has lately been promoting electric vehicles. To capture a wider consumer base, VW has implemented advanced technology[...]



Volkswagen plans to start its own MQB platform post the termination of partnership plans with Tata motors

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:54:39 +0530

India seems to have emerged as the latest destination for industry giants to set their eyes on, with respect to geographical expansion plans. In accordance with the same, eminent German automaker Volkswagen has decided to launch its MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform in India with an intention to manufacture affordable vehicles. Through this MQB platform, VW has been planning to acquire a substantial stake in India automotive market over the next few years. The VW development committee in India, on that note, has submitted a proposal to the Volkswagen AG board, to enhance the product portfolio of its upcoming SUVs and cars such as Skoda Kodiaq, Audi Q7, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Skoda Octivia. As reported, initially, VW wanted to accomplish the MQB platform via a strategic partnership with the Indian multinational automobile manufacturing company, Tata Motors Ltd. Later though, VW realized that the overall investment in this deal would approximately amount to the same in the event that it implements its own plant in India. Nonetheless, experts declare that nowadays, many of the carmakers have been looking for strategic partnerships and collaboration to reduce their individual losses. A few days earlier, both the companies brought about a graceful end to their discussions regarding this deal. Through this alliance, Volkswagen intended to operate Tatas AMP (advanced modular platform) to build several types of SUVs and Cars. Taking into account the economic benefits to the organization, VW wanted to accomplish the deal with Tata with two AMPs instead of six. On one hand, Volkswagen had been looking forward to[...]



Amazon plans to offer event tickets in the U.S., in talks to make a massive foray in U.S. ticketing market

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:52:50 +0530

Global retail behemoth, Amazon Inc., has been debating about penetrating U.S. ticketing industry, and reportedly, has been looking out to join forces with prominent venue owners in the United States to sell event tickets. As per sources, Amazon has approached ticketing parties operating on the secondary market as well, which is indicative of the companys tenacity and resoluteness to secure its position in ticketing market on the home ground. Amazon is no novice in the ticketing business, the firm has already experienced success in the ticketing fraternity, when it had been selling seats for West End shows in Britain, since 2015. In fact, some reports claim that Amazon had even outnumbered major ticketing giants in the region for some of the events, despite Britain venues lacking the provision of an exclusive ticket service provider. Amazons foray in ticketing market banks on the mounting consumer dislike regarding ticket fees and the increasing demand for distributors from sports leagues and venue owners. The ticketing business, as per Amazon, is ripe for disruption, and penetrating this market will bring about an abundance of benefits for the U.S. online retail market giant. Having scrupulously analyzed the pros and cons of pervading this business space, Amazon has already commenced the groundwork that is necessary for it to be a part of U.S. ticketing industry. For instance, the company has been striving to attract more customers onto its website and subscribe to Amazon Prime. A few months earlier, the company signed an agreement to pay up around USD 50 million to the United State[...]



SoftBank to salt away a humongous capital of USD 1 billion in sports e-commerce firm, Fanatics

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 19:25:42 +0530

Reputed online retailer Fanatics has been fortunate enough to have its name enlisted among the latest companies to receive funding from SoftBank. As per reliable sources, Softbank has made a massive investment of USD 1 billion in Fanatics. The deal is anticipated to increase the companys total funding to more than USD 1.8 billion, while simultaneously raising the valuation of Fanatics to an appreciable USD 4.5 billion. For the uninitiated, Fanatics is a leading sports merchandise retailer selling licensed sports apparel. The company plays the role of a retail host for the big-shot sports leagues across the globe. Both, Major League Baseball and the National Football League have been enlisted as its investors and commercial partners, which has helped the firm to gain an edge over its competitors. Sources have also revealed that the NFL has invested around USD 95 million, while Major League Baseball has added a valuation of around USD 50 million in Fanatics to boost its product penetration. The aforementioned deals have reportedly empowered Fanatics to compete with the e-commerce giant, Amazon.com Inc., which accounts for a major chunk of U.S. online retail industry. Reports also claim that, Alibaba, the renowned China retail market player, has also invested in Fanatics, as it counts Amazon as its rival. Amazon however, as specified by sources, seems to be depicting a marginal slack in drawing the attention of investors, since the company does not house direct merchandise agreements with sports leagues. Meanwhile, the Japanese company SoftBank is prominent[...]



Alibaba teams up with China Unicom to expand its presence in the telecom sector by seeking SME brands

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 20:02:46 +0530

In a bid to respond to the communication demand of myriad small and medium scale business enterprises across China, e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, is ready to bet big in the nations telecom space. Though plans have not yet been revealed, market speculations state that Alibaba would be investing in China Unicom. Reportedly, the deal comes as an extrapolation to Alibabas cloud computing business, as its monetary involvement in China Unicoms telecom carriers is likely to bring reciprocal benefits to both the companies. Alibaba, already a giant in Chinas retail market, over the years, has remarkably expanded its business profile from e-commerce to cloud computing and digital media to entertainment. With its China Unicom partnership, Alibaba will soon hold a strong command over the telecom sector as well. Holding the position of the worlds fourth largest and the nations second largest telecommunication provider by subscriber base, China Unicom currently serves a majority of the state-owned government enterprises. With this strategic partnership, the company will be entering a mixed ownership reform which is expected to enhance its business profile by attracting private sponsors of Alibaba and tapping into its retailing and marketing strategies. On the other hand, investing in this telecom carrier would give Alibaba the privilege to access China Unicoms core information infrastructure, such as network, servers, etc., which ultimately would enhance the flexibility of Alibabas cloud computing unit. As estimated by reliable sources, in [...]



AstraZeneca inks oncology partnership with Merck post the former’s disastrous failure of the Mystic trial

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 13:17:48 +0530

AstraZeneca and Merck have jointly entered into a strategic oncology collaboration with an aim to collectively develop and commercialize AstraZenecas Lynparza oral poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor for multiple cancer types as a monotherapy as well as in combination with other medicines jointly in the beginning, and then independently in combination with Keytruda and Imfinzi. AstraZenecas quick decision to collaborate with Merck post its epic failure of Mystic has been touted by industry experts as a desperate move by the UK pharmaceutical market player to sustain its newly-established position in the cancer immunotherapy industry. As per the terms of the deal, Merck will pay an upfront of USD 1.6 billion to AstraZeneca to gain the exclusive commercialization rights to its Lynparza drug therapy. A further payment of USD 750 million is on the cards for license options, while an amount of USD 6.15 billion will be offered after accomplishing the regulatory and sales targets. The deal is likely to mark an overall valuation of USD 8.5 billion (EUR 7.2 billion). For the uninitiated, AstraZeneca had recently conducted the clinical trials of the combination of two its renowned immunotherapy drugs tremelimumab and durvalumab (Imfinzi), aimed at preventing lung cancers from spreading, which was one of the goals of the Mystic trial. The results of the trial have depicted a downward graph, posing a severe disappointment for AstraZeneca. What is astonishing though, is the fact that the Britain pharma pl[...]



Refresco announces the acquisition of Cott Corporation’s beverage business for USD 1.25 billion

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:03:38 +0530

Cott Beverages, which is one of the worlds largest producers of beverages, has apparently sold its soft drink business to Netherlands-based drinks bottler Refresco, for a staggering USD 1.25 billion. This deal is likely to catapult Refresco to being the largest independent bottler for consumer companies and retailers mainly across North America and Europe. Through this deal, Refresco has acquired rights to operate Cotts business at Mexico, U.K., and North America. As per reliable sources, this agreement will bear fruit in the second half of 2017 after obtaining the approval from Refrescos shareholders and regulators. Hans Roelofs, the chief executive officer at Refresco, has stated that the agreement is a part of the long-term strategy of their organization to expand the business scope across Europe and North America. Also, he added that this deal is slated to enhance the product range, geographic diversity, manufacturing diversity, and customer service of Refresco. Post the deals closure, Refresco to likely to emerge as one of the most competitive players in North American food and beverage packaging market. To transform the organizations portfolio and bring about a diversified product range, Cott has developed an accelerated diversification and acquisition strategy, as affirmed by Jerry Fowden, the CEO of Cott. The agreement with Refresco is apparently in line with this strategy and is likely to escalate Cott to become an integral part of global beverage manufacturing indu[...]



Amazon to penetrate global B2B market, stretching beyond its conventional consumer base

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:23:24 +0530

Having sustained for almost two decades in the online retail space, the contribution of the multibillion dollar behemoth, Amazon, has been magnificent in the e-commerce industry. Anticipating the same success as their B2C market, the online giant recently claimed a slice of U.K. business-to-business (B2B) market which reportedly holds a valuation of GBP 96 billion, by launching its new service called Amazon business. Amazon already stepped up its B2B market commitment with the launch of Amazon business in the U.S. back in 2015, followed by its launch in Germany in December, last year. Now with the recent announcement of procuring the U.K. business space, Amazon is on its way to embark on a lucrative path in B2B commerce. Amazon business is off to a promising start, cite reliable sources. The service that was launched in America two years back has a record of 400,000 businesses, generating a revenue of over billions of dollars in the first year of its inception. The version launched in Germany last December, has also reportedly accrued a significant consumer base. Amazon business which concentrates on the sales of industrial tools, office supplies, and laboratory products to leading companies is a tad bit different from its online retail platform, Amazon.com. This dedicated web store will be available to all categories of firms (small, medium, as well as large), offering features ranging from reporting to business analytics and spending limits to pu[...]



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 Tence[...]



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. [...]



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 behemot[...]