Tag Archives: Investment Management & Fund Operators (NEC) (TRBC level 5)

Dow Inc seeking buyers for German chemical park infrastructure: sources | Instant News


FRANKFURT (Reuters) – US chemicals maker Dow Inc has put German infrastructure assets up for sale in a potential 800 million euros ($ 966 million) deal as it seeks cash to invest elsewhere, sources close to the matter told Reuters.

FILE PHOTOS: Dow’s mark seen at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China November 5, 2020. REUTERS / Aly Song

Chief Executive James Fitterling said last month that Dow would continue to take infrastructure companies off its balance sheet and use the funds for capital expenditures, smaller acquisitions or share buybacks.

While Dow will sell the infrastructure at its petrochemical site in Stade, Schkopau und Boehlen, Dow will continue to produce plastics and intermediates there, paying usage fees to the new owners. Dow is a major user but not the only one operating in the three chemical parks.

Chemical parks typically provide the infrastructure for electricity, steam, natural gas and other services for the producers who live there.

“Dow has notified employees in Germany that they are exploring opportunities regarding specific site infrastructure assets and services at the Stade, Schkopau and Boehlen locations, but no final decisions have yet been made,” said a company spokesman.

In a similar 2019 deal, Bayer and Lanxess sold integrated chemical site operator Currenta to Macquarie in a 3.5 billion euro deal.

Dow has delivered packages of information to potential bidders including KKR, Blackstone, BlackRock, Brookfield Asset Management, Macquarie, First Sentier and DIF Capital Partners, the sources said.

The business is marketed with annual sales figures of 300 million euros with a core profit of around 65 million euros.

Bidders can value infrastructure assets at around 12-13 times core revenue, the source added.

Dow is working with Morgan Stanley on the divestment, the sources said.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

($ 1 = 0.8284 euros)

Additional reporting by Arathy Nair; Edited by David Goodman

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Brazilian asset manager Vinci is eyeing a deal at home following the US IPO | Instant News


NEW YORK / SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Vinci Partners Investment Ltd will use proceeds from its US $ 250 million initial public offering to expand in its home market in Brazil, an executive at alternative asset manager said Thursday.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company intends to acquire a rival to expand its product range, including in real estate, equities and several credit strategies, said Head of Private Equities Bruno Zaremba in an interview.

The company sold 13.9 million shares for $ 18 each in an IPO on Wednesday, valuing Vinci, which offers investments in private equity, real estate and other fund classes, at $ 1 billion. Shares fell 3.3% on the first day of trading on the Nasdaq.

Brazil’s financial services landscape, which has long been dominated by traditional banks, has been redrawn in the last decade by new companies that have sprung up offering easier access to services and products for Brazilians.

Zaremba said the growth opportunities in the country were enormous, with the lowest interest rates and the hunt for yields accelerating the displacement of Brazilians from government bonds.

“In recent years, we have seen the beginnings of a transformational change in the way Brazilians save, both retail and institutional,” said Zaremba, noting that Vinci’s assets under management have grown to nearly 50 billion reais ($ 9.23 billion) from 20 billion reais three years ago.

Being a public company supports Vinci’s growth ambitions as it can buy other platforms with its shares, he added.

Vinci, offering 16 times the excess demand, joins the flow of Brazilian financial companies listed on the US market. Earlier this month, fellow alternative manager Patria Investments Ltd raised $ 326 million from its IPO, while digital broker XP Inc registered in late 2019.

Zaremba said the US roster gave him access to global investors who understand alternative models and are already owner of international partners including the Blackstone Group.

“We do not list alternative asset managers in Brazil, so a comparable one is in the US market.”

($ 1 = 5,4162 reais)

Reporting by David French in New York and Tatiana Bautzer in Sao Paulo; Edited by Richard Chang

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NEWSMAKER-Andrea Orcel has rocked Italian banking again | Instant News


MILAN, 26 Jan (Reuters) – In 2015, renowned dealmaker Andrea Orcel stated in an interview that he wanted to become the chief executive of a bank.

But the ill-fated offer to run Santander has kept the silver-haired Italian on the sidelines of European finances for more than two years, mired in a legal dispute with a Spanish bank as the COVID-19 pandemic engulfs the world economy.

The last time Europe was on the brink of an economic crisis, Orcel was at the heart of the action. Back in 2007, he played a central role in a series of bank deals that cemented his reputation as one of the most agile dealmakers in the region.

Now appointed as chief executive of Italy’s second-largest lender, UniCredit, all eyes will be on which deals he does – or doesn’t – want to do.

As global head of the Merrill Lynch financial institution team and later worldwide, Orcel advised Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Belgium Fortis in the 71 billion euro ($ 86 billion) takeover of ABN Amro.

RBS and Fortis were both later nationalized, with the deal partly blamed for their fate as the financial crisis brought banks across the region to their knees.

Before the deal was closed, Orcel advised Monte dei Paschi to buy ABN Amro Italia Antonveneta’s business from Santander. The Tuscan bank paid 9 billion euros, although Antonveneta had valued around 6.6 billion euros in the ABN Amro deal several months earlier.

Monte dei Paschi later admitted that he had not carried out due diligence.

By stretching Monte dei Paschi’s finances just as the global financial crisis was a bit, the Antonveneta deal, coupled with a series of troubled derivative trades and a mountain of bad loans, helped send the world’s oldest bank still in business into a cycle of failure.

The following year, as European banks struggled to survive the crisis, Orcel received a bonus of about $ 33.8 million.

PAY ROW

In 2012, Orcel moved to Swiss bank UBS to run his investment bank. But he maintains close ties with Monte dei Paschi, making millions in pay by advising on a series of rights issues and fruitless merger attempts.

Then in 2018 Santander, another close client, came on the phone and appeared to be about to grant his wish.

Spanish bank chief executive Ana Botin wants Orcel to be the next chief executive, surprising many in the European financial world given his lack of experience in commercial banking.

But when his appointment was announced, Santander still had yet to reach an agreement with UBS on how to deal with the roughly 55 million euros of deferred payments Orcel will receive in the coming years from a Swiss bank.

Santander hopes UBS will continue to pay. UBS says No.

After months of fruitless bargaining, Botin told Orcel that the political climate in Spain meant they were unable to meet his salary demands and job offers were canceled.

Botin tries to find a way to reach a friendly agreement, but to no avail. In May last year, Orcel sued Santander for 112 million euros. Delayed due to the pandemic, that case will go to trial later this year, but what will happen now is unclear.

What is clear is that by taking the top spot at UniCredit – the bank he helped create in 1998 as a young Merrill Lynch banker working on Credito Italiano’s merger with UniCredito – Orcel will again become the center of Monte dei Paschi’s fate.

UniCredit is seen as a pioneer in becoming its white knight. With Orcel in charge, a UniCredit deal is likely to happen, but whether it will still involve Monte dei Paschi remains to be seen. ($ 1 = 0.8222 euros)

Written by Rachel Armstrong; Edited by David Clarke

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Germany’s vaccination campaign is overshadowed by accidents | Instant News


FRANKFURT / BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign is overshadowed by an overdose accident in the north and problems with vaccine transport in the south that saw 1,000 shots being sent back.

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker prepares a syringe to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a nursing home in Burgbernheim, Germany, December 28, 2020. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke

Several districts in Bavaria said on Monday they would not use the injections received over the weekend because of concerns the vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech might become too warm during their deliveries in household coolers, a Lichtenfels district spokesman said.

“There is doubt whether the cold chain is maintained over time,” Lichtenfels District Administrator Christian Meissner told Reuters TV.

The vaccine, which uses so-called mRNA technology, must be stored at an extremely low temperature of about minus 70 Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit) before being shipped to distribution centers in specially designed cool boxes filled with dry ice.

After exiting very low temperature storage, the vaccine must be stored at 2C to 8C to remain effective for up to five days. The cooler designed by Pfizer is equipped with a GPS tracker so the company can tackle potential storage issues on the go.

While BioNTech is in charge of transport to the deep freezer hub, local authorities are tasked with providing safe and cool transport to individual vaccination centers.

The vaccine arrived in Lichtenfels and six other northern Bavarian districts on Saturday in coolers of the kind used for picnics or camping trips. Temperature loggers in some cases show temporary temperatures of up to 15C.

“BioNTech commented and said that the vaccine might be fine, but maybe okay is not enough,” Meissner said, adding that the injections would not be used to prevent damaging public confidence in the vaccination campaign.

According to the Upper Franconia government, where the districts are located, BioNTech has said it: “Based on the facts you provided in your email on 12-27-2020 at 19.52 and internal stability data, we do not see any effect from transport irregularities. described on the quality of the vaccine injection concerned. “

BioNTech declined to comment.

After consulting with the Bavarian Ministry of Health, the districts decided not to use the 1,000 shots allocated for use at Lichtenfels as well as Coburg, Kronach, Kulmbach, Hof, Bayreuth and Wunsiedel, also in northern Bavaria, a Lichtenfels spokesman said.

Local medical staff have said they would not feel comfortable using the injections, he said, adding that the new batch of vaccine injections that arrived Monday was completely cold and the vaccination campaign started one day late.

Elsewhere in Germany, in the Vorpommern-Ruegen district, authorities said eight workers at a nursing home in the city of Stralsund received five times the recommended dose of the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine on Sunday.

Four people went to the hospital for observation after experiencing flu-like symptoms.

“I really regret that incident. This individual case was caused by individual error. I hope that all those affected do not experience any serious side effects, ”said Regent Stefan Kerth in a statement.

The Vorpommern-Ruegen authorities pointed to an earlier statement by BioNTech that said that larger doses were tested in the Phase I study without serious consequences.

BioNTech points to the vaccine package insert, which says that in case of an overdose, monitoring of vital functions and possible symptomatic treatment is recommended.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Michael Nienaber and Reuters TV; Edited by David Clarke

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‘Farewell is sweet sadness’: EU and UK reach a narrow Brexit deal | Instant News


LONDON / BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain reached a narrow Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, just seven days before exiting one of the world’s largest trading blocs in the most significant global shift since the loss of the kingdom.

The deal, struck more than four years after Britain chose narrowly to leave the bloc, means it has avoided the chaotic end of the tortuous divorce that has rocked a 70-year project to forge European unity from the ruins of World War Two.

This will maintain Britain’s zero tariff and zero quota access to the bloc’s single market of 450 million consumers, but will not prevent economic suffering and disruption for the UK or EU member states.

Many aspects of Britain’s future relationship with the EU have yet to be resolved, perhaps for years.

“It is a long and winding road,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters. “But we have to show a lot of things for that. It’s fair, it’s a balanced deal, and it’s the right and responsible thing for both parties to do. “

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted a photo of himself inside Downing Street, raising both hands in a thumbs up sign of victory. “We have taken back control of our destiny,” he told reporters. “People are saying it’s impossible, but we’ve taken control back.”

“We will become an independent coastal state,” he said. “We’ll be able to decide how and where to stimulate new jobs.”

Britain officially left the European Union on January 31 but has since been in a transition period with trade, travel and business rules remaining unchanged until the end of this year.

‘JUMBO’ OFFER

Johnson described the last minute agreement as a “jumbo” free trade deal along the lines carried out between the European Union and Canada, and urged Britain to move on from the split caused by the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The deal will also support peace in Northern Ireland – a priority for US President-elect Joe Biden, who has warned Johnson he must uphold the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

European Union member Ireland said the deal, which the Commission’s website says will be published soon, protects its interests as best it can.

The trade pact will not cover services, which make up 80% of the UK economy, including the banking industry which positions London as the only financial capital to rival New York.

Access to the EU market for UK-based banks, insurance companies and asset managers will be unequal.

Johnson said the deal did not contain as much as he wanted regulatory equality for financial services, but it still contained some “good language”.

A deal appears imminent for nearly a day, until haggling over how much fish EU vessels can catch in British waters delays the recent announcement of one of the most important trade deals in European history.

When Britain shocked the world with a vote to leave the EU, many in Europe hoped to remain aligned. But that couldn’t be happening. Von der Leyen, quoting Shakespeare, said that “goodbye is sweet sadness”.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Guy Faulconbridge, Elizabeth Piper, Conor Humphries, Kate Holton, John Chalmers, William Schomberg, Paul Sandle and Michael Holden; Written by Guy Faulconbridge and John Chalmers; Edited by Alison Williams and Philippa Fletcher

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