Skip to content

Business Phone Number Posts

Venezuela’s ‘interim president’ set himself 3 tests to secure power. He just changed the hardest one to something he already has

Juan GuaidoLUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images

  • Juan Guaidó is running a campaign to replace Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who he says has lost legitimacy. The US and many other countries are backing him.
  • Last week, Guaidó framed his attempt as a three-step process: secure popular support, international support, and the military.
  • In his latest public pronouncement — an op-ed for the New York Times — Guaidó appeared to shift his thinking.
  • He restated the importance of international support, and the Venezuelan people. But instead of emphasizing the military, he restated the importance of Venezuela’s National Assembly.
  • He is already majority leader in the assembly.
  • Guaidó still acknowledges the need to win over the military, but the change in emphasis is telling.

Juan Guaidó, the Venezuelan opposition leader who describes himself in as the country’s "interim president" last week, appears to have changed one of his three criteria for taking power from beleaguered President Nicolás Maduro.

Guaidó used to say that he needed the backing of the Venezuelan people, the international community, and the military to effect a successful transfer of power.

However, a Wednesday op-ed in The New York Times, Guaidó appeared to reframe his campaign. He dropped the tough ask of military support, to instead talk up the National Assembly.

Guaidó is already the majority leader of the National Assembly, which is Venezuela’s parliament. He stepped up as Maduro’s main challenger this month as massive anti-government protests erupted across the country.

Juan GuaidoAP/Fernando Llano

According to The Associated Press, Guaidó previously said he needed support from three groups: The Venezuelan people, the international community, and the military.

The military is the toughest of the three to crack. Since the unrest stepped up, Venezuela’s military leaders have pledged their loyalty to Maduro, and personnel continue to act in his support.

It is difficult to measure Guaidó’s popular support around the country, but tens of thousands marched in support of him last week. Guaidó’s claims that 84% of Venezuelans reject Maduro’s rule.

Read more: Meet Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela who’s challenging Nicolas Maduro for power

venezuela guaido maduroCarlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters; Marco Bello/Reuters

Guaidó’s goalposts

In his op-ed, Guaidó acknowledged that he still needed "support from key military contingents" and "the military’s withdrawal of support from Mr. Maduro" to bring about a change in government.

However, the shift in emphasis downgraded military support from a core pillar of his efforts to instead be one of many steps.

The US, EU, Canada, and almost all of Latin America have recognized Guaidó as the country’s interim president. 

Spain, Britain, Germany, and France also told Maduro to call new elections or else they will formally recognize Guaidó as interim president who will call the new vote.

Maduro’s government responded by saying other countries had no "power to issue deadlines or ultimatums to a sovereign people."

Shortly after US President Donald Trump recognized Guaidó as interim president, Maduro also told all US diplomats in the country to leave. Washington has refused to obey that order.

Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Cuba are among the countries who have pledged support for Maduro.

trump maduroJustin Sullivan/Getty Images; Reuters

It is difficult to measure Guaidó’s popular support around the country, but tens of thousands marched in support of him last week. He also wrote that 84% of Venezuelans reject Maduro’s rule.

Venezuela’s military leaders have pledged their loyalty to Maduro. Since anti-Maduro protests erupted earlier this month, many law-enforcement officers have been raiding neighborhoods around the country and attacking civilians to intimidate Maduro’s critics, Bloomberg reported.

Read more: Venezuela’s Maduro has been blacking out social media — and sometimes the whole internet — to stifle his US-backed opposition

Juan GuaidoFernando Llano, File/AP Photo

Don’t call me ‘self-proclaimed’

Guaidó also argued against the notion that his ascendancy to interim president was a "self-proclamation." He said that according to the Venezuelan Constitution, "if at the outset of a new term there is no elected head of state, power is vested in the president of the National Assembly until free and transparent elections take place."

Maduro swore in for a second, six-year term as Venezuela’s president on January 10. Critics accused him of vote rigging and say that his presidency is unconstitutional and fraudulent.

Guaidó swore in as interim president on January 23.

"It was not of my own accord that I assumed the function of president that day, but in adherence to the Constitution," Guaidó wrote.

He has appeared to exercise that power already. He wrote on Wednesday that he had started appointing ambassadors abroad, and "locating and recovering" assets belonging to the Venezuelan government.

Earlier this week he also wrote to UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, asking them not to grant Maduro access to $1.2 billion of Venezuelan gold reserves at the bank.

He said that Maduro would sell the gold and use the money "to repress and brutalize the Venezuelan people."

NOW WATCH: The US Air Force refuels combat jets in midair with a ‘flying boom system’ — watch it in action

See Also:

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2TpKtKf via business phone number

Comments closed

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, FB, TSLA, MSFT, DB)

Polar VortexReuters/Pinar Istek

Here is what you need to know.

  1. The Fed says it’ll be patient on future rate hikes. The Federal Open Market Committee held its key interest rate in a range between 2.25% and 2.5% on Wednesday, and in his press conference following the decision, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he didn’t know whether the next move would be an interest-rate hike or cut.
  2. The Fed told the stock market exactly what it wanted to hear. Powell said the Fed’s balance sheet wasn’t on "automatic pilot" and it wouldn’t shrink much further, sending the S&P 500 to a gain of 1.5%.
  3. Stock markets around the world were higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+1.08%) led the gains in Asia Thursday, and Britain’s FTSE (+0.44%) was out front in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open up 0.15% near 2,685.
  4. Italy has officially entered a recession. Europe’s fourth-largest economy contracted 0.2% in the fourth quarter, after shrinking 0.1% in the third quarter, according to data released Thursday by the statistics agency Istat.
  5. Facebook soars after crushing earnings. Facebook shares climbed 12% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the social-media company delivered top- and bottom-line results that were well above Wall Street estimates.
  6. Elon Musk declares Tesla will be profitable for ‘all quarters going forward.’ Tesla’s CEO made the comments on the electric-car maker’s fourth-quarter earnings call, after the company posted just its third quarterly profit.
  7. Microsoft just misses on earnings. The most valuable company in the world by market cap earned $1.08 a share, missing estimates by a penny, as revenue matched the $32.5 billion than analysts were expecting. Shares were trading down about 2%.
  8. Deutsche Bank is bracing for a forced merger by the middle of the year. Executives at the bank are becoming increasingly concerned that a government-brokered merger with Commerzbank may be their only option, Bloomberg says.
  9. Earnings reports keep coming. Altria, Ferrari, General Electric, MasterCard, and UPS are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell, while Amazon announces its quarterly results after markets close.
  10. US economic data is heavy. Initial claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before Chicago PMI and new-home sales cross the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET. Data is set to conclude at 4 p.m. ET with net long-term TIC flows. The US 10-year yield is down 1.4 basis points at 2.66%

NOW WATCH: China made an artificial star that’s 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy

See Also:

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2RXtP8i via business phone number

Comments closed

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, FB, TSLA, MSFT, DB)

Polar Vortex

Here is what you need to know.

  1. The Fed says it’ll be patient on future rate hikesThe Federal Open Market Committee held its key interest rate in a range between 2.25% and 2.5% Wednesday, and in his press conference following the decision, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said he didn’t know if the next move would be an interest-rate hike or cut.
  2. The Fed told the stock-market exactly what it wanted to hear. Powell said the Fed’s balance sheet isn’t on "automatic pilot" and it won’t shrink much further, sending the S&P 500 to a gain of 1.5%.
  3. Stock markets around the world were higherHong Kong’s Hang Seng (+1.08%) led the gains in Asia Thursday and Britain’s FTSE (+0.44%) was out front in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open up 0.15% near 2,685.
  4. Italy has officially entered a recession. Europe’s fourth-largest economy contracted 0.2% in the fourth-quarter, after shrinking 0.1% in the third quarter, according to data released Thursday by the statistics agency Istat.
  5. Facebook soars after crushing earningsFacebook shares climbed 12% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the social-media company delivered top- and bottom-line results that were well above Wall Street estimates.
  6. Elon Musk declares Tesla will be profitable for ‘all quarters going forward.’ Tesla’s CEO made the comments on the electric-car maker’s fourth-quarter earnings call, after the company posted just its third-ever quarterly profit.
  7. Microsoft just misses on earningsThe most-valuable company in the world by market cap earned $1.08 a share, missing estimates by a penny, as revenue matched the $32.5 billion than analysts were expecting. Shares were trading down about 2%.
  8. Deutsche Bank is bracing for a potential forced merger by the middle of the year. Executives at the bank are becoming increasingly concerned that a government-brokered merger with Commerzbank may be their only option, Bloomberg says.
  9. Earnings reports keep comingAltria, Ferrari, General Electric, MasterCard, and UPS are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell while Amazon announces its quarterly results after markets close.
  10. US economic data is heavy. Initial claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before Chicago PMI and new home sales cross the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET respectively. Data concludes at 4 p.m. ET with net long-term TIC flows. The US 10-year yield is down 1.4 basis points at 2.66%

NOW WATCH: 7 science-backed ways to a happier and healthier 2019 that you can do the first week of the new year

See Also:

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2CUmmwq via business phone number

Comments closed

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook won’t merge the backends of WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram until at least 2020

facebook ceo mark zuckerbergMustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on an earnings call that the planned integration of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram direct messages won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.
  • He laid particular emphasis on rolling out end-to-end encryption on the new amalgamated service, which is currently a big WhatsApp’s selling point.
  • Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, and its cofounders left in the past two years reportedly after clashing with Facebook executives over user privacy.

Mark Zuckerberg says that Facebook’s plans to merge Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram’s messaging service won’t see the light of day until 2020 at the earliest.

In Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said the plans to stitch together the backend of the three messaging services were still primitive.

"There’s a lot more that we need to figure out before we finalize the plans. And then, of course, this is going to be a long-term project that I think will probably be to whatever extent we end up doing it in — a 2020 thing or beyond," he said.

Read more: "This is probably the last time you’ll ever talk to me": WhatsApp’s cofounder broke his silence about his icy relationship with Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook’s plans to assimilate the three services was first reported by The New York Times this month. Nick Clegg, Facebook’s global policy and communications chief, laid out some of the issues Facebook needs to overcome earlier this week. He told an audience in Brussels:

"We haven’t worked out how that will work, whether it’s workable, what regulators may or may not think about it before they jump to any conclusions, what you would need to do, how you make that work in the data infrastructure, how much data integration you need between them."

Zuckerberg said he was excited to roll out end-to-end encryption — which is currently a WhatsApp defining feature — across the new, unified service.

"People really like this in WhatsApp. I think it’s the — it’s the direction that we should be going in with more things in the future. I think there’s an opportunity to use the work that we have done with WhatsApp there rather than doing it in different ways in the different messaging experiences," he said.

Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, and its cofounders Brian Acton and Jan Koum left Facebook in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Media reports said Koum and Acton had clashed with Facebook top brass over user privacy.

Instagram’s founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger also left the company in September 2018, and reports suggested that clashes arose after Facebook dialled back the autonomy it had once promised Instagram.

NOW WATCH: All smartphones look the same today for 2 key reasons

See Also:

SEE ALSO: LEAKED MEMO: Facebook is scrambling to do damage control with ‘pissed’ employees after Apple blocks its internal apps

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2GgZ0o9 via business phone number

Comments closed

Facebook’s expenses rocketed by a massive $10 billion, partly because it’s costing so much to clean up its platform

David Wehner.JPGReuters

  • Facebook’s costs rose by $10 billion in 2018, partly thanks to its increased spending on keeping fake news, harassment, and fake ads off its platform.
  • That’s equivalent to a Slack, which is worth around $7 billion.
  • Facebook spent $31 billion in 2018, up from $20.4 billion in 2017.
  • Other costs including marketing Facebook’s smart speaker, the Portal.

The amount Facebook spent in 2018 rose dramatically, partly thanks to the firm’s increased efforts to keep fake news, harassment, and fake ads off its platform.

Its expenses for all of 2018 were up 51% from 2017, hitting $31 billion. That’s $10 billion higher than in 2017, when its expenses were $20.4 billion.

These feel like abstract, large figures, so to put it into context: Hot workplace chat app Slack is worth around $7 billion. Facebook’s costs alone this year rose by the equivalent of a Slack. The costs themselves are equivalent to an Airbnb, which is worth around $31 billion.

In a call with analysts on Wednesday, CFO Dave Wehner and CEO Mark Zuckerberg attributed these rising costs to increased spend on "safety" — essentially the costs of fixing security, privacy and misinformation problems, and putting preventative measures in place.

That’s in the wake of multiple crises including the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, which highlighted how Facebook failed to police third-party developers on its platform; fake political ads; and exacerbating hate speech in Myanmar.

Read more: Facebook’s stock soars 12% after beating on top and bottom lines for Q4 2018 earnings

"The reality is that we’ve had a number of substantive issues that we needed to address, and the investments we made in safety, security, privacy and well-being both increased our costs and, in some cases, reduced our revenues," Zuckerberg said in the call.

"We’ve changed how we build services to focus more on preventing harm. We’ve invested billions of dollars in security, which has affected our profitability," he added.

The bulk of the security costs have arisen, it seems, from hiring new staff. Facebook ended the year with substantially more full-time employees, with the number rising 42% to 35,500. Mark Zuckerberg indicated in the call that 30,000 of those new hires were people working on safety and security, though it wasn’t clear that all of those 30,000 are full-time staff.

Facebook is a huge business, and not all of its expenditure was about security. The company also spent money in the holiday quarter promoting its smart speaker Portal, and the Oculus Go virtual reality headset. And $10 billion of that $30 billion expenditure was on research and development.

Wehner said costs would rise in 2019 by as much as 50%. He said: "[We] do plan to continue to invest aggressively in the priority areas, including on the innovation side with AR/VR and AI and continuing to invest in the safety and security programs that we’re undergoing."

NOW WATCH: I cut Google out of my life for 2 weeks, but the alternatives prove why Google is so much better

See Also:

SEE ALSO: 

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2TjsuFo via business phone number

Comments closed

Marketers are obsessing over brand safety, but in doing so, they may actually be risking their brands’ long-term health

Jason Smith, MindshareMindshare

  • In this op-ed, Jason Smith of Mindshare argues that marketers’ preoccupation with brand safety and other traditional guideposts may come at the expense of reaching consumers.
  • He says advertising as we know it is on the wane as people spend more time with media such as HBO and Netflix that lack traditional ads.
  • Marketers should consider gaming, messaging and unconventional content sites that people are passionate about, even if they defy brand safety or traditional measurement rules, Smith says.

Imagine this. Sex, violence, disease, corruption, and offensive language is rampant across American screens and viewers love it. A relatively unknown company is responsible, and advertisers aren’t welcome. This company grows from 365 subscribers in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1972 to over $4 billion in annual revenue by 2007.

It’s 2019 and HBO’s story is now rapidly playing out across new entertainment companies and platforms. A swath of unconventional media experiences are driving insane amounts of customer loyalty while lacking a standard advertiser presence. 

I worry that in some advertising circles, there’s a denial of a scary truth: That HBO model that bucked the support of advertising is spreading. There’s plenty of conversation about ad blocking and Netflix, but this is bigger than that. Advertising, at least as we know it today, won’t be around for the customers we need to build our brand. While brands chase the white rabbits of traditional measurement, standard ad formats, and conventional brand safety, they’re avoiding their audiences’ passion points. And in doing so, they’re risking the long-term health of their brands. Consider three of the most prolific and loyal experiences for Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z: Gaming, messaging, and content platforms.

Gaming

Gaming has always thrived on the promise of loyal fan bases, long hours of uninterrupted play, and insider communities. It’s why game titles outsell movie releases and attendance at gaming competitions can outpace that of major sporting leagues. It’s why companies like Fortnite and Twitch are growing with little or no help from traditional advertising.

Twitch gamer product integrations and custom in-game merch for Fortnite are just some of the ways that these companies are delivering what their audiences want without traditionally measured ad formats. These formats don’t appear in a comScore run or allow for Nielsen measurement, though. And they may not be able to feed into a media mix model, so your marketing leads likely aren’t bringing these important opportunities to you at scale. 

Messaging

Text messaging apps are kings of mobile time spent. Emojis and gifs represent the more common language of messaging today, so much so that emojis have their own governing board to ensure the integrity of the “language.” Sure, a chatbot makes sense for the right experience, but companies like Emogi, Giphy, and Tenor have built organizations that capture the native experience of messaging while pairing with unconventional data that may not allow for an integration with LiveRamp or attachments of a Moat tag. Do marketers’ viewable impression goals prevent entry into this space?

Unconventional content

Shrinking margins, data privacy, and brand safety restrictions have driven content creators to shift into less advertiser-friendly financial constructs like HBO, Amazon, and Netflix (BuzzFeed’s “Follow This” and Vox’s “Explained” are two recent examples); events and subscriptions (think Barstool Sports and Bleacher Report); and even a Brave browser, which eliminates traditional ads in the entire browser in exchange for shared creator and browser currency exchanges that enable anonymity. There likely aren’t CPMs on these buys. Chernin Group, Amazon, Google, Turner, NBC, Netflix, and Disney are investing hard cash in these unconventional content offerings, which makes it a lot easier for a content creator to limit their reliance on traditional advertising. 

Some brands have embraced this evolution. Tyson Foods and General Mills (both Mindshare clients) have done integrations with Twitch and Giphy, respectively, and GE has its “LifeAfter/The Message” podcast. This can backfire, as it did when Fortnite gamers used the NFL’s in-game skins to put their characters in Michael Vick and Aaron Hernandez uniforms. But counting on humanity and social media to get it right every time may leave you behind. 

As we move into a world that challenges our conventional justifications, I encourage marketers everywhere to consider four things:

Sex, controversy and violence sell. Always has, always will. Instead of writing off these areas as unsafe, figure out where your audience is spending its time and what risk you’re willing to take to reach them there. Determine what the customer expects and how to maintain your brand’s core values in these passionate environments.  

Instead of rate card, efficiency, and low cost, think “cost per outcome.” Getting caught up with comparing costs to non-appropriate outcomes for these environments can stifle you. Know where you have gaps in a customer’s affinity with your brand and isolate cost variables that justify longer-term and full-funnel multipliers.

TV is leading the way. The TV networks recognize these shifts and are investing heavily in the emerging technology that supports models that don’t rely on ads. Brands must pay attention to these models and be creative to meet this shift. Those upfront conversations should focus on how your brand is aligning with the network’s long-term strategy.

Your competitors are already there. Lastly, with longer working hours, Fortnite, Netflix, Quibi, Instagram stories, texting gifs and emojis, we’re losing opportunities to impact our customers now more than ever. You can’t always wait for a media mix model to tell you which way is up all the time. I’m not advocating dismissing MMM or any of the protocols that protect our investments. But I challenge you to remember there are no crystal balls and let your organizations move beyond these models when the opportunities make sense. In many cases, your competitors are already taking these risks.

Jason Smith is digital investment lead, Chicago, Mindshare.

NOW WATCH: China made an artificial star that’s 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy

See Also:

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2BedqBR via business phone number

Comments closed

We chatted with a veteran ad director with more than 80 Super Bowl commercials under his belt. Here’s why he thinks Super Bowl ads today ‘stink.’

joe pytkaRick Kalleher

  • Joe Pytka is a veteran ad film director and has directed more than 80 Super Bowl commercials, including Pepsi’s Cindy Crawford commercial and Nike’s "Hare Jordan."
  • There hasn’t been a lot of good ads lately because people are trying too hard to be famous, he said.
  • He also said that ad agencies are big corporations that no longer stand up for their work. 

With more than 80 Super Bowl ads under his belt — including Pepsi’s unforgettable Cindy Crawford commercial from 1992 and Nike’s "Hare Jordan," which was developed into the hit film Space Jam — Joe Pytka knows a thing or two about Super Bowl ads.

Read More: These are the most unforgettable Super Bowl commercials of all time

This year, Pytka directed Toyota’s 60 second-long Super Bowl spot featuring athlete Antoinette "Toni" Harris and narrated by sportcaster Jim Nantz.

Business Insider caught up with Pytka on how the Super Bowl has changed, some of his most favorite work, and what he thinks about advertising today. Here’s an edited version of the conversation.

Tanya Dua: How have Super Bowl ads changed over the years?

Joe Pytka: Most of them stink. They’re trying too hard. I’m selfish here because I’ve lived through a period of time when we had a lot of big thinkers with big ideas. When you talk about good Super Bowl commercials, almost all of them were from that period of time. People are trying too hard to be famous.

Dua: Have any spots in recent years grabbed your attention? 

Pytka: I used to do the Clydesdale commercials before Budweiser was bought out by the Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate. And I resent the fact that they play the patriotism card now all the time. When it was a family-owned business, they had this instinct about what they wanted to say about themselves. Now it’s a big corporation run by Brazilian-Belgian consortium. I don’t feel the same way about them now as I did before, especially when they push this American patriotism.

Dua: What about Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad?

Pytka: It was stupid. Nike’s always trying to do stuff like that, and it worked for them when they were a small company. Now they’re a huge conglomerate making billions of dollars. They don’t have the right to do a commercial like that. They’re only doing it for the money.

Dua: Which brand do you think is doing good work today?

Pytka: I’m a bit cynical about what’s happening in advertising now. I just did a documentary on two ad greats: Ed McCabe and George Lois. They came from the time when advertising was transitioning into being an art form. These guys were bringing work to their clients, saying, you have to do this and respect that I know what I’m doing. This sounds simplistic, but if you have a leak in a faucet, you hire a plumber who knows more about it than you do and you trust his judgment. There was a genius in the old guys like George Lois, Hal Riney and Phil Dusenberry. 

Dua: Do you think it’s still worth advertising in the Super Bowl, given how cord-cutting is on the rise?

Pytka: Yes. You still have 130 million people watching. BMW did a campaign about 10 to 12 years ago. They did all these films for the internet and they used real good directors like Tony Scott. They made these films that they thought were really avant-garde. But the money they spent could have been used much more effectively on the Super Bowl. I think the BMW films cost 40 or 50 million to produce. That’s like 10 Super Bowl commercials.

Dua: What are your thoughts on advertising agencies today?

Pytka: Agencies are big corporations now and they can’t be noisy and disruptive. There’s a lot of compromise now. It’s all very corporate. There’s very few people that stand up for their work these days. They don’t have the personalities they used to have.

Dua: What’s the favorite commercial that you’ve directed for the Super Bowl? 

Pytka: It’s tough because lot of them were very memorable for different reasons, but I think probably the one for Budweiser with the soldiers that are getting off the airplane with the people applauding.

NOW WATCH: We compared Apple’s $159 AirPods to Xiaomi’s $30 AirDots and the winner was clear

See Also:

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2TnRHyB via business phone number

Comments closed

Deal sizes are ‘swelling’ because private equity firms played a bigger role than ever in 2018 M&A

Dr. PepperDaniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Dr. Pepper

  • Though the number of deals declined in 2018, the median M&A deal price grew across North America and Europe in 2018, according to PitchBook’s annual M&A report.
  • Private equity’s role in M&A grew in 2018. PE made up 34.2% of all M&A deals in North America and Europe in 2018, according to PitchBook. That’s up from 29.9% in 2017, and 27.4% in 2016.
  • As PE’s role grew, so did the value of deals. The median deal price in M&A hit a record high of $48.2 million in 2018, up 34.4% from the year before.

Private equity firms have stepped up their game.

That segment of active acquirers — which includes heavy-weights like the Blackstone Group and the Carlyle Group — made up 34.2% of all M&A deals in North America and Europe in 2018, according to PitchBook’s annual M&A report. That’s up from 29.9% of deals in 2017 and 27.4% of deals in 2016. 

While the over-all volume of deals has declined since 2015, the median deal price is on the rise.

The median M&A deal across both North America and Europe hit a record high of $48.2 million in 2018, according to the report, up 34.3% from the year before. In North America specifically, the median was $60 million, up 22.4% from 2017. In Europe, the median was $34.2 million, up 34.2% from 2017.

PE firms grow proportion of deal activityPitchBook

"Deals have been persistently larger in North America than Europe over the long term, a trend we have witnessed across VC, PE, and strategic M&A. Part of the reason for swelling deal sizes is the growth in PE as a proportion of overall M&A," PitchBook said in the report.

In part, this is because PE firms have raised larger funds in recent years, which has given them the financial leeway to participate in competitive bidding processes, and pay more for deals.

By the end of 2018, the median leveraged buyout was $140 million, which is nearly triple the median size of an M&A deal, according to the report.

Leveraged buyouts are acquisitions made with a mix of equity and debt, which is a common practice for private equity firms.

With multiple deals over $10 billion, it’s no wonder the median deal price rose.

Among the biggest deals were JAB Holding’s $21 billion Dr. Pepper Snapple acquisition, and Blackstone’s $17 billion buyout of 55% Thomson Reuters’ financial and risk business.

Slightly under the $10 billion in Europe, KKR bought out Unilever’s spreads business for $6.7 billion, and Hellman & Friendman bought the payments processing firm Nets for $5.3 billion.

NOW WATCH: The founder of the World Economic Forum shares what he sees as the biggest threat to the global economy

See Also:

SEE ALSO: US antitrust merger investigations neared record lows in 2018 even as scrutiny of Facebook, Google and Amazon picked up

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2BbsP68 via business phone number

Comments closed

Malaysia just got a new king, under a unique system where 9 royal families take turns to rule for 5 years each

Malaysia's new King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah

  • Malaysia’s new king was crowned on Thursday as part of a unique rotating monarchy system shared between nine households. 
  • Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah takes over from Sultan Muhammad V who abdicated in mysterious circumstances on January 6, the first ruler ever to do so.
  • Under the system, one Sultan from each of the nine royal states becomes king, or "Agong," every five years. Out of the 43 monarchies in the world this is the system of its kind.
  • There are actually 13 Malay states, but only nine of them have royal families. 
  • The system has been in place since the British Empire’s occupation of Malaysia ended in 1957.

Malaysia’s new king ascended to the throne on Thursday, under a unique system where nine royal families juggle the crown every five years. 

Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was crowned after Sultan Muhammad V unexpectedly abdicated on January 6 just two years into his term.

According to the BBC, the abdication came after intense speculation about his marriage to Oksana Voevodina, a Russian model who won the Miss Moscow pageant in 2015.

Malaysia has used the rotating monarchy system since 1957, after Britain returned the control of the colony to the royal family and the new parliament. 

map of asia malaysiaWikimedia Commons

There are 9 royal families in Malaysia. The head of each has the title of sultan, and they rotate five-year terms as "agong", the Malaysian term for king.

The new 59-year-old king is from Pahang state.

There is an established order to who becomes king next, but the Sultans of each family still have to vote on who the next one should be.  

Malaysia's new King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.Reuters

Much like in Britain, the monarch holds a mainly ceremonial role, with the Prime Minister and parliament holding administrative power. 

The agong must approve legislation before it can become law, but doesn’t interfere in politics. 

malaysia miss moscow weddingEasdt2WestNews/YouTube

The king does hold roles as the head of government and the armed forces, and he can also issue pardons for criminals.

He is also considered the guardian of Malay culture, morality, and Islam, the official state religion, which two thirds of its 32 million citizens practice.

As a salary, parliament gives the incumbent king 5 million ringgit ($1.21 million) a year to cover expenses. 

Malaysian King Muhammad VReuters

There are 12 states in Malaysia, but only nine of them have royal families.

In the order they rotate as king, they are: Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Perlis, Terengganu, Kedah, Kelantan, Pahang, Johor, and Perak

The sultan next in the rota to be king, Sultan Nazrin of Johor state, became deputy king on Thursday at the ceremony.

Out of the 43 monarchies in the world Malaysia’s is the only one which uses this system.

NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump’s stance on China is ‘not at all crazy’

See Also:

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2TpNEBG via business phone number

Comments closed

A Wall Street expert used machines to scour 750,000 company filings — and he reached a surprising conclusion about a possible recession

robot ai artificial intelligenceReuters / Fabrizio Bensch

  • Vincent Deluard, a macro strategist at INTL FCStone, recently used machines to sift through 750,000 corporate filings in order to see if any trends could be gleaned.
  • Among other things, Deluard came across some surprising data relating to a possible economic recession, which many experts have warned about.

For even the most avid consumer of corporate filings, wading through the mountain of public disclosures that get filed every quarter is an impossible task.

This is a well-known fact — one that particularly enterprising data miners have tried to address by having computers scour the sea of numbers.

But INTL FCStone macro strategist Vincent Deluard recently had another idea. What if, instead of combing through numbers, he used machines to seek and analyze trends in written text?

Deluard’s results were astounding. Looking at sample search terms like "big data," "cloud storage," and "internet things," he found that the algorithm returned text that contained genuine information content.

As an example, the chart below shows just how frequently those word combinations have appeared over time:

Screen Shot 2019 01 30 at 3.40.22 PMINTL FCStone

If that doesn’t convince you of the approach’s efficacy, consider the chart below, which shows the frequency at which Apple mentions its various products. As you’ll see, the trend lines closely mirror the rises and declines of the company’s hallmark devices — as well as its inability to smash hit in recent years.

Screen Shot 2019 01 30 at 3.45.44 PMINTL FCStone

While this is all very interesting and potentially useful, Deluard recognizes the immense potential such a tool could offer investors. He finds that earnings discussions can "alert investors of nascent business trends."

"Some searches suggested that the count of words used in quarterly filings could help predict financial and economic events, such as trends in exchange rates or recessions," Deluard said.

To that end, one big example he highlights is the rise in references to a "slowdown" in filings in 1999 and 2006. Both instances preceded recessionary periods by two full years.

With a decent track record like that, any sort of uptick in the reading can be viewed as signaling tough times in the months and years ahead. Luckily for companies, business owners, investors, and consumers alike, a recession doesn’t appear to be in the cards any time soon. The chart below shows this dynamic:

Screen Shot 2019 01 30 at 4.08.19 PMINTL FCStone

"Economists and journalists may freak-out about the shape of the yield curve, but the people in charge of corporate budgets are not worried about an imminent recession," Deluard said. "Similarly, uses of the words ‘liquidity,’ ‘default’ and ‘volatility,’ which had spiked well before the start of the great financial crisis, have been on a steady downtrend."

In the end, Deluard realizes that his approach could be vastly improved upon. One idea he has is to combine word counts with a positive of negative characterization of its tone — something known as sentiment analysis.

Once this tall task is fulfilled, Deluard says the method could have three possible applications: market timing, sector rotation and stock-picking. And while he acknowledges he’s probably not the man who’s going to fully crack the code, his work thus far has laid a strong foundation.

NOW WATCH: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is 35 — here’s how he became one of the world’s scariest dictators

See Also:

SEE ALSO: A billionaire investment chief at the world’s biggest hedge fund explained to us why the economy is headed for ’20 years of ugliness’ — even if a major recession is avoided

via Business Insider https://read.bi/2BdtUdD via business phone number

MightyCall Contact Form