Tag Archives: Billion

Toyota to invest $1 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab
June 13, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp has agreed to invest $ 1 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab as a lead investor in the company’s ongoing financing round, which was launched after it bought the regional business of Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL].

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Toyota Motor Corp is seen at the company’s showroom in Tokyo, Japan June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

The investment by Toyota is the largest-ever by an automaker in the global ride-hailing sector, the six-year old start-up said in a statement on Wednesday.

It is also the latest collaboration between a global vehicle maker and a technology firm as ride-hailing companies dominate the fast-growing field of mobility services, raising the risk of a future where car ownership declines in favor of such services.

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp last month announced it would invest $ 2.25 billion in the Cruise autonomous vehicle unit of General Motors Co, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC [TAMOJL.UL] have agreed to supply vehicles for Alphabet Inc’s self-driving car subsidiary Waymo.

Toyota’s investment will allow Grab, which counts peer Didi and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp as investors, to further expand its range of online to offline services, such as food delivery and digital payments, deeper into the region.

Grab will be valued at just over $ 10 billion after Toyota’s investment, said a person familiar with the matter.

A Toyota executive will be appointed to Grab’s board of directors and a dedicated Toyota team member will be seconded to Grab as an executive officer, the ride-hailing firm said.

Wednesday’s announcement deepens Toyota’s partnership with Grab, following an earlier, undisclosed investment by the automaker’s trading arm last year.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

Toyota has installed its driving recorder devices in some vehicles operated by Grab, using the collected data stored in its mobility services platform to analyze driving patterns and develop vehicle services.

The automaker on Wednesday said by deepening the partnership, it hoped to achieve connectivity for Grab’s rental car fleet across Southeast Asia and offer financing, insurance and maintenance services to drivers based on data collected on its platform.

“Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia,” Toyota executive Shigeki Tomoyama said in a statement.

Data collected from the recorders could also help Toyota in its own development of next-generation mobility services, including a self-driving electric vehicle it plans to develop for companies to use for tasks such as ride hailing, package delivery and mobile shops.

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co and Japan’s Honda Motor Co Ltd have also previously funded Grab, which said it has achieved run-rate revenue of over $ 1 billion. The company’s app has been downloaded onto over 100 million mobile devices and the firm logs over 6 million rides per day.

Earlier this year, Uber exchanged its Southeast Asian operations for 27.5 percent of Singapore-headquartered grab, ending a battle between the two for regional dominance.

Southeast Asia, home to about 640 million people, is a major arena for tech firms offering services from digital payments and ride-hailing to e-commerce.

Last month, Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment firm Go-Jek said it would enter Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines in the next few months, investing $ 500 million in its international push.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in SINGAPORE and Naomi Tajitsu in TOKYO; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing

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Rockwell to take $1 billion stake in software maker PTC
June 11, 2018 6:06 pm|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Factory automation equipment maker Rockwell Automation said on Monday it would buy an 8.4 percent stake in PTC for $ 1 billion as it looks to build on its software capabilities to make smarter manufacturing processes for customers.

Rockwell — which makes electronic motor starters, relays and timers for industries — has been strengthening its capabilities in the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), or technology that allows different devices and systems to communicate with each other over the internet.

Shares of PTC, which offers computer-aided design (CAD) programs as well as lifecycle management software for manufacturers, rose as much as 10.2 percent to a record $ 95.88.

“We do view this agreement as a strategic positive for PTC as it will help open the doors into thousands of companies that traditionally have not used PTC for its core CAD capabilities,” JP Morgan analyst Sterling Auty wrote in a note.

As part of the deal, Rockwell will acquire 10.6 million newly issued PTC shares for $ 94.50 per share, to become its third-biggest shareholder.

The per-share price represents a premium of 8.6 percent to software maker PTC’s close on Friday.

Leveraging Rockwell’s domain expertise with PTC’s technology will help companies to capitalize on the promise of industrial IoT, PTC Chief Executive Officer Jim Heppelmann said.

Rockwell Automation’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer Blake Moret will join PTC’s board after the deal closes, which is expected within the next two months, according to a joint statement.

Morgan Stanley & Co LLC was the financial adviser to PTC, while Goldman Sachs & Co LLC advised Rockwell.

Goodwin Procter LLP was PTC’s legal adviser to PTC, while Foley & Lardner LLP advised Rockwell.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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Qualcomm asks EU court to scrap $1.2 billion antitrust fine
June 4, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM.O) has asked Europe’s second-highest court to throw out a 997 million euro ($ 1.2 billion) fine levied by European Union antitrust regulators, citing numerous errors in the EU decision.

Visitors are seen by a booth of Qualcomm Inc at the China International Big Data Industry Expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province, China May 27, 2018. Picture taken May 27, 2018.  REUTERS/Stringer

The European Commission penalized the company in January for paying Apple (AAPL.O) to use only its chips in its iPhones and iPads, giving rival Intel (INTC.O) no chance of getting a share of the market.

The EU competition enforcer’s ruling was marked by errors in procedures and law, Qualcomm said in its appeal to the Luxembourg-based General Court, according to a filing in the Commission’s Official Journal on Monday.

Judges typically take several years to rule on such cases.

Qualcomm is also involved in another EU antitrust case where it has been accused of selling chipsets below cost to drive out British phone software maker Icera, which is now a unit of Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O).

The appeal is Qualcomm/Commission T-235/18.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee. Editing by Jane Merriman

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Singapore start-up secures $12.3 billion in assets for blockchain platform
June 1, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – FUSION, a Singapore-based crypto-finance start-up, has secured $ 12.3 billion in financial assets from three strategic partners that have committed to lock in those funds with the organization’s public blockchain platform, FUSION founder DJ Qian told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

The secured funds come from FormulA, Carnex, and KuaiLaiCai, three companies operating in asset management, car financing, and restaurant supply chain management, respectively.

The locked-in funds represent a commitment from the three companies, which have deposited their assets with the FUSION blockchain, for them to manage them or handle transactions from those funds.

Blockchain, the system powering cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is a shared database that is maintained by a network of computers connected to the internet.

“FUSION is like a value connector,” Qian said in an interview late on Thursday. “Every company has its own ecosystem and the money flows from one player to another. But that ecosystem is actually limited.

“What FUSION is trying to do is create a platform that will help those ecosystems connect with each other once they have digitized their assets,” he added.

By locking the assets onto FUSION, companies are able to gain access to a global finance network, interact across various cryptocurrencies and have a broader choice of financial instruments, Qian said.

FUSION raised more than $ 100 million in a token sale in February but had to return half of that to investors because the start-up had already hit its limit for capital, said Qian. It raised more than $ 50 million in less than 24 hours for its token offering.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Dan Grebler

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Toshiba completes $18 billion sale of chip unit to Bain consortium
June 1, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Toshiba Corp said on Friday it had completed the $ 18 billion sale of its chip unit to a consortium led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital.

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Toshiba Corp is seen outside an electronics retail store in Tokyo, Japan, February 14, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

The completion of the deal, initially aimed for by end-March, had been delayed due to a prolonged review by Chinese antitrust authorities. China approved the deal last month.

The Bain consortium last year won a long and highly contentious battle for Toshiba Memory, the world’s No. 2 producer of NAND chips. Toshiba put the business up for sale after billions of dollars in cost overruns at its Westinghouse nuclear unit had plunged it into crisis.

The consortium includes South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix, Apple Inc, Dell Technologies, Seagate Technology and Kingston Technology.

Under the deal with Bain, Toshiba repurchased 40 percent of the unit, it said in a statement.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Sunil Nair

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Foxconn's unit targets raising $4.3 billion in biggest China IPO since 2015
May 23, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

TAIPEI/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Foxconn Industrial Internet (601138.SS), a subsidiary of the world’s largest contract manufacturer Foxconn (2317.TW), announced plans to raise up to 27.1 billion yuan ($ 4.26 billion) in what will be mainland China’s biggest IPO in almost three years.

FILE PHOTO: Visitors are seen at a Foxconn booth at the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China May 19, 2018. REUTERS/Stringe

The Foxconn unit, which is known as FII and makes electronic devices, cloud service equipment and industrial robots, is offering up to 1.97 billion shares at 13.77 yuan per share in Shanghai, according to a statement it filed to the stock exchange late on Tuesday.

With 10 percent of its enlarged capital offered in the initial public offering (IPO), Shenzhen-based FII would have a valuation of about $ 43 billion at listing. Bookbuilding for the IPO is on May 24.

The listing is widely seen as a step for Terry Gou’s Foxconn, a major Apple Inc (AAPL.O) supplier formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (2317.TW), to wean itself off heavy reliance on manufacturing smartphones for the California-based iPhone maker and to diversify into new areas.

Foxconn has signaled previously that FII will launch projects in areas including smart manufacturing, industrial internet, cloud computing, and fifth-generation wireless technologies.

The IPO is also a reflection of Beijing’s seriousness in luring tech giants onto mainland exchanges.

At about $ 43 billion, the unit’s valuation would not be far behind parent company Foxconn’s market capitalization of about $ 49 billion.

The IPO’s pricing represents 17 times FII’s historical earnings, well below the valuation cap of 23 times favored by Chinese regulators.

FII plans to sell 30 percent of its public share offering to a group of strategic investors in a rare move for mainland deals.

The strategic investors are not being called cornerstones – investors who accept a lock-up period in return for large allocation, which is a practice common in other Asian markets such as Hong Kong to bolster demand for large deals.

However, the group will function as such, with its investments tied up for between one and three years. In an additional unusual move, 70 percent of institutional investors’ allocated shares will also be locked up for 12 months.

FII’s IPO ranks as the fourth largest in the mainland over the past 10 years, outpaced only by China State Construction Engineering (601668.SS), which raised $ 7.3 billion in 2009; China Railway Construction (601186.SS), which sold shares worth $ 5.7 billion in 2008; and Guotai Junan Securities (601211.SS), which raised $ 4.8 billion in 2015.

Clients of FII include companies such as Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Cisco (CSCO.O), Dell, Huawei and Lenovo (0992.HK).

Reporting by Jess Macy Yu in Taipei and Julie Zhu and Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by Engen Tham and Yiming Shen in Shanghai; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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Two Chinese bitcoin mining equipment makers plan $1 billion Hong Kong listings: IFR
May 15, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Two Chinese bitcoin mining equipment makers plan to raise up to $ 1 billion each from Hong Kong listings this year, riding on strong global interest in cryptocurrencies, IFR reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the plans.

FILE PHOTO: A token of the virtual currency Bitcoin is seen placed on a monitor that displays binary digits in this illustration picture, December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic//File Photo

Canaan Creative filed a listing application to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong on Monday, IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, reported.

Zhejiang Ebang Communication has also started working with advisers on a proposed Hong Kong float of up to $ 1 billon, reported IFR.

Ebang listed on China’s National Equities Exchange and Quotations, also known as the New Third Board, in 2015 and was

delisted from the over-the-counter market in March after announcing in January that it would seek a Hong Kong listing.

Chinese bitcoin mining equipment makers are hungry for capital to fund their growth as the heightened interest in cryptocurrencies has led to a surge in demand for their machines.

Canaan, which sells “Avalon” mining machines with customised super-fast ASIC chips, made revenue of more than 1 billion yuan in 2017. Although cryptocurrencies can be mined using regular computer equipment, specialised processing devices dedicated to mining are more effective and can generate more income.

The company’s co-chairman Jianping Kong told Reuters in April that he expected China’s push to promote the domestic chip industry to help drive growth for the company.

Credit Suisse, CMB International, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley are joint sponsors for Canaan’s float, according to IFR.

Canaan Creative declined to comment. Ebang could not be immediately reached for comment. All the banks didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Canaan’s IPO valuation has yet to be set as there is no listed comparable and the prices of cryptocurrencies have

fluctuated a lot, reported IFR. It was valued at $ 500 million in mid-2017, IFR said, attributing it to one of the people.

Reporting by Fiona Lau at IFR; Additional reporting by Sijia Jiang; Writing by Julie Zhu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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Pack Your Bags: Not Taking a Vacation is Costing America $62 Billion Every Year–Here's Why
May 12, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

Don’t feel bad for taking a vacation. Truth is, it’s good for you and your career to use up every single one of those vacation days. However, you’d be surprised how many Americans aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity, but when you’re finished reading this, Bermuda may be calling your name.

The Stats

Project: Time Off’s State of American Vacation 2018 report found that 52% of American workers have unused vacation days. This leads to a total of 705 million unspent vacation days, 212 million of which cannot be reimbursed. Thus, the result was American employees leaving $ 62 billion – or $ 561 per person – on the table, so to speak. 

The average American takes only 17.2 vacation days each year, though most will only spend 8 of those days traveling. Think about that for a second. In an entire year, most Americans will spend a little over a week using their vacation days as intended. 

Using those extra 9.2 days makes a significant difference. How much so? Those who use all or most of their days off are: 

  • 56% happier with their health 
  • 20% happier with their relationships 
  • 28% happier with their companies (hello employee longevity)
  • 24% happier with their careers
  • 18% more likely to have gotten a promotion within the last two years (when compared to infrequent travelers)

The takeaway: if you use your vacation, you’ll be promoted. Just kidding, but the statistics are legitimately both compelling & startling. 

Happy = Productive

As we all know, happy employees are the most productive. They’re also even more creative, efficient, loyal, and can help significantly improve the company’s bottom line. Employees that are happy with their company will surely feel obligated to give each day their best effort.

Treat your employees well and your company will blossom in return. And keep in mind, taking breaks has many benefits too. It helps workers remain productive, retain information, and avoid burnout.  

But won’t taking all my vacation make me look bad?

Well, Tom, I’m glad you asked that thought-provoking question to yourself. Sure, many workers fear taking advantage of all their vacation time can make them appear disinterested and replaceable. Au Contraire — let’s myth-bust this real quick with the managerial take on it: 

  • 90% of managers think that workers who plan their vacations ahead of time are responsible. 
  • 85% of say that planning ahead makes it easier to schedule work around an employee’s absence. 
  • 43% of managers say that they often can’t approve vacations since the worker didn’t give enough notice time.  

It’s a win/win, people. 

Treat Yourself

It’s time to start treating yourself to the vacations you deserve. America is the only developed country where employers aren’t obligated to provide workers with paid vacation days or holidays (and on that note, American employees aren’t entitled to sick days or maternity leave either). In fact, a quarter of Americans don’t get a single paid day off all year. Meanwhile, New Zealand, Italy, Austria, Belgium, France, and several other countries all give workers at least a month off every year.

So be thankful, take advantage of what you have, and go somewhere nice. The dividends will pay off…literally. 

Yes, I accept postcards. 

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T-Mobile agrees to acquire Sprint for $26 billion
April 29, 2018 6:02 pm|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – T-Mobile US Inc agreed on Sunday to acquire peer Sprint Corp, in a $ 26 billion all-stock deal that will combine the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers and is expected to attract regulatory scrutiny over its impact on consumers.

Smartphones with the logos of T-Mobile and Sprint are seen in this illustration taken September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The agreement caps four years of on- and off- talks between the companies, setting the stage for the creation of a carrier with 127 million customers that will be a more formidable competitor to the No.1 and No.2 wireless players, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc.

U.S. regulators, which have challenged in court AT&T’s $ 85 billion deal to buy U.S. media company Time Warner Inc, are expected to grill Sprint and T-Mobile on how they will price their combined wireless offerings.

The merger will create the highest capacity network in the United States, lower prices, create jobs and improve service in rural areas, said John Legere, the current chief executive of T-Mobile and the new head of the proposed combined company.

T-Mobile and Sprint said they expected to complete their deal no later than the first half of 2019, an ambitious goal given the intense U.S. regulatory scrutiny it will be subjected to. T-Mobile will not be liable to pay Sprint a breakup fee should regulators block the deal, according to sources who asked not to be identified because that detail in their contract has not yet been made public.

The companies said they expect U.S. regulators would see the benefits of the deal.

“This isn’t a case of going from four to three wireless companies – there are now at least seven or eight big competitors in this converging market,” Legere said in a statement. Other companies also would be forced to accelerate their investments in the face of a combined T-Mobile-Sprint, the companies added.

A spokeswoman for Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai declined to comment on Sunday on the proposed merger. The FCC will decide whether to grant the deal regulatory approval and if deal is in the “public interest.”

DEAL BREAKTHROUGH

The breakthrough in the companies’ negotiations, first reported by Reuters on Thursday, came after T-Mobile majority-owner Deutsche Telekom AG and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, which controls Sprint, agreed on a structure that will allow Deutsche Telekom to continue to consolidate the combined company, which will have a market value of over $ 80 billion, on its books.

Deutsche Telekom will own 42 percent of the combined company, and will control the board of the combined company, nominating nine of the 14 directors. Legere will also serve as a director.

The implied equity valuation for Sprint is $ 6.62 per share based on T-Mobile’s closing share price on Friday. Sprint shares closed Friday at $ 6.50.

The all-stock transaction is at a fixed exchange ratio of 0.10256 T-Mobile shares for each Sprint share, or the equivalent of 9.75 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile US share.

Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s first round of merger talks ended unsuccessfully in 2014 after U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration expressed antitrust concerns about the deal.

Under U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, regulators have continued to fret about consumer prices. The U.S. government has opened a probe into alleged coordination by AT&T, Verizon Communications and a telecommunications standards organization to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers, a person briefed on the matter said earlier this month.

The second round of talks between Sprint and T-Mobile ended in November over valuation disagreements, although Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges, left the door open at the time, saying: “You always meet twice in life.”

Since then, Sprint’s shares lost about a fifth of their value amid questions about how the company can compete effectively under the weight of its long-term debt of more than $ 32 billion.

Softbank has been looking to trim its own debt as well, which reached 15.8 trillion yen ($ 147 billion) as of the end of December. It has said it is planning to raise cash by taking its Japanese mobile phone unit public this year.

Failure to clinch a deal last November left SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, a dealmaker who raised close to $ 100 billion for his Vision Fund to invest in technology companies, in search of other options for Sprint.

INVESTING IN 5G TECHNOLOGY

Even though Sprint’s customer base has expanded under CEO Marcelo Claure, growth has been driven by discounting. Analysts say that, without T-Mobile, Sprint lacks the scale needed to invest in its network and to compete in a saturated market.

T-Mobile has fared better than Sprint, even if it remains a distant third to Verizon and AT&T. It has managed to score sustained market share gains, as innovative offerings, improving network performance and good customer service attract new customers, according to Moody’s Investors Service Inc.

T-Mobile became the first major U.S. carrier to eliminate two-year contracts, a shift quickly embraced by consumers and copied by competitors. The company has also badgered rivals with its unlimited data plans.

Both Sprint and T-Mobile are far behind Verizon and AT&T in upgrading their network to accommodate next generation 5G wireless technology. Even after their merger, the combined company’s budget to invest in 5G will be smaller than Verizon or AT&T’s.

However, Sprint and T-Mobile hope the deal will give them more firepower to participate in auction for spectrum to develop 5G. They plan to participate in a spectrum auction in late fall.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Writing by Sheila Dang; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Henderson

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TSMC to invest $14 billion in R&D at Hsinchu facility
April 27, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (2330.TW), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, is planning a T$ 400 billion ($ 13.50 billion) investment to expand its research and development capacity for future technologies, a company spokeswoman said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is seen at its headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Eason Lam/File Photo

The initial planned investment is a “ballpark figure” and is for several years down the line, Elizabeth Sun told Reuters in a phone call.

The proposed investment is subject to the government’s ability to procure and integrate more land into the Hsinchu science park in Taiwan, which is currently full, as well as to environmental assessments, Sun added.

Hsinchu serves as the company’s headquarters, a major production facility, and its research and development center, which focuses on future chip technology.

“This piece of land, if we’re able to acquire it, it would be for all the future R&D activities,” Sun said. “Right now we’re already doing 5 nanonmeter R&D. In the future, it’ll be 3 nm and beyond.”

Earlier this month, TSMC revised its full-year revenue target to the low end of its earlier forecast due to softer demand for smartphones and uncertainty in cryptocurrency mining market.

At the same time, it said it expects high-performance computing chips to make up a greater share of the company’s growth over the next five years. The chips are used in such quick-growing fields as artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency mining and blockchain.

($ 1 = 29.6380 Taiwan dollars)

Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Kim Coghill

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