Tag Archives: firms

MOT test garages could soon disappear as extension makes it 'hard for firms to survive'

MOT test garages could soon disappear as extension makes it 'hard for firms to survive'

Mr Barbera has started a petition calling for an action plan and financial support for the motor trade.

He has called for a financial package for 2022 and beyond to secure the future of jobs and businesses across the motor trade.

The petition has so far achieved over 1,500 signatures with 10,000 needed for a Government response.

However, Mr Barbera added he was still “skeptical” about any financial package but warned it was needed “for the short term”.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Firms who stop advertising on GB News face mass boycott – ‘Stay away from woke agenda!’

Firms who stop advertising on GB News face mass boycott - ‘Stay away from woke agenda!’

Ikea, Kopparberg and Octopus Energy are among companies who have withdrawn advertising from veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil’s channel. Swedish furniture giant Ikea said it had “not knowingly” advertised on GB News.

It added: “We are in the process of investigating how this may have occurred to ensure it won’t happen again in future, and have suspended paid display advertising in the meantime.”

Now an Express.co.uk poll – which ran from 10.30am to 10pm on – asked: “Will you boycott companies who stop advertising on GB News?”

Out of 18,696 votes, an overwhelming 93 percent (17,466) of people vowed to boycott the companies who pulled the advertising.

Just seven percent (1,064) said they would not while 159 people said they don’t know.

“So far I have nothing to do with the companies on the woke list anyway.”

Someone else said the companies should stick to doing “business” and stay away from political ideology and the “woke agenda”.

They said: “They should all stick to business and stay well away from political ideology and the woke agenda.

“We never elected them so who do they think they are pushing their woke political views on the British public?

“We should certainly boycott them but we should also set up a parallel market that caters for the anti-woke decent British public with companies that only sell their own products instead of meddling in ideology and politics.”

In its statement, cider firm Kopparberg also said it was unaware its adverts were running on the network and added that they had been suspended “pending further review of its content”.

Octopus Energy said it would only advertise with GB News if it proved to be “genuinely balanced”.

The Open University also paused its advertising.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Investment firms took positions on stocks hit by Archegos implosion, Gamestop

Investment firms took positions on stocks hit by Archegos implosion, Gamestop© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Billionaire investor George Soros speaks to the audience at the Schumpeter Award in Vienna, Austria June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

By Maiya Keidan

(Reuters) – Several investment firms purchased shares in ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:) Inc, Baidu (NASDAQ:) and Discovery (NASDAQ:) Inc, which made big market moves linked to the implosion of investment firm Archegos Capital Management, while others on Monday disclosed bets against retail-trading favorite GameStop Corp (NYSE:).

A number of investment managers bet on companies that plummeted when large banks sold them in a hurry amid the collapse of Archegos at the end March.

Other funds used the first quarter to take out put option positions, which are bearish bets, in GameStop. Gamestop was at the center of a battle earlier this year between retail investors who thought the ailing video retailer should trade higher and hedge funds like Melvin Capital, which bet that its stock would fall.

Melvin Capital, which was badly hurt after holding bearish GameStop positions, did not disclose any put positions in its latest filing. Melvin’s Gabriel Plotkin in February said he was wary about holding big short positions again.

Regulatory filings show that Soros Fund Management and hedge funds HG Vora Capital Management and Coatue Management entered positions in media stock ViacomCBS Inc after disclosing no holdings in the previous quarter.

The so-called 13F filings do not disclose the date the purchase was made but give a snapshot of what U.S. stocks fund managers owned at the end of the quarter.

Archegos, a family office run by ex-Tiger Asia manager Bill Hwang, was highly exposed to ViacomCBS, leaving the firm to face a huge margin call from its prime broker banks, which in March were forced to sell large blocks of shares of ViacomCBS, media peer Discovery Inc and Chinese search giant Baidu. ViacomCBS plunged 57% in March while Discovery dropped 44% and Baidu fell 30%.

Soros Fund Management, founded by billionaire George Soros, bought $ 194 million in ViacomCBS shares according to its filing https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1029160/000090266421002758/xslForm13F_X01/infotable.xml, while HG Vora picked up $ 78.9 million and Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management purchased $ 77.1 million over the same period.

British hedge fund firm Rokos Capital Management, run by former Brevan Howard partner Chris Rokos, also purchased $ 167.8 million of Baidu stock in the first three months of the year, the filings showed.

Laurion Capital Management added $ 231.6 million in Baidu over the same period while Soros picked up $ 77 million and Hong Kong-based activist fund Oasis Management raised its bet in the company by 42% to $ 46.5 million.

Soros, currently led by Chief Investment Officer Dawn Fitzpatrick, and London-based hedge fund behemoth Marshall Wace both picked up more than 200,000 shares in Discovery after holding no position in the previous quarter.

Many of the investment funds did not hold shares in ViacomCBS, Baidu or Discovery in the previous quarter, showed the filings.

Several hedge funds also disclosed new put options on GameStop Corp over the same period, including Robert Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management and Caxton Associates, which bets on macroeconomic events.

Taconic Capital Advisors, Hunting Hill Global Capital and Hudson (NYSE:) Bay Capital Management also took similar positions.

Put options, which give the holder the right to sell at a specified price, can be used as a way for a hedge fund to short a stock without using equity markets.

Melvin, which closed its GameStop position earlier in the year with a large loss, did not list the company as one of its positions in its latest filing.

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Turkey tightens control on crypto firms after 2 exchanges collapse

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

Turkey tightens control on crypto firms after 2 exchanges collapse

Cryptocurrency providers are now subject to terrorism-financing and money laundering laws in Turkey, a new presidential decree says. It comes amid an investigation into local platforms which abruptly halted operations in April.

The decree was published in the Official Gazette on Saturday, taking effect immediately. Forcing the platforms to abide by the regulations could make it easier to investigate digital currency holdings, according to Bloomberg.

The crypto industry has been under increased scrutiny in Turkey in recent weeks. On Friday, a ban on the use of digital assets for purchases came into force. Turkey’s central bank previously cited “irreparable” damage and transaction risks as reasons for the ban.

Also on rt.com Turkey bans use of cryptocurrencies for payments, citing possible ‘irreparable’ damages

In another shock for Turkish cryptocurrency investors, two local exchanges went under last month. Thodex, one of the largest in Turkey, was the first to collapse, and its CEO, Fatih Faruk Ozer, left the country. It was initially thought that Ozer could have taken up to $ 2 billion in investors’ funds, but the Interior Ministry later said the company’s portfolio totaled $ 108 million.

The government has asked Interpol to put the businessman, who is believed to be in Albania, on red notice, and has launched an investigation into the platform. Dozens were detained as part of the probe and a Turkish court jailed six suspects, pending trial, including the CEO’s siblings, on Friday.

Also on rt.com Crackdown on cryptocurrencies may be coming, warns Kraken CEO

A separate investigation is ongoing regarding a smaller crypto exchange, Vebitcoin. The platform ceased operations after facing financial strain last week. Later, the local regulator blocked the domestic bank accounts of the platform and arrested its staff as part of the investigation.

Interest in crypto assets has been growing in Turkey amid rising inflation and the depreciation of the lira. Turkey’s annual inflation surged above 16% in March, well above the central bank’s 5% target level.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Analysis: DIY deals- How private equity firms buy assets from themselves

Analysis: DIY deals- How private equity firms buy assets from themselves
Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks on Wall Street in New York, U.S.

(Reuters) – What’s a fair price when you are selling something to yourself? On Wall Street, that’s not a trick question.

A growing number of private equity firms are establishing new funds to buy portfolio companies from funds they already control. With the buyer and seller each an entity controlled by the same private equity firm, scrutiny is growing over how they price such deals.

“Transactions must be done at fair value and this must be sufficiently mitigated to make sure everybody feels good about the deal being done,” said Brian Rodde, managing partner at Makena Capital, a private equity investor.

In a traditional private equity transaction, investors will give a private equity fund money to invest in a portfolio of companies with the expectation that they will get their money back, plus profit, once those companies have been sold to outside buyers, usually in a 5-7 year timeframe.

The coronavirus pandemic initially disrupted private equity funds’ ability to exit companies and return funds to investors because would-be buyers were wary of deals. Raising new funds to buy the firms allowed private equity funds to hang on to good companies, keep charging investors lucrative management fees and give cash back to those investors who didn’t want to wait for their return.

The value of transactions involving buyout firms acquiring companies from themselves reached a record $ 21.8 billion in 2020, accounting for 87% of all deals in the secondary market initiated by private equity firms, according to fund placement agent Campbell Lutyens. That is up from $ 17 billion in 2019, when they accounted for 68% of all deals in the secondary market for private equity fund stakes.

A new record may be hit this year, as deal volume in the first quarter reached $ 15 billion, up from $ 7 billion from a year ago, according to a Citigroup Inc (NYSE:) estimate.

Industry executives say these deals are becoming more popular because as market fears around the pandemic recede and record levels of mergers and acquisitions ensue, some fund investors want to cash out to avail of new opportunities.

The risk for investors looking to exit is that they may be forfeiting the opportunity for extra profit by selling too early or at too low a price, while those buying may be overpaying for assets that may not deliver on promised returns.

Existing investors can, however, stick with the asset if they believe there is more value to be had in the future.

“Investors generally have the option to roll their exposure if they believe there is more upside on a go-forward basis,” Orcun Unlu, Citigroup’s global head of private funds, said.

Private equity funds have an incentive to hold on to good companies because increased competition for new acquisitions has driven up valuations, meaning it is expensive for them to go hunting anew. It is also risky; there is no guarantee that the next company they buy will be as successful as the one they own now.

“There was an expected duration for an exit for some of these (fund managers) on certain transactions and that got pushed out,” said Chris Perriello, co-head of secondary fund investments at AlpInvest Partners, a division of buyout firm Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:) Inc.

“For the most part, they have been companies that have done very well and there’s some sort of value creation story.”

FINDING A FAIR PRICE

To acquire a company already owned by investors in one of its funds, a private equity firm raises a so-called continuation fund, which may include some of the original investors from the old fund as well as new investors.

The investors are the ultimate owners of the portfolio companies, paying private equity firms fees for managing the assets and their performance.

Buyout firms Ares Management (NYSE:) Corp, Hellman & Friedman LLC and Clearlake Capital are among recent users of so-called continuation funds that are raised to buy portfolio companies from funds they manage, sources told Reuters.

Ares, Hellman & Friedman and Clearlake Capital declined to comment.

The continuation fund can invest in a number of portfolio companies but funds focused on single assets have seen the biggest growth in recent years, accounting for $ 14 billion in assets at the end of last year, compared to zero in 2017, according to data from Credit Suisse (SIX:).

For a graphic on Continuation funds on the rise:

https://graphics.reuters.com/PRIVATEEQUITY-SECONDARIES/CONTINUATION-FUNDS/ygdvzljzlvw/chart.png

With such deals growing in popularity, investors are seeking greater detail on how valuations are reached.

They do this by setting up independent committees to vet whether private equity firms have any entrenched conflicts of interest and the profitability of any proposed deal.

To further reassure investors that the price agreed reflects fair market value, private equity funds often run auctions, inviting secondary fund firms, which specialize in investing in second-hand private equity assets, to submit bids.

For example, when buyout firm Energy Capital Partners raised a $ 1.2 billion continuation fund this year to buy a 50% stake in U.S. renewable power and storage developer Terra-Gen from one of its older funds, it agreed on a price following a bid for the stake from Blackstone Group (NYSE:) Inc’s secondary funds division.

The price matched the amount Energy Capital Partners raised when it sold 50% of the company months earlier to investment firm First Sentier Investors.

Blackstone ended up as a major investor in the continuation fund, which attracted 20% of the investors in the original buyout fund holding the Terra-Gen stake, Energy Capital Partners founder Doug Kimmelman said in an interview. [L1N2LT2TH]

But the auction process does not assuage all investor concerns. Participants could end up investing alongside the private equity fund or in their continuation funds. Potential acquirers of the entire company, who have more of a reason to compete on price, are not always invited.

This can make some investors wary of the process, said David Layton, chief executive officer of Partners Group Holding AG, a private equity firm with a big secondary fund division that invests in continuation fund deals.

“There can be misalignment of interest between parties and I think this has to be navigated very carefully,” Layton said.

By Chibuike Oguh

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

As Peloton faces scrutiny over safety of its treadmills, RT’s Boom Bust looks into the firm’s potential legal liabilities

As Peloton faces scrutiny over safety of its treadmills, RT’s Boom Bust looks into the firm’s potential legal liabilities

Popular exercise equipment company Peloton came under fire from US regulators over injuries related to its Tread+ treadmill.

The urgent warning issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends not using the treadmill anywhere near small children or pets. The regulator cited 39 incidents, including one death, saying that Tread+ poses risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death.

READ MORE: ‘Weeping’ over ‘brave corporations’ like Amazon, Google & Apple? You might have Stockholm Syndrome… or just work for Buzzfeed

The commission released a terrifying video of a child being dragged under a Peloton treadmill to highlight their warning. Peloton shares fell over 7% following the news. However, the fitness machine manufacturer refused to cooperate with the investigation into the product.

RT’s Boom Bust talked to Sara Papantonio of Levin Papantonio Rafferty, a Florida-based personal injury law firm, to find out whether the parents can sue the company if injuries occur after the government warning.

“This warning is an official notice to Peloton that the tread that they are manufacturing is potentially dangerous,” the lawyer said.

“The CPSC has started the legal clockwork for those who have been injured. Now, it’s up to Peloton to prove that the equipment they are selling is safe.”

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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This article originally appeared on RT Business News

Simon Calder warns travel firms 'absolutely furious' as Boris says 'too early' for trips

Simon Calder warns travel firms 'absolutely furious' as Boris says 'too early' for trips
The travel expert told Good Morning Britain the Government’s confusing messaging over international travel has led to travel bosses being “absolutely furious”. Mr Johnson failed to deliver a clear message on international travel at Monday’s press conference, adding it was “too early” to plan beyond the expected relaxation of international travel on May 17. Simon Calder went on to say it has left operators confused about what the next steps are as holidaymakers fear they won’t get away this summer.
The travel expert said: “As coronavirus has been raging across Europe and beyond many epidemiologists have said it would be madness to allow international travel as you run the risk of bringing in variants of concerns.

“The PM had been expected to announce the restart within six weeks and clearly the medical people won out.

“Effectively he said ‘maybe next week, maybe next month’.”

But he added how airport operators such as Gatwick “simply don’t know what they are supposed to be doing” from May 17 onwards which has led to confusion and fury inside the travel industry who are now struggling to plan ahead.

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He said: “There is an awful lot of concern out there.”

Mr Calder continued by saying how chief executives at travel operators and agencies say they are “disappointed” but that really translates as “absolutely furious” at the Government for the confusing message on international travel given at the latest press conference in Downing Street.

He added: “They could not believe the government have done that and created so much uncertainty for millions of people.”

But the travel expert stressed holidaymakers “absolutely should not” cancel holidays or flights following the confusion as they will not be protected.

READ MORE: Simon Calder: ‘Complicated’ Brexit passport rules for Europe travel – ‘for goodness sake’[2]

Mr Calder’s comments come as the Prime Minister delivered a statement on the future of international travel which led to panic amongst travel operators who need clarity on the next steps.

Mr Johnson said: “We are hopeful we can get going from May 17 but I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to underestimate the difficulties we are seeing in some of the countries people are wanting to go to.

“Given the state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries, we are not yet in a position to confirm that non-essential international travel can resume from that point.

“Taking into account the latest situation with variants and the evidence about the efficacy of vaccines against them, we will confirm in advance whether non-essential international travel can resume on May 17.”

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He added: “Or whether we will need to wait longer before lifting the outbound travel restriction.”

Boris Johnson stated Britons will be given as much notice as possible for when international travel will reopen but this was not enough detail for travel operators.

If travel does go ahead next month, it is likely there will be further travel restrictions put into place such as a green, amber, red traffic light system to indicate countries where the virus presence is high.

Current restrictions mean Britons can face £5,000 fines if they travel without an acceptable reason.

China mulls new bourse to lure overseas-listed firms – media

China mulls new bourse to lure overseas-listed firms – media

Beijing is exploring options to establish a new stock exchange that targets firms listed overseas and could bolster the global status of its onshore share markets, Reuters reported, citing sources.

According to people with knowledge of the matter, the country’s State Council has asked the top securities regulator to lead studies on how to design the exchange that would target Chinese firms listed in offshore markets.

The government hopes the initiative would also lure marquee international firms such as Apple and Tesla, which would have the option of carving out local businesses and listing them on the new bourse, one of the sources said.

Talks are in the early stages, and a timeframe and location are yet to be decided, said the sources, who declined to be identified. One option under discussion is upgrading an existing listing platform such as a smaller bourse in Beijing, they added.
Also on rt.com Removal from US stock markets won’t halt investments in blacklisted Chinese companies, Beijing says
China has two major onshore exchanges, in Shanghai and Shenzhen, with combined listed market capitalization of 78.7 trillion yuan ($ 12 trillion).

The plan to set up a new bourse comes as the United States’ securities regulator made legal amendments last week that would expel Chinese companies from US exchanges if they did not comply with the country’s auditing standards.

READ MORE: Hong Kong stock market turnover more than quadruples that of London’s exchange – media

Data by Refinitiv showed that about 13 US-listed Chinese firms, including the Alibaba Group, Baidu and JD.com have conducted secondary listings worth a combined $ 36 billion in Hong Kong over the past 16 months.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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